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Public gathering
Mataatua Reserve, Muriwai Drive, Whakatāne 

Wednesday, 9 December 2020
11.30am to 2.30pm

One year on from the 2019 Whakaari eruption we remember the lives lost and acknowledge the efforts of many during the tragedy. 

Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, with the support of the Whakatāne District Council and Māori Television are facilitating public commemorations at Mataatua Reserve and live broadcast of the event. 


11.35 am  Te Kura o Te Paroa Kapa Haka

12.20 pm Ngāti Awa Pakeke Kapa Haka

1.00 pm   Māori Television Livestream of Whakaari He Rā Whakamaumaharatanga official proceedings from Mataatua Wharenui.

  • Karakia and welcome
  • Ngā kōrero whakamaumahara – Speeches of remembrance
  • Messages from whānau
  • Wā Whakamaumahara – One minute silence
  • Ngā Mihi Aroha – Reading of acknowledgement
  • Waiata
  • Karakia whatamutunga

2.30 pm Livestream concludes

Please consider how you travel to this event and allow adequate time. If you are able, park vehicles closer to the CBD or beyond the Reserve and walk to the venue. Bring a blanket or deck chair.
Please note that some nearby parking will be reserved for those attending the official event at  Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae.

Planning for the public gathering has observed  the guidance of the official Government COVID-19 response, so please:

• Stay home if you’re sick
• Scan the COVID-19 QR poster or manually record your attendance
• Wash your hands and maintain safe physical distancing where possible
• Use the hand sanitiser stations
• If you cannot maintain physical distance from people you do not know, we encourage you to wear a face covering

Ngāti Awa will host a remembrance
event on 9 December for invited guests
under COVID-19 Level 2 protocols.
We made the hard-call and we knew that action would limit the number of people who could physically be in the venue, but we chose to take that course to provide some certainty to our event organisers, and most importantly to protect our Kaumātua and the immune compromised.
First and foremost, the gathering – Whakaari He Rā Whakamaumaharatanga – is for the individuals and families most affected by the tragedy.

 We have also extended invitations to certain government and consular representatives, together with delegates of groups and organisations who were involved in the emergency response.
We recognise however, that many people in our community and indeed across Aotearoa and beyond our shores will want to pay their respects to the lost and injured and we’re deeply grateful to Māori Television for its support to broadcast and live-stream the official ceremony from within the walls of Mataatua whare.

The public gathering at Mataatua Reserve will carry the live broadcast on a large screen and we know many people will gather in workplaces, with whānau, or in private to share in the broadcast.
Ngāti Awa plan to host a larger and more inclusive event at a future date when international borders are open and affected overseas families will have the ability to attend.
Joe Harawira
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa


Whakaari He Rā Whakamaumaharatanga will also be broadcast live from 1.00pm on Māori Television on Freeview Ch5 and Sky Ch19. We will be also be hosting the Livestream on this site.

• Workplaces, places of worship, clubs and organisations are encouraged to join together in whānaungatanga to watch the live broadcast of the official ceremony from Mataatua Whare.

• Or gather at the public event at Mataatua Reserve, Muriwai Drive to view the livestream.

Councils pay respect

In observance of the Whakaari Anniversary, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Whakatāne District Council, Kawerau District Council, Ōpōtiki District Council and Tauranga City Council, will lower flags at their offices on Wednesday, 9 December. Some are also making provision for staff and elected members to gather together to experience the live broadcast.

Whakatāne District Council
Council business will halt between noon and 3pm on Wednesday 9 December but Customer Services staff will be available at a reduced level.
Te Kōputu – Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre and Te Whare Taonga ō Taketake – will be closed from noon to 3pm. Whakatāne i-SITE will be closed all day.

Seek Support

• Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor, any time.
• Consult your GP. Your doctor is there to help you with your mental health as well as your physical health. They know you and can provide advice on what may be helpful for you and refer you onto counselling if needed.
• Lifeline 0800 543 354 free text 4357 (HELP).
• Samaritans 0800 726 666.
• In CRISIS? BOPDHB Mental Health Crisis Team Tauranga 0800 800 508, Eastern Bay 0800 774 545.
• Call Māori Health Services, Whakatāne Hospital on 306 0954 for information on Kaupapa Māori support providers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Helplines for children and young people

• Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor.
• To talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline –0800 111 757.
• To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 call
Healthline – 0800 611 116.
• Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or
email or online chat.
• What’s Up – 0800 942 8787, (for 5–18 year
olds). Phone counselling is available Monday
to Friday, 1pm–10pm and weekends, 3pm–
10pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm

Pātaka Kai & Kaimoana Permits

To inquire about Pātaka Kai and Kaimoana permits please contact one of the following:

Weekdays 8.30AM to 5PM
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa | 07 3070760

Public Holidays & Afterhours
During the Christmas and New Year period (20th Dec 2021 – 10th Jan 2022), please use the contacts below:

Charlie Bluett | 027 524 7710
Peti Reneti | 07 3070760
Andrea Kingi: 07 3070760 (Pātaka Kai only)

Pātaka Kai & Kaimoana Permits

To inquire about Pātaka Kai and Kaimoana permits please contact one of the following:

Weekdays 8.30am to 5pm
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa | 07 3070760

Public Holidays & Afterhours
Charlie Bluett | 027 524 7710
Kataraina Monika | 027 235 3923