Wellingtonians can celebrate Waitangi Day in style with an exciting line-up of entertainment and activities at Te Ra o Waitangi happening on the waterfront tomorrow.
Wellington City Council and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust have organised a celebration of all things Kiwi, to suit all interests and ages, including a performance by soul diva Ladi6.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the events in this year's celebrations reflect both traditional Māori and contemporary Kiwi culture.
"Waitangi Day is a chance for New Zealanders from all ethnic backgrounds to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 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 draw-card. Renowned for her ability to mix sultry vocal melodies with rapid-fire rap, Ladi6 will perform from 4.30pm on the main stage at Odlins Plaza on Taranaki Street Wharf.
"We expect to get people from all over the Wellington region for this one," says Rebecca.
"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, the day-long programme features plenty of entertainment with performances by three kapa haka groups, an indigenous Melbourne-based choir and Wellington's Downtown Community Ministry Ukulele Crew.
Proceedings kick off at 10.00am 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 get airbrushed tattoos. Then around noon, waka will head out into the harbour where their crews will salute the crowd at the Wharewaka to start the formal proceedings."
Other gigs to catch include Wellington singer-songwriter Toni Huata who takes the stage at around 1.00pm. She'll play songs from her fourth album, Hopukia, released last year. Then local reggae act Tomorrow People will warm up the crowd with a taste of their sunshine-infused roots music.
After Ladi6's performance, Wellingtonians are invited to see off the sun at Salsa at Sunset at 6.00pm, followed by a free public screening of Taika Waititi's award-winning film Boy (M), 9.00pm 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."