Family focused fun at Waitangi festival
Motown, rhythm n’ blues, country, Kiwiana, pop and reggae all feature in this coming Waitangi Day celebrations at the southern end of Lake Taupo¯ on Saturday February 2.
The third Waitangi
Tu¯ wharetoa ki Pu¯ kawa Festival takes place at Pu¯ kawa Lakefront Reserve and has a great line up of live music guaranteed to appeal to an older and younger audience, plus plenty of activities for families.
Kiwi artists headlining are the BeatGirls, returning with a high-energy show featuring classic hits from the 60s to present day, reggae band 1814, and Motown and R’n’B singers The Brown Brothers. Upcoming solo artist Sianne Dougherty will also be appearing along with local country and western band Five-Nine. Pakeke o Nga¯ ti Tu¯ wharetoa Roopu will also sing a waiata at the start of the day.
Family activities include have a go waka ama, boat rides, bouncy castle, healthy food stalls, and an area of the lake for swimming with lifeguards supporting parents. With families in mind entry is free and all attendees are asked to abide with the policy of no smoking, no alcohol and no drugs.
Event organiser and
Pu¯ kawa Marae chairman Dave Potaka says they have been running the biennial festival since 2015, with help from local community groups and supporting sponsors, and it is very much a community event.
“In keeping with Waitangi the festival is our attempt at bringing communities together to enjoy the day,” says Dave.
He says their focus this year is on kauma¯ tua, pakeke and/or senior citizens and so there will be a free cup of tea and cake, plus free mirimiri (massage) and free health checks on offer in the kauma¯ tua tent, which will also have the best view of the stage.
“The no smoking, no alcohol, no drugs kaupapa is very important in promoting healthy communities. Although our focus on our pakeke and kauma¯ tua for the day is important — it should be a focus every day,” says Dave.
The Tu¯ wharetoa ki Pu¯ kawa Festival runs 11am to 4pm at Pu¯ kawa Lakefront Reserve, end of Kaiura Ave, 10 minutes west of Tu¯ rangi. Entry is free.
A free shuttle will operate from Tu¯ rangi, Taupo¯ , Mangakino and Taumarunui for locals unable to make their own way there. Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance.
The BeatGirls are among the lineup at Pu¯ kawa Marae’s Waitangi Tu¯ wharetoa ki Pu¯ kawa Festival, which won the prestigious NZ Event Awards Best Community Event for 2017, in only its second year of operating.
Waitangi celebrations at Pu¯ kawa in 2017 attracted a big crowd.