Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day Celebrations

As promised, here is some more info on Waitangi Day celebrations taking place on Wednesday 6 February.

Te Rā o Waitangi celebrations will take place on the Wellington waterfront, mostly centred around the Te Raukura building, from 10am to 4pm. There will be activities, bands, trade stands and, of course, food! There will be many kiwiana and Māori-themed kai options available (get in quick for the hangi!).

There will also be a special performance from SKIN Choir, in association with Toi Māori Aotearoa, at Odlins Plaza, Wellington waterfront. The choir is visiting New Zealand from Australia for a five-day programme of cultural and musical exchange. This is to be the first step in establishing a Trans-Tasman musical exchange between the indigenous Māori music community of New Zealand and the indigenous music community of Australia.

Also on the day, there will be a Ki-o-Rahi festival held at Waitangi Park from 11am to 3pm. If you need some more information on what that is, you can find out here.

Te Rā o Waitangi celebrations will end with a screening of Boy in Waitangi Park, starting at dusk (approximately between 8.30 and 9.30pm).

For more information on any of these events, please check the Wellington City Council events page.

All of these events are free and open to the general public. Hope to see you there!

28th Māori Battalion Christmas 1943

In honour of the festive season, I thought I would share with you some images and clips of Māori Battalion Christmases past from the National Library & Māori Battalion websites (along with a book if these photos inspire a culinary experience!).

MB1
Two men from the Maori Battalion digging up a hangi of pork and potatoes for Christmas Dinner at the Maori Training Depot, Maadi. Shows three soldiers pushing dirt aside with spades, while others look on. Photograph taken on 25 Dec 1943, by George Robert Bull.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Uncovering the Christmas hangi at the Maori Training Depot, Maadi Camp, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04877-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22828401

MB2
Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion taking food from an uncovered hangi used to cook Christmas dinner at Maadi Camp in Egypt, during World War II. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion with uncovered hangi at Maadi Camp on Christmas Day, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04882-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22895567

MB3
Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion eating potatoes after opening the hangi used to cook Christmas dinner at the Maori Training Depot in Maadi, Egypt. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull. Far right; Dave McClutchie.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion eating hangi-cooked potatoes on Christmas Day, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04878-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23176964

MB4
Looking along one of the tables well laden with Christmas dinner at the Maori Training Depot in Maadi Camp, Egypt. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull.

Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Looking along one of the tables laden with Christmas Dinner at the Maori Training Depot, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04887-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23102454

If these images inspire you to make your own Christmas hangi, check out our collection. We have many books that will help you out.

Hangi / Wena Harawira.
“The cooking of a hangi meal on a marae is explained, with full colour photographs of an actual hangi and its preparation. The history of the hangi is explained, ingredients identified, and a step-by-step timetable given. A recipe for potato bread is also included.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKai time : tasty modern Māori food / Peter Peeti.
“Drawing from the abundant fare that the New Zealand land and sea have to offer, charismatic Maori chef and television personality Peter Peeti shares his culinary knowledge and favourite recipes in this wonderful book. Based on the popular show on Maori TV, Kai Time on the Road (now in its sixth season), Peeti reveals not just a flair for cooking but also his passion for hunting, fishing and procuring ingredients direct from the source. Including such delectable dishes as: Eel and Whitebait Omelette; Venison with Blackberry Jus, Kumara and Potato Rosti and Pikopiko; and Roast Garlic and Thyme Prawns on Coconut Jasmine Rice, Peeti redefines Maori cuisine by blending traditional Maori ingredients and practices with the many modern culinary styles of New Zealand. The end result is overflowing with melt-in-the-mouth flavour and all recipes are remarkably easy to create. The best way to cook up a feed, according to Peeti, is directly after the fishing or hunting trip, on a makeshift stove on the beach or in the bush as the sun starts to go down ¿ the food simply couldn¿t be fresher or tastier or the surroundings more inspiring.” (Syndetics summary)

And finally… I highly recommend you listen to this song clip, on the 28th Māori Battalion website. Recorded in North Africa in 1942, it is a recording of ‘Silent Night’, sung by wounded soldiers of the 28th Maori Battalion at the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital. The Māori version is sung by Ngati Toa nurse Wiki Katene.  Moving and truly beautiful, it is well worth a listen.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas to you all.