Turia leads all-star cast at fes­ti­val

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BERNIE GRIF­FIN

Maori Party co- leader Tar­i­ana Turia will open Porirua’s Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments on Wai­tangi Day.

It will be her last Wai­tangi Day pub­lic en­gage­ment be­fore she re­tires at the end of this par­lia­men­tary term.

Mrs Turia rep­re­sents the Te Tai Hauauru elec­torate and en­tered Par­lia­ment in 1996 as a Labour list MP.

The fes­ti­val at Te Rau­paraha Park is in its 23rd year and could at­tract up to 40,000 for the all-day celebration. It is re­garded as the big­gest Wai­tangi Day celebration in the coun­try.

Mrs Turia said she was look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing.

‘‘ Wai­tangi Day is a day for cel­e­brat­ing be­ing a cit­i­zen of Aotearoa-New Zealand,’’ she said. ‘‘Here in multi-cul­tural Porirua, New Zealan­ders from all eth­nic back­grounds live, work and play.

‘‘Wai­tangi Day is also a day to com­mem­o­rate the sign­ing of the Treaty of Wai­tangi, which for­malised the part­ner­ship be­tween tan­gata whenua and the Crown and which set the scene for the na­tion that we now all call home.’’

She said the treaty be­stowed upon all New Zealan­ders a set of rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as treaty part­ners.

‘‘Wai­tangi Day should not be the only day, though, that we con­sider and take se­ri­ously those re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Around the coun­try, fam­i­lies and com­muni- ties are cel­e­brat­ing and recog­nis­ing this day through events such as sport, cul­tural fes­ti­vals and po­lit­i­cal fo­rums.’’

Also among the of­fi­cial party at the open­ing will be Race Re­la­tions com­mis­sioner Dame Su­san Devoy, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Hekia Parata, Mana MP Kris Faafoi, Mayor of Porirua Nick Leggett, kau­matua from Ngati Toa Taku Parai and Re­hia Kenny, Pa­cific writer Pro­fes­sor Al­bert Wendt, Porirua Com­mu­nity Arts Coun­cil chair­woman Judy McKoy and Bob Cater, who has chaired the fes­ti­val’s or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee since it be­gan.

Mr Cater said Porirua’s lead in pro­mot­ing the Wai­tangi Day fes­ti­val was widely ap­pre­ci­ated and re­flected in the high of­fice of the of­fi­cial guests at­tend­ing.

‘‘ Since the Porirua fes­ti­val be­gan in 1992, it has built a rep­u­ta­tion for show­ing the way com­mu­ni­ties can come to­gether in the spirit of the treaty. We have been hon­oured over the years by the fact that each Gover­norGen­eral since Dame Cather­ine Tizard has at­tended one of our open­ings.

‘‘We are hon­oured fur­ther, not only by our of­fi­cial guests, but also by the stand­ing and at­ten­dance of renowned artists, per­form­ers and en­ter­tain­ers.

‘‘Porirua can feel proud of its achieve­ment.’’

Spe­cial guest: In­au­gu­ral Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments chair­man Bob Cater

will be back again.

Hekia Parata

Dame Su­san Devoy

Tar­i­ana Turia

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