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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
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.
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.