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A salute from historic military cannons with 17th century origins, a dance competition, formal dinner and cabaret will be among the entertainment at the grand opening of the Te Ahu Centre later this month.
Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae will officially open the centre in Kaitaia on Saturday 28 April at 9:30am.
Mayor Wayne Brown invited Sir Jerry to do the honours after hosting him on a visit to the Far North in February.
The occasion has been designed as a family day with provision for stalls, a hangi, lamb on a spit, Dalmatian dance and kapa haka demonstrations and a public dance competition.
Schools from across Te Hiku Ward will be represented at the opening ceremony which will feature a triple challenge and welcome to the official party by the local Maori community.
A specially-designed and woven ribbon has been prepared by Te Runanga o Te Rarawa for the opening which coincides with the 172nd anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi at Kaitaia.
The cutting of the ribbon will be followed by a salute from three replica Coehorn Mortars fired by Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi, Mayor Brown and the Governor General.
The 12-pounder cannons were originally designed by Dutch engineer Baron Menno van Coehorn in the 1670s.
They were adopted by the British military in 1764 and were still a favoured portable cannon at the battles at Ruapekapeka Pa (near Kawakawa) and Gate Pa (Tauranga) in the mid-19th century.
The cannons to be used on the day are from a batch of 11 exact replica cannons which the New Zealand Armed Constabulary Force Re-enactment Society made in Napier in 1985.
The three for the Te Ahu Centre opening are owned by society commandant and local resident John Osborne who was the armourer during the making of the feature film ‘Utu’ in 1982.
The cannons have been fired at a number of historic occasions in the Far North in recent years, including the Boyd Bicentenary in 2009.
They were last fired at an international vintage car rally at Wanganui earlier this year.
The daytime celebrations will be followed by a three-course celebration dinner and cabaret in the community centre which forms part of Te Ahu.
This cabaret will feature Kiwi entertainment icons Tina Cross and Ray Woolf with special guest speaker former All Black Stu Wilson.