January 25, 2022
PR: Waitangi National Trust announcement
25 January 2022
The Waitangi National Trust has decided to close the Waitangi Estate and Waitangi Treaty Grounds to the public on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2022.
This follows an earlier decision by the Trust to cancel all in-person events at Waitangi due to restrictions imposed by the Covid Protection Framework (CPF), which made it practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations, which attract 30,000 to 40,000 people annually.
The Trust received advice from health experts, police and legal advisors in reaching its decision to close the estate on Waitangi Day. The health and safety of visitors, staff and the local community is of paramount importance to the Trust so closing the estate is the only responsible decision under the circumstances.
As owner of the Waitangi Estate, the Trust has a legal obligation to comply with the CPF order and ensure that no unlawful gatherings take place on its lands. Without the ability to check vaccination passes for the large numbers of people expected on Waitangi Day, the Trust had no choice other than to take the action it has.
Even if the Trust was able to check vaccination certificates, the maximum number of people who can gather under the red setting of the CPF is only 100, so the opening of the estate and grounds is untenable.
Waitangi National Trust Chairman Pita Tipene said it was a decision not taken lightly. “The Trustees fully appreciate that many people want to gather at Waitangi on Waitangi Day, our national day.
“However, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and with the Omicron variant now in the community and expected to spread quickly, we cannot proceed as if everything was normal. That would be totally irresponsible, not to mention unlawful, and Trustees are not prepared to risk the health and safety of the public by breaching the CPF order.”
Waitangi National Trust will be working with radio, TV and online broadcasters to deliver a virtual Waitangi Day experience on 6 February 2022, with details of broadcast times to be announced shortly.
Pita Tipene concludes, “Waitangi Day and its significance in the history and future of our country will always endure, despite this year’s commemorations being disrupted on the Treaty grounds.
“Therefore, I encourage New Zealanders to commemorate Waitangi Day 2022 in their own homes and in their own communities – as many have always done. Moreover, we all hope that Waitangi Day 2023 will see a return to some sort of normal with a Waitangi Festival on the estate and with the tens of thousands of people that we usually welcome.”
25 Kohitātea 2022
Kua oti āke te whakatau a Te Poari Kaitiaki a Motu o Waitangi tērā te Whenua Tauhere me te Papa Tiriti o Waitangi te katia ki te katoa o te iwi tūmatanui a te rā o Waitangi, a te 6 o Pēpuere 2022.
E whai atu ana tēnei i whakatau i mua ake nei a ngā Kaitiaki ki te whakakore i ngā huihuitanga a tinana ki Waitangi na runga i te Raupapa Here Ārai Kōwheori (CPF), i kore rawa ai e tāea kia haumaru te whakahaere i ngā kaupapa e toko ake ai i waenga i te 30,000 ki te 40,000 tāngata ki ngā whakamaumahara te tū ki Waitangi ia tau.
Na runga i ngā tohutohu i whiwhi ngā Kaitiaki mai i ngā mātanga hauora, te rōpū pirihimana me ōna mana rōia hei paihere i ta rātou whakatau, me kati te Whenua Tauhere a te rā o Waitangi. Ko te aronui ki te hauora me te haumaru o te manuhiri, āna kaimahi me te hāpori o te takiwā ake i te taumata o ngā whakaaro o ngā kaitiaki i eke ai rātou ki te whakatau motuhake i raro i ngā āhuatanga o te wā, ki te kati i te Whenua Tauhere nei.
Na te mea ko ngā Kaitiaki ngā mana o te Whenua Tauhere o Waitangi e paiheretia ana rātou ki te whai i ngā whakarite a te CPF e kaua rawa e tukua he huihuinga poka tikanga a ture kia whakahaeretia i runga i ōna whenua. Na te kore e taea e rātou te aromātai ngā uruwhenua tohu werohanga o te tini te whakaeke a te ra o Waitangi, kahore atu he putanga mō ngā Kaitiaki i te whai i te whakatau kua rite nei i a rātou.
Ahakoa mehemea i taea tonu e ngā Kaitiaki te aromātai nga puka werohanga, kotahi rau tāngata ānake ka āhei ki te huihui i rāro i ngā herenga rama whero, na tērā i kore ai e taea te karo kia kaua e tuwhera tonu o te papa me te whenua tauhere.
He ai ki a Pita Tipene, Heamana o Te Poari Kaitiaki a Motu o Waitangi ehara i te mea māmā i eke ai tēnei whakatau. ‘I te mōhio tūturu ngā Kaitiaki he rahi tonu te iwi e hiahia tonu ana ki te huihui ki Waitangi, i te Rā o Waitangi, te ra o te motu.
“Heoi ano ra, kei waenga tonu tātou i te karawhiu a te urutā puta noa i te ao, me te aha kua pakaru nei ko te Kano Ōmiri ki te hapori me tōna tere hora ki wīwī me wāwā, e kore e tāea e mātou te toko atu anō nei kei te pai tonu ngā mea katoa. He mahi whakaaro kore tēra, i tua atu i te takahi tonu i te ture, kahore hoki ngā Kaitiaki i hiahia kia raru i a rātou ko te hauora me te haumaru o te hapori ma te whakateka i nga here a te CPF’.
E mahi tahi ana Te Poari Kaitiaki a Motu o Waitangi me nga kaipaoho reo irirangi, pouaka whakaata me ētahi papa kaitaki a ipurangi ki te whakapaoho kaupapa whakaawe i te Rā o Waitangi a te 6 o Pēpuere 2022, ka whakairihia te wā o aua whakapaohotanga ākua ake nei.
Hei whakaoti ake, e ki ana Pita Tipene, ‘Ko te Ra o Waitangi me ōna pānga nui ki ngā kōrero tuku iho mo tō tatou whenua ka mau tonu, ahakoa te aukatia o ngā whakamaumahara ki te papa whenua o Waitangi. No reira ahau te tohe nei i te iwi whānui o Aotearoa ki te whakanui i te Ra o Waitangi 2022 ki o rātou ake kāinga me o rātou hapori – pērā anō i ta tini mai rāno. Āpiti atu ki tērā, ko tō mātou tūmanako a te tau 2023 ka hoki anō ki tōna āhua ake te Ahurei o Waitangi ki runga i te Whenua Tauhere me te hia mano tāngata te powhiritia āno e mātou’.