Following this week’s severe weather event that has affected Tāmaki Makaurau, event partners, Auckland Council and Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA) have together made the tough decision to cancel Waitangi ki Manukau.
A capacity crowd of thousands was expected at the free community event commemorating Te Tiriti o Waitangi on Monday 6 February in Hayman Park, Manukau.
Deputy Chair of Auckland Council’s Planning, Environment and Parks Committee and Manurewa Ward Councillor Angela Dalton says it was a disappointing decision to make after three years of cancellations.
“Our teams had been working so hard to deliver a safe and fun event for all Aucklanders celebrating the importance of Te Tiriti as the founding document of our beautiful nation.”
“Unfortunately, the storm that hit Auckland over Anniversary weekend has seen parks across the region severely impacted, including Hayman Park where Waitangi ki Manukau was due to be held. It was too dangerous to hold the event in the conditions that the park was in.”
Councillor Dalton says the cancellation is disappointing.
“Auckland Council and MUMA staff have worked hard on delivering a great event and are understandably devastated that Waitangi ki Manukau has been cancelled once again but support the decision in light of public safety.”
Tania Rangiheuea, Chief Executive Officer of Manukau Urban Māori Authority, agrees saying that it was a decision made reluctantly.
“We really wanted to deliver this event for our South Auckland communities, but public safety had to come first. The ground would turn into a muddy mess very quickly and it was too risky.
"We tried everything we could to still deliver it but despite our best efforts, time was not on our side, and we have had to cancel.”
Every effort was made to move to another location when it became clear that the event could no longer be held at Hayman Park, but the short timeframe made it too difficult logistically.
Waitangi ki Manukau was to feature well-known music acts such as Three Houses Down featuring General Fiyah, Savage and the Royal Family dance crew with a host of food and retail stallholders.
Auckland Council and MUMA are working closely together to consider what future opportunities may exist.