Waitangi in the Gold Coast

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Whilst there were plenty of Waitangi Day celebrations happening all around the country here in Aotearoa, our whanaunga across the ditch were also getting in on the action and holding their own respective events and concerts to commemorate our national day, including many on the Gold Coast.  

There are many who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the entertainment happens seamlessly out the front.

“It's for the people of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, those who want to come and listen to the entertainment,” says Tū Thompson Tāwhā

The Waitangi celebrations were initially organised by an Irishman.  

“That's another reason we were set up, we didn't want another tribe running the events for our national Waitangi Day.  They don't have any idea what's behind it and hence we got involved,” says Rāwiri Toko from Ngāi Tūhoe

They also had issue with another group’s involvement as well.

“The Police would come and help us but then they'd charge us $6,000, so our very own Māori wardens were called to help Ngā Tama o te Ao and they are also being celebrated today as well,” says Mr Toko.

“We're honoured to be here today because todays celebrations pay tribute to Wàtene Māori here in Piripane. We've got first rangatahi wardens in Australia, I think our youngest is how old are you baby, she's nine that's an amazing feat.” says Aneta Rēwiti, Ngāi Te Rangi.

Event participants had this to say about today’s occasion.

“Just tautoko any event that's around all for aroha, we love it we'll go anywhere.”

“It's cool to have them here in Australia, it's like having a piece of home here as well. “

“Total respect they look after us as Māori, as non-Māori as a culture.”                                                

Our young up and coming Māori Wardens working together with the veterans thus contributing to a beautiful Waitangi Day.