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Waitangi Day Celebrations with a difference

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Day of Meaning and Fun

In what has been an eventful week of debate and animated discussion in the tribal meeting place, it is great to see that the weekend is ending in a celebratory mood. On Sunday, the Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue, will host in each village a visiting guest preacher for the day. This has been an integral part of the Ekalesia’s commitment to maintaining contact in the Christian family. Before the Sunday, there is Saturday – more specifically Saturday that is Waitangi Day.

HE Ross Ardern in charge of the filled-buns table for over a hundred kids and parents.

This year, the New Zealand High Commissioner HE Ross Ardern and Mrs Ardern together with their small but dedicated staff were at the receiving end of a hundred-odd children and parents. To celebrate Waitangi Day this year Mr Ardern had opened up the High Commission Residence at Tapeu for a day of fun. In addition to having a swim in the pool, the Commission staff had rigged a water slide on the lawn. This proved to be a huge attraction for the younger one who may have been a little hesitant to get into the pool.

Hake jnr and Tilani Laufoli enjoying the water slide.

When Tala Niue arrived to check out the fun, HE Ardern was busy filling up rolls for the hungry horde looking for a bite.

The High Commissioner started the day with an explanation to the children and parents of the meaning of Waitangi Day in this day and age. The Treaty of Waitangi marked the beginning of a partnership between the palagi settlers and the tangata whenua.

There are not many pools on the island so these youngsters were quick to take up on the High Commissioner’s offer.

Ardern said that inviting the children and parents to the Residency is in keeping with the new spirit being promoted by the Prime Minister and the Labour Government.

How each of New Zealand’s diplomatic post celebrates Waitangi Day is up to the Head of Mission.

The day was a little damp but there were plenty of shelter available.

In the past, here on Niue, the day was usually remembered with a cocktail party at Tapeu. Then came organised sports – specifically a national Ambrose golf tournament. And now, a fun day for the family. Whether the next Head of Mission will carry on with the same theme remains to be seen. If you ask the children and parents who attended today’s Waitangi Day celebrations, there is only one answer. A resounding yes.

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