Reflections on Waitangi 2015

Photo N.Reese

Launching the Waka. Photo- N.Reese

photo - N. Reese
Setting tables. Photo – N. Reese
Karuwha Marquee
photo - N. Reese
Paihia Lunch. Photo- N. Reese



Some reflections from members of the 2015 team on their experiences of the Waitangi commemorations:

Nicole Sutherland on her first time at the celebrations…“The… dawn service. The small degree of separation that exists in New Zealand was evident, as members of the public joined members of parliament under a common roof to reflect on the past and look forward to a future of reconciliation…our team helped to serve in the Marae with tasks that ranged from table preparation to food preparation. Although our contribution was appreciated, we actually gained vastly more through the conversations that were had and the beginnings of relationships that were built. Overall, the beauty of Waitangi was the intergenerational pull that the event draws, so I feel more than privileged to be a part of helping to ensure that this continues to happen.”

Layton Fraser…”I remember wondering how many New Zealanders have experienced the place of Waitangi on Waitangi Day. Not being Maori it is so easy to overlook the significance of what took place all those years ago, and even easier to neglect the actions that followed, both negative and positive and how that has shaped the fabric of Aotearoa New Zealand. Too often I find myself looking at life and the world around me through a tainted and biased “Layton Fraser lens”, and although not done purposely it isn’t until I remind myself that the way I perceive life is different to the person I’m sitting across the dinner table from. The beauty that I’ve come to realise is it is only when I to try see through a multitude of lenses with grace and understanding that the full spectrum of beauty and colour that is present in Aotearoa can begin to show… I do know that standing in the marae at 5am with the gathered few singing a waiata, I was at peace knowing that the journey of a nation and its two predominant cultures started here, and a 175 years on standing on the same grounds I was a part of the journey they started”. Read more at


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