Waiata on Waitangi Day

Some of the best Māori and Pacific musicians are playing free gigs this Waitangi Day. Here’s our handy guide to who’s performing where.

Stan Walker, Maisey Rika, Rob Ruha

Tāmaki Makaurau

What: Waitangi ki Manukau 2021
Where: Hayman Park, Cnr of Davies Ave & Wiri Station Rd, Manukau City, Auckland
When: 9am – 5pm
Who: Multi-award winning singer Maisey Rika, who has a passionate audience all around the Pacific for her pure, emotive voice, soulful reggae band Rootz Konekt, Sweet Echo, RnR Music and more.
Also on offer: Māori and Pacific kai, interactive family-friendly activities and arts and crafts stalls. A public pōwhiri at 9am.

What: Waitangi Day 2021
Where: Ōkāhu Bay- Ōrākei.
When: 10am – 3pm
Who: Maimoa Music, a young 10-strong collective who notched up millions of YouTube views and knocked Justin Beiber off the number one spot in the NZ iTunes chart in 2016 with their debut song ‘Maimotia’. They only have three singles out, but they’re working on their debut album and poised for big things.
They’re joined by Troy Kingi, whose psychedelic concept album Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron is still on high rotate around here.

What: ​Waitangi at Waititi 2021
Where: Hoani Waititi Marae, 451 West Coast Road, Glen Eden, Auckland
When: 9am to 5pm
Who: This is a huge musical line-up. Pop star Stan Walker, who despite dealing with some health issues, is well enough to perform. Whanganui whānau reggae outfit House of Shem, Maxi Priest’s son Marvin Priest & Rik-E-Ragga (UK/Australia), Maimoa Music, rapper Sid Diamond, local hitmakers Ardijah, Southside of Bombay, Maisey Rika, Annie Crummer, Howie Morrison JNR, Beau Monga, Maaka, Abbie, Riqi Harawira, Kiko & Dj Poroufessa
Also on offer: The music line-up alone should keep you fully occupied. But there are also rides for the kids and tasty kai.

Hawkes Bay

What: Waitangi Day Family Celebrations
Where: Sports Park Hawke’s Bay, Percival Rd, Hastings.
When: 8am – 4pm
Who: One of Aotearoa’s best-loved singers, Che Fu, headlines alongside R&B singer Pieter T, rapper Tyree, female reggae trio NRG Rising, and many more.
Also on offer: Kapa haka groups, Latin Roots Dancers, Scottish Drummers and Dancers. In the morning the sports fields will host netball, 3×3 basketball, touch and Ki Orahi. There will be free rides, a market and an emphasis on healthy food and lifestyles.


What: Waifest 2021
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, Dixon Street, Masterton, Wairarapa
When: 10:00am – 3:00pm
Who: Headliners are reggae trio Tomorrow People, who have just put out a poly-reo version of their song ‘Don’t Wanna Fight It’
Also on offer: local musician Hemi Walker, highland dancing, and a lounge for kaumatua to keep cool, and relax.

Wellington region

What: Kotahi
Where: Kahurangi School, 43 Strathmore Ave, Strathmore Park, Wellington
When: 2.30pm – 8.30pm
Who: A quintessentially Wellington line-up. Much loved roots/soul band Trinity Roots, electro-pop man Disasteradio, electronic-R&B group A Girl Named Mo, Flowz and The Dream Team, The Tyson Smith Group
Also on offer: activities for the kids, including Capital E’s Bloom, mini golf, food stalls. Koha appreciated.

What: Waitangi Alert 2021
Where: Wellington Waterfront, by Te Papa, Wellington
When: 12pm – 5pm
Who: This is organised by Upper Hutt Posse’s Te Kupu, who says this is an event “upholding February 6th as a day of protest against lingering racist colonialism and capitalism in Aotearoa, in solidarity with Indigenous and persecuted people worldwide fighting against right-wing bigotry. ‘Waitangi Alert 2021’ is the antithesis of the many celebratory public events given over to the misleading promulgation of Aotearoa as a multi-cultural paradise on Waitangi Day.”
Te Kupu proposes conscious music selections with kōrero, spoken word and an open microphone for radical expressions of resistance.

What: Waitangi Day Festival, Porirua
Where: Porirua Waterfront 5 Wi Neera Drive, Porirua – Mana, Wellington Region
When: 10am – 5pm
Who: Porirua raised soul singer Aaradhna returns home to perform, along with te reo māori metal band Alien Weaponry and haka-soul singer Rob Ruha.
Also on offer: Hop on a waka with Ngāti Toa and the Porirua Canoe and Kayak Club, creative opportunities for all ages; easels and art boards to paint a Waitangi Day theme, creating your own taniwha puppet, face painting, and Māori carving in action. And course lots of lovely kai for your puku.

What: Waitangi Day at the Dowse
Where: Dowse Square, Laings Road, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region
When: 1pm – 5pm
Who: musical comedy act The Māori Side Steps, award winning conscious reggae singer Israel Starr
Also on offer: Slam poet Te Kahu Rolleston, Māori martial arts, Hula, Taonga Puoro, Poi making and raranga (weaving) workshops, and games in te reo Māori.

What: Te Rā O Waitangi
Where: Waitangi Park, 107 Cable St, Wellington
When: 9am – 7.30pm
Who: Jazz/soul singer Whirimako Black, Rob Ruha, Tomorrow People, Alien Weaponry, Rei, Kirsten Te Rito and  the Salmonella Dub Soundsystem.
Also on offer: Hāngi, weaving demonstrations, kapa haka,

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