2 Feb 2010

Foreign attendance expected at Waitangi

6:52 am on 2 February 2010

Waitangi kaumatua Kingi Taurua expects record attendances at this year's Treaty of Waitangi commemorations in the Bay of Islands.

The programme includes a major waka regatta as well as the usual sports, cultural and political events.

Kingi Taurua says there is interest not only from New Zealand but overseas: groups are coming from Switzerland, Australia and throughout the Pacific which has never happened before.

He told Waatea News the foreign interest is good, "as long as they ownerstand it belongs to Maori people and not European, not the Government. We own it."

Mr Taurua says mana whenua expect to be stretched looking after all the manuhiri, but everything is in place for a successful celebration.