HISTORIC VISIT TO WAITANGI
The Queen's Visit to Waitangi Treaty House on December 28, although short, will be of particular symbolic importance. British Sovereignty of these islands began at Waitangi; the Treaty House will bring before the Queen's mind how this Sovereignty was established. The honour of welcoming her will be shared, as is appropriate, by the same parties who met together in 1840; the Navy and the Maori people.
The programme of the welcome was arranged in the office of the Hon, E. B. Corbett, Minister of Maori Affairs, in consultation with a committee consisting of Mr W. A. Lindsay, manager of the Waitangi Trust Board; Mr C. A. Furlong, deputy-director of the Royal Tour; Mr J. T. Henare, representing the Northern Maori people; Captain M. L. Hardie, D.S.C., R.N., representing the Royal New Zealand Navy; Mr J. H. Grace, organiser of the Maori Reception; and Mr R. E. Stone, secretary of the Waitangi Trust Board.
The Royal Party will be met at the gate of the Treaty House reserve by the Hon. E. B. Corbett, Mr Riri Maihi Kawiti and Mr Vernon Reed, who will be presented to the Queen. This will be at 3.30 p.m. on Monday, December 28. A powhiri will follow, and the party will be escorted by Maori women from the gate to the bridge over the haha. The Hon. E. B. Corbett, Mrs Corbett, and Mr Kawiti will remain at the bridge, where the Queen will be met by Captain Hardie. When Her Majesty reaches the haha bridge, the naval guard will give the Royal Salute, the band will play the National Anthem, the Royal Standard will be broken, and after the firing of twenty-one guns by H.M.N.Z.S. Black Prince, Her Majesty will inspect the guard.
After this, at 3.43 p.m., according to the time schedule, the Maori welcome will begin, consisting of a wero, with two sticks, and the men's hakas. The Royal Party will then be seated in a position facing the Maori people. One European citizen and one Maori chief are to give short speeches. Five minutes will then be given to the presenting of Maori chiefs to the Queen. A short religious service will follow, after which Her Majesty and party will move to the Treaty House for afternoon tea. Arrival at the Treaty House is scheduled for 4.02 p.m. At 4.30 the Party will leave for Whangarei.
The committee organising the Maori gathering consists of Rev. Rangi Rogers (chairman), Messrs J. T. Henare (secretary), Hone Heke Rankin, Kahi Hadfield, Eru Pou and other Maori welfare officers.
Financial support given to the function totalled £1400, of which £500 was provided by the Maori Purposes Fund Board and the rest by the Government. This amount will meet transport costs of haka parties, hire and transport of marquees and various works in the camp.
Members of the Waitangi Maori Reception Committee: From left to right, Hone Heke Rankin, Member of the Board of Maori Affairs; Heme Henare, a former Commanding Officer of the Maori Battalion, and now District Welfare Officer for Tokerau; and Rev. Ranginohoora Rogers, Chairman of the Tokerau District Council.
Photos: National Publicity Studios