Waitangi Day celebrations at Kaka Pā Point Historic Reserve, Kaiteretere


Waitangi Day, the national day of Aotearoa, is a time to come together, to celebrate and reflect on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of our nation. This year marks the 181st anniversary of the signing of the treaty.


On Saturday, 6 February 2021 Waitangi Day will be celebrated at the Kaiteretere Recreation Reserve and Kaka Pā Point Historic Reserve, both areas of cultural and historical significance to tāngata whenua. Ngāti Rārua and Te Ātiawa Ki Te Tau Ihu (Te Ātiawa) are the mana whenua iwi of Kaiteretere. Ngāti Tama Ki Te Tau Ihu (Ngāti Tama) have an association with Kaiteretere  through participation in significant events and Ngāti Apa have an historical relationship with Kaiteretere from prior to 1827. Kaka Pā Point was gifted to Ngāti Rārua, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Tama for seven days and then gifted back to the Nation, as part of the Treaty Settlement process in 2014.


Kaiteretere was the first meeting place between tāngata whenua and representatives of the New Zealand Company whose sole purpose was to colonise a ’new’ country. A kōrero was held with local chiefs and Captain Arthur Wakefield to discuss Nelson land purchases and reach agreement on payment and reserves. Terms included the protection of tāngata whenua settlements, cultivations and wāhi tapū and the reservation of one-tenth of all land used for the Nelson settlement to be held in trust for the benefit of the original Maori owners and their whānau. This land became known as the Tenths Reserves, which includes Kaiteretere Recreation Reserve and Kaka Pā Point Historic Reserve.


“Kaiteretere is a special place to the mana whenua iwi, and Waitangi Day is a time to come together, share stories and reflect on the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi”, says Renee Thomas, Kaiteretere Recreation Reserve Board member and mana whenua. “As well as its famous beach and world class recreation activities the Reserve holds a great deal of cultural significance. Waitangi Day is an opportunity for us to tell the story of our iwi, our connection to this land and our role as its guardians as we look to the future.”.


This year's Waitangi Day celebrations began with a morning ceremony at Kaka Pā Point Historic Reserve before moving down to Kaiteretere beach where whānau participated in activities together.