Unlike up north, the only heat expected at Queenstown’s first official Waitangi Day celebrations this afternoon (Monday) is from the sun.
A breakaway group of three protesters mounted a charge towards Prime Minister John Key at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae in the Bay of Islands yesterday but were held back by police and Maori wardens.
No ugly vibes are expected at today’s concert in Queenstown Gardens. A clear sky and balmy temperatures peaking at 26 degrees are forecast throughout.
Local group the Paua Paddies kick the music off at noon. Popular Queenstown duo Shay and Pearly are scheduled for around 2pm whilst local reggae funk band GhettoBlaster are expected to play at 4pm.
Other acts include DJ and MC Stauny Pops whilst Ned Webster will recite traditional Wakatipu legends. The Kiwi Haka will also show their stuff.
The free event has been made possible thanks to a $2000 grant from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
Queenstown Lakes District Council arts and event facilitator Jan Maxwell, who organised the day, says it could be the first step in the process of launching a district-wide celebration.
“If we get a good response, we’ll look at a larger celebration next year,” she says.
Maxwell says it’ll be a chance for people to get a taste of Maori culture – literally.
Pre-prepared hangi food will be on sale plus a range of activities including flax weaving and story telling are planned.