Waitangi Day 2019

Today is our national day to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. This date is an important marker in our country’s history and a chance to remember our nation’s founding document.

It is a great honour for myself and the Ashburton District to be invited to the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival at Ōnuku Marae, Akaroa. Unfortunately, I cannot be in two places at once and Councillor Mark has an established relationship with the Marae and will represent the Ashburton District. A formal address is being given by Lisa Tumahai, Kaiwhakahaere, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu; as well as Tā Tipene O’Regan and the Right Honorable Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor General of New Zealand.

I look forward to attending the 10th annual Multi Cultural Bite Festival on East Street, Ashburton. This year, I’m pleased to observe the attendance of Chinese Vice Consul General Zhai Xingfu and the Philippine Ambassador (Gary) Jesus Domingo: their attendance is a wonderful recognition of this festival’s milestone.

Multi Cultural Bite is a cultural extravaganza and is a highlight on our local calendar. It’s a wonderful celebration of our diverse community. What better way to appreciate the strength of our differences and connect as a multicultural community than through coming together to share cuisines from around the world and make connections with people who have come to call Ashburton District their home, whether recently or many years ago.

For a lot of people, attending Multi Cultural Bite has become an annual tradition and it’s exciting to see the crowds growing each Waitangi Day. For everyone in the district, I would encourage you to head along to the festival and see the wonderful ways in which we celebrate who we are.

Another wonderful way to commemorate Waitangi Day in our district is to take part in the activities happening at Hakatere Marae. I will be attending when activities start at 3.00pm and hope to see you there enjoying the games and fun provided.

I’d like to thank all the people involved in making these community events a reality and for dedicating their time and efforts into providing our community with wonderful opportunities to celebrate, interact and reflect on who we are as a nation. These events and activities don’t just happen. They come about because someone or a group of people care enough to give their time. So, on behalf of our community, thank you all.

Let’s honour this special day in New Zealand’s history by taking advantage of these local activities, joining together, and remembering who we are and the significance of the Treaty signing.

Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2019 10:04am