The Rotary Club of Osborne Park celebrated Waitangi Day 2022 at a function held on Friday 4 February.  Waitangi Day (Māori: Te Rā o Waitangi), the national day of New Zealand, marks the anniversary of the initial signing, on 6 February 1840, of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is regarded as the founding document of the nation.  The function was held at the Colin Moore Community Centre, which is managed by the Club, was attended by about 80 guests and a tremendous success.
The event was organized by our own Sue Roberts, a proud Maori woman, with assistance from other club members.  Sue who is of the Te Arawa and Tainui tribe is from the east coast of New Zealand.
The primary entertainment for the evening was provided by the Hangi and Maori cultural group Wairua Tipuna, a kapahaka group who are predominantly Ngati Porou, performed several Hakka dances and songs.  They were excellent and kept the audience spellbound. 
Traditional Maori food was cooked by John Reti who prepared a ‘boil up’.  Individual packs of meat and vegetables were placed in a huge pot and steamed for a few hours.  The result was delicious, nutritious, and enjoyed by all.  Alternative meals were provided for the guests that were vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. 
In addition, traditional ‘fried bread’ was made by others (not Kiwis) and served with the meal.  Beer, wine and Kiwi soft drinks were also provided and copiously consumed on the hot night.
Further entertainment, on the lighter side, was arranged by the MC for the evening Ray Findlay, who organized a tug-of-war between the Kiwis and Ossies.  The rope was set up on the adjacent park with the Ozzies given the advantage of being at the lower end of the slope.   Once the pull started and the Ozzies appeared to have the advantage, several spectators latched on to the rope and it became a contest on who could cheat the most.   It was all done in jest and caused raucous laughter as both sides did their best to cheat and win.
The event was put on to raise funds for the Grandparents Raising Grandkids charity, and the Gwelup Community Corner Playgroup, the principle tenant at the Colin Moore Centre.  The funds will be used to pay for grandparents to become members of the playgroup, boosting their membership and thereby supporting both organizations. 
Jan Standen, the President of Grandparents Raising Grandkids WA, spoke briefly about the difficulties, challenges and lack of government support faced by grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  Whilst foster parents are officially recognized as looking after their foster children and supported by government, no such support is afforded to the grandparents. Jan, who has worked tirelessly to promote this cause, is 2022 Senior West Australian of the Year and was a Finalist for 2022 Senior Australian of the Year.
The Waitangi Night event was a tremendous success with excellent entertainment, great traditional New Zealand food and lots of laughter.  The event raised close to $3,000 which will benefit both the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren charity and the Gwelup Community Corner Playgroup.