13 Mar 2015

WOMAD maintains links with Parihaka

7:07 pm on 13 March 2015

The organisers of the World of Music and Dance festival in New Plymouth are maintaining a strong link with Parihaka and its legacy of world peace.

The three day WOMAD festival started today in New Plymouth and showcases 130 artists, many of them indigenous, from around the globe.

One of the organisers, Wharehoka Wano, said the Te Paepae stage, which takes its name from one of the Marae at Parihaka, not only promotes international talent, but shares the story of Parihaka through traditional arts and crafts.

"We were very clear that it's not just about whether we [the organisers] take them [international artists] out to the Marae, [and] we have a pōwhiri [ceremonial welcome] and a cup of tea and hangi and then that's it, we really needed to be able to host them appropriately during the event", said Mr Wano.

"So the Paepae [stage] over those 11 years has shown many faces from within Taranaki iwi, Parihaka has always had a presence, we have the Parihaka weavers here, Aunty Martha Wharehoka leads the charge in terms of that connection".

The artists were welcomed with a pōwhiri at Ōwae Marae in Waitara on Thursday.