Week that was: Celebrating Waitangi

This week, Labour MPs headed north to take part in Waitangi events, and acknowledge Aotearoa’s shared history. Here’s a quick look at what our team got up to at Waitangi, and how we’re working together with Māori to build a better future for us all.

On Tuesday, Labour’s Māori Caucus was welcomed onto Te Tii Marae at Waitangi for the first time in four years, to honour Labour life member and Ngāpuhi leader Rudy Taylor.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister joined commemorations to mark 175 years since the battle of Ruapekapeka, where she spoke about our commitment to teaching New Zealand history in all schools and kura from next year.

If you want to learn more about this, and why it’s so important all of our tamariki learn our shared history, watch Labour MP Tamati Coffey’s explainer below.

MPs from across the political spectrum were welcomed to Te Whare Rūnanga on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with a special pōwhiri on Thursday. Here, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson spoke about how we must work together to build a future that gives our mokopuna the opportunities to embrace their potential. 

The Prime Minister also announced the date of the first ever public holiday for Matariki – 24 June 2022. You can read more about this here.

On Friday, the Labour team stopped by the Hihiaua Cultural Centre in Whangārei, where they learned about how the Hā Foundation is helping rangatahi explore New Zealand history through art. MPs even got to show off their own artistic abilities by trying their hand at painting!

Carmel Sepuloni tries her hand at painting at the Hihiaua Cultural Centre

Waitangi Day began with the traditional dawn service at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where Labour MPs were among those to offer prayers in diverse languages to mark the occasion. 

Then it was time for Ministers and MPs to pull on aprons and cook up a feast for the crowd gathered for the ceremony, as part of the Prime Minister’s annual Waitangi breakfast barbeque.

Jacinda Ardern and Barbara Edmonds serve breakfast at the annual Waitangi BBQ

Waitangi Day is an opportunity for all of us to come together and acknowledge the history we share, and the challenges we’ve overcome together. As the Prime Minister said this week, Te Tiriti is our guide for navigating every challenge that comes our way, and by honouring it, together we can build a better future for all Aotearoa.

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