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No. 69 (1971)
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at Gisborne

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pictures by National Publicity Studies
The Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt, is challenged as he arrives for the official function celebrating the Cook bicentenary

To celebrate the bicentenary of Captain James Cook's first voyage of discovery to New Zealand, the people of Gisborne had a week's intensive programme, beginning with a Maori concert on Monday. October 6.

Next day was the official opening of the Cook Bicentenary Exhibition of Polynesian Art and a lecture by Mr B. J. Greenhill. Director of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. On the 8th, excitement mounted as oversea warships began to arrive and part of the main street was closed for a ‘Bicentenary Bonanza Bazaar’, with retailers' staff members dressed in costume and manning street stalls.

Thursday, October 9, the anniversary of Cook's landing, was full of activity, beginning with a Naval ceremony at the Cook

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Members of the Waihirere Maori Club entertain during the ceremony

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One of the speakers at the celebrations, Mr Ngakohu Pera, paramount chief of the Whakatohea people, with his niece, Mrs Hine Moeke

Monument, In a morning ceremony at Endeavour Park, the Prime Minister and His Excellency the Governor-General were welcomed to Gisborne and watched a march past of Forces' Bands and Naval Units, and the parade of over 100 gaily-decorated floats. Following an official luncheon, the Government Function was held at Rugby Park at 2.30 p.m. The Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt, was given a Maori challenge, and after he mounted the saluting-base a 21-gun salute began, there was an RNZAF fly past, and the Navy Guard of Honour was inspected.

Speeches were given by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. K. J. Holyoake, the Leader of the Opposition. Mr N. E. Kirk, Mr Arnold Reedy, representing the Maori people, and His Excellency the Governor-General, who bought a message from Her Majesty the Queen. Assembled school children sang four songs, including two in Maori, and then the large crowd was entertained by the Waihirere Maori Concert Party. The ceremony concluded with items by a combined band from the British and New Zealand Navies, and an aerobatic display by the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The day was climaxed with a fireworks display in the evening.

Celebrations continued the next day with the unveiling by the Governor-General of the Cook Statue on Kaiti Hill, and the statue of Nicholas Young at Young Nick's Playground, the presentation of a Totem Pole by the Canadian High Commissioner, more celebrations further up the coast at Anaura Bay, and the Bicentennial Ball.

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Also helping with the entertainment were these junior members of the Waihirere Maori Club.