Ele­ments Wai­tangi Day fo­cus

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Porirua’s Fes­ti­val of the Ele­ments is ex­pected to be New Zealand’s big­gest Wai­tangi Day cel­e­bra­tion.

The Gov­er­nor-gen­eral Sir Jerry Mateparae, mak­ing his first of­fi­cial visit to Porirua, will at­tend the fes­ti­val. Mem­bers of the Diplo­matic Corps from as many as 30 em­bassies are also ex­pected to at­tend.

The Gov­er­nor-gen­eral will be wel­comed at Te Rau­paraha Park by Mayor Nick Leggett and Porirua Com­mu­nity Arts Coun­cil chair­man Bob Cater.

‘‘With no spe­cial cel­e­bra­tions at Wai­tangi it­self this year, it is clear the Porirua event will be es­tab­lished as the big­gest in the coun­try,’’ Mr Cater said. ‘‘But the cen­tral fo­cus of the oc­ca­sion is its demon­stra­tion that the Treaty of Wai­tangi has made it pos­si­ble, through the fes­ti­val, to cel­e­brate Porirua’s multi-cul­tural iden­tity, tal­ents and di­ver­sity.’’

Porirua could be proud to be host­ing such an event which had also been made pos­si­ble from sup­port by in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions from all lev­els of the com­mu­nity.

Thou­sands of dol­lars were likely to be pumped back into the Porirua econ­omy with or­gan­is­ers pre­par­ing for crowds in ex­cess of 35,000, he said.

Record num­bers of per­form­ers will pro­vide day­long en­ter­tain­ment and artis­tic per­for­mances sup­ported by hun­dreds of stalls, work­shops, craft demon­stra­tions and cul­tural dis­plays.

Fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor Mar­garet Ar­mour said the fes­ti­val ob­vi­ously would have some eco­nomic ben­e­fit for the com­mu­nity but that came as a bonus and should not ob­scure the main fo­cus.

‘‘From our point of view, the fes­ti­val is an enor­mous gath­er­ing of in­cred­i­ble cul­tures, skills, en­tre­pre­neur­ial abil­i­ties and tra­di­tional en­ter­tain­ment. It’s a snap­shot of our na­tion­hood.’’ The fes­ti­val is now in its 21st year. With the move to Te Rau­paraha Park and the arena, and a $143,000 bud­get, has come the big­gest pro­gramme of per­form­ers and events.

En­ter­tainer Gary Mc­cormick, who grew up in Porirua, will be MC once again.

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