Waitangi Day Commemorations Programme

Tickets to the event can be purchased thru Eventfinda

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

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.

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


10:30 am: Welcome and Governor General’s Address.

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


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

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

11:30 am – 1:30 pm: Tī kouka Mat-Making Workshop for kids in the Old School.

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.

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Garden Bar Open


12:15 pm: Musical Play & Waiata in the Museum Arena.


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

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

1:00 pm: Taonga Puoro/Māori Musical Instruments in the Whare Taonga.


1.30 pm: Sand Volcanos Demonstration in the Museum Arena.


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


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

2:30 pmGrand Procession, Children’s Races, Tug-o-war and Lolly Scramble in the Old School Paddock.


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


5.00 pm: Museum Closes

Important Information:

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.

SmokeFree