Wellington's in for a musical treat this Waitangi Day with Canterbury soul diva Ladi6 set to light up a day filled with free events and activities on the waterfront as part of Te Ra o Waitangi - a celebration organised by Wellington City Council and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the many different events featured this year celebrate both traditional Māori and contemporary Kiwi culture.
"Waitangi Day is chance for New Zealanders from all ethnic backgrounds to reflect on the signing of the Treaty and to celebrate being Kiwi," she says.
Event organiser Rebecca Hardie says Ladi6 is an extremely popular performer in Wellington and it's great to get such a prominent drawcard. Famed for her ability to mix sultry vocal melodies with rapid-fire rap, Ladi6 will perform from 4.30pm on the stage at Odlins Plaza on Taranaki Street.
"We expect to get people from all over the Wellington region for this one. We wanted someone who was well known, particularly with younger audiences, so they would come down and make a conscious effort to be part of Waitangi Day."
As well as Ladi6, there'll be plenty of other great entertainment throughout the day with performances by three kapa haka groups, an indigenous Melbourne-based choir and the Downtown Community Ministry Ukelele Crew.
Proceedings kick off at 10am for children at the Atea (front) of Te Raukura (the Wharewaka building on the Waterfront).
"There'll be plenty of activities for the kids in the morning. There'll be storytelling, they can make a waka from harakeke (flax) and driftwood and get airbrushed tattoos. Then around noon waka will paddle out into the harbour where they'll salute the crowd at the Wharewaka to start the formal proceedings."
Other gigs on offer include Wellington singer songwriter Toni Huata who takes the stage at around 1pm.
She'll be playing songs from her fourth album, Hopukia, released last year. Then local reggae act Tomorrow People will be warming up the crowd with a taste of their brand of sunshine-infused roots music.
While Ladi6 is the headline act of the day, it doesn't finish after her performance. People can join the crowd and learn to Salsa with 'Salsa at Sunset' before capping off the day with the public screening of Taika Waititi's award-winning film Boy (M), 9pm at Waitangi Park.
"Boy is one of the best-loved New Zealand movies ever - and Taika is a born-and-bred Wellingtonian," says Rebecca, "so we're thrilled to be playing the movie as the finale to the city's celebration of our national day."