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Turangawaewae Regatta 2012

Turangawaewae Regatta 2012

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  • Thu 15 Mar ’12, 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Fri 16 Mar ’12, 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Sat 17 Mar ’12, 8:00am – 5:00pm


Turangawaewae Marae, 29 River Road, Ngaruawahia


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • 12 years and under: $0.00
  • Entry fee (Saturday Only): $5.00

Day 1 – Thursday March 15 2012: Primary School Kopapa and Waka Ama Races, free entry, featuring schools from all around the Waikato, Te Arawa and Tamaki Makaurau. Racing starts around 9 am and finishes around 3. An exciting day on the River for all the whanau. Featuring an information exhibition celebrating the Waikato River settlement, hosted by the team from the Waikato Raupatu River Trust. Providing interactive and static displays and information on the river settlement. Displays will be aimed for the school audience. Open from 10 am – 2 pm

Day 2 - Friday March 16 2012 - secondary school kopapa and waka ama races - the competition heats up as the rangatahi get on the river and paddle for the pride of their schools. Racing starts at 9 am and kai stalls and the Waikato River Exhibition will be open. Bring your seat and your sunscreen for a day of exciting racing. Entry is free on both Thursday and Friday. Mahons sideshows will be open for a limited time during the evening....

The big day - Saturday 17 March 2012 - Turangawaewae Regatta - $5 entry for adults, free for kids under 12. Featuring live entertainment from local bands and Maisey Rika. Kapa haka - the top groups in the Waikato - Te Iti Kahurangi, Nga Pou O Roto and Te Pou o Mangatawhiri. Te Kai a Te Kauta Food Festival - showcasing Peter Gordon inspired Matariki gourmet hangi and traditional Marae cuisine... Interactive workshops - Maori weaving and carving demonstrations, learn to perform the art of haka or poi. Waka rides - get out on the river yourself and experience a waka. The waka taua ceremonial parade will take place at 11 am. Spine-tingling - this is the only place in the world you get to see up these waka on the river - a sight not to be missed.

The regatta had its beginnings in March 1896 when the community of Ngaaruawaahia held an official carnival of the banks of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers. Earliest regattas were held at the Point, at the confluence of the 2 rivers. The Tuurangawaewae Marae community staged the regatta permanently from 1973, following flooding at the Point.

The purpose of the regatta was to encourage aquatic sports and Maaori customary river activities, with particular emphasis on the preservation of ancient customs and traditions.

Ko Ngaaruawaahia taku tuurangawaewae – Ngaaruawaahia shall be my footstool. Words uttered by Taawhiao, and ones which have echoed through time symbolising that Ngaaruawaahia would always be a place for Waikato Tainui people to find strength, security and a sense of belonging. Ngaaruawaahia, where for over 100 years, two rivers and a yearly regatta have linked Maaori and Paakeha together. It is a time when the older generation will relive and remember the past, where the rangatahi learn about the past in an atmosphere of fun and where all will celebrate the river and its culture.

The theme for the 2012 regatta is our enduring legacy – Turangawaewae – mo te ao katoa. A celebration for the whole community - for whaanau, hapuu, iwi, kaumaatua, pakeke, rangataahi and tamariki, for all our marae and, in keeping with the historical background of the event, for our paakeha neighbours from across the river and the wider Waikato.

Coupled with that, is our legacy as kai-tiaki of our ancestral river, and the commitment to restoring the health and wellbeing of the awa and celebrating its integral place as our ancestor.

Tooku awa koiora me oona pikonga he kura tangihia o te maataamuri
"The river of life, each curve more beautiful than the last"

These are the themes under which this programme for regatta 2012 has been developed.

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