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Arty flora fauna flair to Te Ha October commemorations

Media Releases - 6th September 2017 The Gisborne Herald
mere event programme 2017 Caption: Te Hā events co-ordinator Mere Boynton with some of the many brochures to be distributed promoting events for Te Hā October 2017 commemorations.

Artistic creations depicting the impact of settlement on the flora and fauna of Te Tairāwhiti will provide a colourful, thought-provoking start to Te Hā October commemorations next month.

Other events include Māori show band the Māori Sidesteps, art exhibitions, an exploration of native flora and Māori medicine, and a talkfest debating whether place names matter. 

Te Hā 1769 Sestercentennial Trust chairman Richard Brooking says that each October, the district commemorates the Endeavour’s 1769 arrival and the first formal meetings between Māori and European, the most significant event in New Zealand’s history.

“We also acknowledge the consequences of those first meetings. In 2019, we will remember the 250th anniversary of those events.”

This year’s programme begins with a Friday morning blessing at Waiohiharore, where the Waikanae Stream meets the Turanganui River, followed by breakfast at the Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club.

The second Te Hā Art Exhibition will open at Tairāwhiti Museum in the early evening. Visual artists have until the end of September to submit their works on the impact of settlement on flora and fauna as they vie for four awards worth $6000 in prize money from sponsors Pultron Composites and Professor Jack Richards.

An exhibition of sculptural works by Niuean Māori object artist Lina Marsh – about the abundance and depletion of flora and fauna – runs throughout the weekend at central business district shops.

Saturday night offers two musical events. The Māori Sidesteps, touted as the newest, naughtiest Māori show band on the country’s entertainment scene, perform at the War Memorial Theatre. Featuring Jamie McCaskill, Rob Mokaraka, Jerome Leota, Erroll Anderson and Cohen Holloway, the group provides a contemporary take on old showbands with satire and party tunes made famous by the likes of Howard Morrison Quartet, The Hi-Marks and John Rowles.

Smash Palace’s ExNE (East by North East) celebrates the impact of culture on music over the past 250 years with nine ‘originals’ artists performing.

Sunday starts mid-morning at the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve where DoC biodiversity ranger Graeme Atkins will discuss the ecology, habitat and medicinal uses of plants Banks and Solander collected from this district. Participants are encouraged to bring along 20 snails from their gardens in exchange for kaka beak seeds and knowledge about how to grow them.

Early afternoon, Historic Places Tairāwhiti Inc will hold its second First Meetings Kōrero talkfest about first meetings in Turanganui a Kiwa. Ten speakers will have five minutes each to talk about What’s in a name?

In the late afternoon, Young Enterprise team Project Ataahua will unveil its commissioned public artwork created by Nick Tupara and Phil Berry.

The following Sunday, 15 October, will be the turn of Young Enterprise students Balance Skate, who have created skateboards of recycled wood etched with drawings by Kahurangi Ngata. And for a month from Thursday, 26 October, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the Uawa community will present an exhibition of large-scale photographs depicting important stories unique to Uawa displayed on the walls of Uawa buildings.

For further information, please contact Mere Boynton 022 3565068 or Sheridan Gundry 0274 782900

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