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Whakatau mai raa kei te tini, whakatau mai raa kei te mano. Whakatau mai raa ki runga ki Te Whare Taonga o Waikato me ngaa tawhito noo tua. Noo puuahaaha, noo puuarearea, noo puuaanewanewae ka tau haa, haa whakatau.

Waikato Museum will host a free event with live music, kapa haka, and film screenings on Waitangi Day (Monday 6 February) to mark the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

“Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato is a proudly bicultural organisation, committed to honouring our shared history as we continue to learn about what this means for us as a museum,” said Liz Cotton, Director of Museum and Arts, Waikato Museum. 


“We strive to meet our responsibilities of partnership under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and provide kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga for our collections, our people, and our communities. Waitangi Day provides another opportunity for us continue engaging in these important conversations.


“Ngaa mihi nui to Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage who through their generous sponsorship have enabled our communities attend this festival for free.”  

The festival begins at 1pm with a performance on the Museum forecourt by Te Waiora o Waikato, a kapa haka group affiliated with the University of Waikato. 

A line-up of local musicians will play live music on the outdoor stage throughout the afternoon. Inside the Museum, renowned weaving group Te Roopu Aroha Ki Te Raranga will demonstrate traditional techniques to transform harakeke (flax) into woven creations. 

A fully booked guided tour on the New Zealand Land Wars, led by Brad Totorewa (Waikato), chairperson of Te Runanga Ngāti Naho, will explore significant items from the Museum’s collection. 

With an extensive career in education and the revitalisation of te reo Maaori, Totorewa is the mastermind behind the rebuild of the Rangiriri earthwork trenches, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Land Wars. 

Rounding out the festival’s attractions, free film screenings will be held in the Museum’s lecture theatre, thanks to a partnership with the New Zealand Film Commission.  

Poi-E: The Story Of Our Song (2016, rated G) will screen at 1.30pm, telling the toe-tapping story of the first Te Reo Maaori song to hit the top of the charts. This will be followed at 3.30pm by Whina (2022, rated PG), the award-winning biopic starring Rena Owen as political activist Dame Whina Cooper. 


Attendance is free for both screenings but as spaces are limited it is recommended that you book online. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in te ao Maaori (the Maaori world view) by exploring the Museum’s permanent displays. These include the majestic Te Winika, a 200-year-old carved waka taua (war canoe), and exhibitions such as Katohia He Wai Moou, Katohia He Wai Mooku, which brings together the powerful sculptures of world-renowned Tainui artist Fred Graham ONZM. 

Waitangi Day will also be acknowledged elsewhere in Hamilton Kirikiriroa. Throughout the long weekend Hamilton Gardens is offering free guided tours of Te Parapara, New Zealand's only traditional Maaori productive garden, which can be booked on the Hamilton Gardens website. Hamilton Zoo will celebrate the public holiday with live music throughout the day on Monday 6 February (standard admission fees apply). 

Waikato Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm including on Waitangi Day. These events are supported by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

More information and ticketing links

Please note:  

For te reo Maaori, Waikato Museum uses double vowels (uu) in place of vowels with a macron (ū) to represent a long vowel sound. This spelling approach is the preference of tangata whenua in Hamilton Kirikiriroa and Waikato iwi for te reo Maaori words. Artists’ titles are shown in their original form.


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