Festival at Rotorua’s Waitangi Day

Tunohopu Marae chair, Norma Sturley, pictured with her husband Terry.

Ohinemutu is set to host Rotorua’s official Waitangi Day event next year.

A line-up of live music, kai, stalls and activities to keep the whole family entertained is being planned.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend Waitangi – For the Love of the People - Waitangi ki Ohinemutu -  on Thursday, February 6.

The event will feature a strong Ngati Whakaue and Te Arawa whanau influence, supported by the wider community of cultures living in Rotorua.

Eight themes – promoting history, language, visual arts, sports and games, performing arts, food and beverage, health and wellness, and environment – will be showcased.

Tunohopu marae chair Norma Sturley says she enjoyed September’s Aronui Maori Market at the ruapeka, Ohinemutu, so much, she was keen for a similar event to be delivered to locals and visitors to the city.

“I loved that the Aronui Maori Market brought so many people back to the pa,” says Norma.

“While our marae was used to host korero sessions, we were also able to sit on the opposite side of the gate and talk to the locals, while enjoying the markets and entertainment.

“We’d never celebrated an event such as this on the ruapeka before, and we were keen to once again support a special social gathering for our community.”

After speaking with whanau, it was agreed Waitangi Day provided a great opportunity to not only showcase Ohinemutu village, but to also observe Aotearoa’s national day of remembrance. Whaea Norma took the idea back to the Tunohopu Marae trusts – Paratehoata and Te Kohea – who were pleased to support the kaupapa.

Waitangi – For the Love of the People – will encompass the entire area from the ruapeka on Tunohopu St, through to the Rotorua Lakefront. The event will feature live music, entertainment, competitions and giveaways, interactive displays, market stalls, talks and tours, and other activities.

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