Waitangi Day Commemorations Programme

The Okains Bay Museum Waitangi Day Commemorations has been a signature event on the New Zealand calendar since the Museum first opened in 1977.

Tickets to the event can be purchased thru Eventfinda

It’s a fun day full of family activities set amongst the extensive museum grounds in the beachside village of Okains Bay, just 90 minutes from Christchurch or 20 from Akaroa.

  • Entry fee $10 per person, children under 13 free when accompanied by an adult. Purchase tickets online through Eventfinda (or pay cash only at the gate on the day)
  • All programme activities are free or koha/donation unless stated otherwise.
  • This programme is subject to change.

2021 Programme

9:30 am: Gates open.
  • Your entry fee gains you access to all museum exhibits and some special items that are only on display on this day (usually $15).
  • A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase on-site from the Museum Cafe and food vendors. Plus additional stalls offering arts and crafts.
  • There will also be roving entertainers, working demonstrations and craft workshops throughout the day.
Entertainment & Demonstrations throughout the day:
  • Blacksmithing Demonstrations by Les Schenkel of the Blacksmithing Shop
  • Cocksfooting Machines and Stationery Engines Demonstrations
  • Bee Keeping Demonstrations & Honey by Banks Peninsula Honey
  • Māori Carving Demonstrations by Karl the Carver
  • Colonial Bread Oven Demonstrations and Stall
  • Fire Safety ‘Evacuation Challenge’
  • Children’s Face Painting and Balloon Animal Making
  • King Arthur III from New Albion; Queen Lilybeth the Prophetess, Queen of Proper Life and Jimney Cricket the Fibstopper and Conscience Maker roving Royalty.
Food Vendors:

10:00 am – 10.30 am: Rekindle Pole Lathe and Spoon Carving Demonstration in Arena

10:00 am: All visitors to leave the museum and gather outside the museum in preparation for the pōwhiri.

10:30 am: Pōwhiri and Governor General’s Address in Courtyard.

10:30 am – 12.30 pm: Rekindle Felt Bowl Making Workshop in Old School Hall. $25 each, max. 8 participants. Purchase tickets here.

11:30 amMusical Play & Waiata in the Arena.

11:30 am: Taonga puoro/Māori musical instrument demonstration in Whare Taonga, Courtyard

11:30 am – 12.30 pm: Rekindle String Making Workshop in Arena.

11.30 am – 12:00 pm: Rekindle Spoon Carving Demonstration in Arena.

11:30 am – 3:00 pm: Printing Demonstrations and Workshops in the Print Shop

11:45 am: Blacksmithing Demonstrations in the Forge

12 noon: Kōtukumairangi waka on the Ōpara River. View from Ngāi Tahu Reserve.

12:00 pm – 12.30 pm: Rekindle Pole lathe demonstration in Arena.

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Cassels Brewing Co. & McGeorge Wine Co. Garden Bar open.

1.00 pm: Hāngi uncovered and lifted, Ngāi Tahu reserve opposite the museum.

1.00 pm: Sand Volcanoes Demonstration in Arena.

1:00 – 1:30 pm: Natural Magic Animal Puppets in Arena

1:30 – 2:00 pm: Natural Magic Pirate Participation Games in Arena.

1:00 pm – 3:00: Hannah Everingham Duo play in the Cassels Brewing Co. and McGeorge Wine Co. Garden Bar.

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Rekindle Basket Weaving Workshop in Arena. $25 each, max. 10 participants. Purchase tickets here.

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Rekindle Spoon Carving Workshop in Arena. $25 each, max. 8 participants. Purchase tickets here.

2:00 pm: Hāngi served on the Ngāi Tahu reserve opposite the museum.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Rekindle String Making Workshop in Arena.

2:30 pm – 4.30 pm: Rekindle Felt Bowl Making Workshop in Old School. $25 each, max. 8 participants. Purchase tickets here.

2:30 pm: Children’s Races and Tug-o-war in the Old School Paddock.

3:00 pm – 3.30 pm: Rekindle Pole Lathe Demonstration in Arena.

4:00 pm: Lolly Scramble in the Arena with:

  • Horrible Horrace the lolly cannon for big kids
  • Lillilollie Loppa Peace Canon for the little kids

5.00 pm: Museum Closes

Tickets to the event can be purchased thru Eventfinda

  • There will be food and drink vendors on-site, along with the museum’s tea rooms provisioned with delicious cakes, snacks and lunch fare.
  • There is no EFTPOS so please bring cash.
  • Free parking is available.
  • The event has never been cancelled in its 45-year history. It will go ahead rain or shine unless cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • There is no cellphone coverage in Okains Bay and the Bay’s tap water is not drinkable. We will have fresh water on site but you may also want to bring your own.
  • No alcohol may be brought onto the site. The will be a licenced bar on site selling alcohol and non-alcohol beverages to patrons 18 and over with legal ID. No intoxicated patrons or anyone under 18 will be served alcohol. Safe alcohol consumption will be the priority and event staff have the right to refuse to serve patrons who do not comply.
    Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Advice
  • This event is smoke-free.