February 07, 2024
Waipareira host largest free music festival n Tāmaki Makaurau
Over 40,000 people chose to mark their Waitangi Day with live music and arrived in droves to enjoy Waitangi @ Waititi at Parrs Park in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Today marks the ten year anniversary of Te Whānau o Waipareira putting on this free festival and CEO, John Tamihere knows this was their biggest yet.
“To see our little event grow to have such big kiwi names alongside an international act like Peter Garrett is pretty unreal. It shows how far we’ve come. Plus it’s testament to whānau who come here every year and testament to our kaimahi and volunteers who work behind the scenes, around the clock to make it happen”.
Karakia started proceedings at 9:00 AM followed by a full day of live performances including Tomorrow People, Savage, Aaradhna, Tiki Taane, The Black Seeds and Katchafire.
Australian music legend and activist Peter Garrett wasn’t shy to voice his opinion to the massive audience.
“It’s an honour to be here celebrating your Waitangi Day with you. This feels familiar. We don’t want old, white, right-wing racists telling us to rip the Treaty apart. There was a story to be told from our perspective, not speaking on behalf of the First Nations people, but a story that was strong for us”.
Francis Laughton from Kora had the crowd of thousands cheering.
“It’s time for us to stay together, it’s going to be a challenging three years. Kotahitanga whānau, being united is so important right now”.
Despite the 28 degree heat, the massive crowd remained until the final song from favourites, Sons Of Zion, staying hydrated and protected with the free water and sunscreen stations dotted around Parrs Park.
MAI FM’s K’Lee McNabb was one of the MC’s and summed up the sentiment of the occasion.
“Today is one spectacular day to be Māori, to stand in your mana, to be seen and heard and to be represented in every single way. And today we got to do it together, because even if you are non-Māori, you could still feel the cause”.