Hapainga celebrates Waitangi Day at Native Noise Festival

Ngāti Whātua's Hapainga team celebrated Waitangi Day this year in style at the Native Noise Festival 2009. Celebrations were held at Okahu Bay and hosted by Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, in collaboration with Auckland City Council.

Hapainga is the Ngāti Whātua interpretation of Mana Hapai, a co-production initiative with Te Puni Kokiri. The Hapainga campaign is based on three projects: Mua, the cultural heritage of Ngāti Whātua; Toi, Ngāti Whātua's distinctive art and creativity; and Leaders, our cultural and practical leadership.

The aim of the Hapainga stall at Native Noise was to raise awareness and knowledge around the Ngāti Whātua Heru Hapai kaupapa and the Hapainga campaign. A main priority was enrolling people on a register for future Hapainga events, activities and workshops. These will provide Ngāti Whātua people with experiences to share and grow their understanding of our unique Ngāti Whātua cultural identity. As well as the focus on Hapainga information, the team also used the opportunity to hand out and collect consent forms for the Rūnanga survey database.

While the primary focus was on Ngāti Whātua, both Ngāti Whātua and non-Ngāti Whātua people were able to meet and interact with the Hapainga team.

Toi Project Manager Sonya Peters said it was a good event to promote interest in future Hapainga events and to talk about the project, its aims and aspirations. 'It was a really positive day for the team, there was a lot of interest taken in the kaupapa and a good number of registrations were taken. '

The stall also had Hapainga and Rūnanga merchandise available for purchase and interest in the gear was great. It received a lot of positive feedback about the design and the quality.

The free event was a success with an impressive musical line-up including Jamoa Jam, Open Souls, The Herbs, and House of Shem. The chance to enjoy good music, good food and to catch up with whanau, Ngāti Whātua whanui and the wider Maori community proved to be an attractive option for the crowds of people that took part.

The festival was promoted as a 'zero waste' event; with the combined efforts of Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, the organising team, stall holders, and the audience, Okahu Bay was left in a pristine condition. Having the event at Okahu Bay was also significant as it is the original site of the arrival of Governor Hobson who was invited by Ngāti Whātua chiefs to create the city of Auckland in 1841.