This year the five thousand people who came to the annual Coronation Celebrations at Ngaruawahia weren't too lucky in the weather; it rained a lot over the weekend, and plenty of people got pretty wet. But as usual at Ngaruawahia, the organisation went like clockwork, and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
On the next few pages we publish photographs of some of the people who were there; like most of the pictures which have appeared in Te Ao Hou recently, these were taken by Miss Ans Westra, a young Dutch photographer who is preparing a book of photographs about the Maori people.
The picture on the opposite page shows the religious service of thanksgiving. Like the early morning Raising of the Flag, this took place on the Monday, when the cultural and sporting events of the weekend were over, and most of the young people were back at school or at work, leaving the older people gathered for the annual ceremonies and discussions.
King Koroki, to whom the many speakers paid tribute, is one of the people in this photograph, being seated just past the centre post of the verandah. This day was the twenty-ninth anniversary of his coronation as the ruling head of the Tainui tribes—twenty-nine years which have seen many changes, but which have in no way affected the very widespread loyalty to the King Movement. In fact it is noticeable that at each October there are more and more people coming to Ngaruawahia from parts of the country which have not been associated with the King Movement in the past. Many of these people come as visitors rather than as actual adherents of the Movement—but either way, the popularity and success of Ngaruawahia gatherings such as this, show what a very considerable part Turangawaewae plays in Maori life today.
The teams entered in the cultural competitions provide one striking example of this, coming as they did from all over New Zealand. This year the Te Hira Trophy for the best senior team in the cultural competitions was shared by Ngati Poneke and Waihirere; Waihirere also won the Te Rauangaanga Trophy and the Junior Trophy. In the football, Waikato won the Coronation Shield, Bay of Plenty won the Te Aa Pokaia Cup, and Rangatahi won the Junior match. In the basketball, Te Arawa won the A grade match, Rangiora the B grade, and Rangatahi the C grade.