Lock in Waitangi date

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The woman behind Queenstown’s revived Waitangi Day celebrations believes it’ll become an annual fixture in the Wakatipu. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council arts and events facilitator Jan Maxwell says Waitangi Day celebrations involving live music in Queenstown Gardens on Monday seemed to be a great success. 

“The weather played a huge part in it, but there was a real mix of ages, families, young ones, old ones, lots of locals, some tourists – and everybody was really chilled out and relaxed. 

“I’ve had lots of positive feedback from everyone to do it again – so that’s the plan. 

“I think this is the start of us having a great annual event to commemorate the day. I’m really pleased with how the whole thing went,” Maxwell says 

Local Queenstown groups played throughout the day from noon, including popular duo Shay and Pearly and reggae funk foursome Ghettoblaster. 

Pre-prepared hangi food was available for sale whilst lots of groups brought picnics and refreshments to while away the afternoon. 

The event was made possible from a $2000 Ministry of Culture and Heritage grant to the council. 

Maxwell says she’ll submit a debrief of this year’s event to the ministry ahead of reapplying for more money next year. 

“I’ll report back to them and hopefully they will support us again and give us even more.” 

Maxwell says the live music was a hit and she hopes to boost this component for next year.