Activists reunite for Kīngitanga Day

7 September 2017

Kingitanga Day tohu

Kīngitanga Day, the University of Waikato's annual celebration of Kīngitanga is being held on Thursday 14 September and is open to the public. This year the event features two special guest panels; residents from Parihaka and past members of activist group Ngā Tamatoa, as well as seminars, a screening of the Kīngitanga documentary, bus tours, live entertainment and kai.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai says this year’s Kīngitanga Day programme reflects the theme for the day: Ko te mana Māori motuhake which is the Kīngitanga motto. “The programme also reflects the inclusive nature of the Kīngitanga, bringing together our diverse communities in the spirit of manaaki,” she says.

The day starts at 9am with a guest panel of residents from the Parihaka settlement in Taranaki talking about the significance of the recent reconciliation ceremony with the government, He Puanga Haeata. The event took place in June this year and acknowledged the atrocities suffered by the community in 1881 when armed Crown troops stormed the pacifist village. The reconciliation package includes a $9m development fund, a formal Crown apology and a commitment to an ongoing relationship between Parihaka and the government.

Kīngitanga Day will head off campus for the first time, with optional bus tours being offered. The 90-minute tours will depart from outside the Academy at 11am and 1.30pm and will visit sites of significance for the Kīngitanga.

There will be entertainment and live performances, including kapa haka, a demonstration of tā moko and various competitions, finishing with a mass waiata in the afternoon. Kai stalls will be operating throughout the afternoon.

The day will also feature a seminar on Te Mana Raraunga (Māori Data Sovereignty) and a screening of parts one and two of the Māori TV documentary Kīngitanga: The Untold Story.

The day will conclude with a guest panel featuring members of the radical Māori activist group Ngā Tamatoa who, through a series of high-profile protest actions in the 1970s, galvanised public discussion about the rights of Māori, the recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and the role and status of Te Reo Māori. The session, which kicks off at 5pm, will feature past members Des Kahotea, John Ohia, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Tame Iti, Toro Waaka, Morehu McDonald and Ripeka Evans who will reflect on their experiences being part of the group and the legacy of their actions.

For more information, visit the Kīngitanga Day website.