Dinkum Miller Kiwi turn

NEW Zealand's history will be celebrated in style in Miller tomorrow — Waitangi Day, New Zealand's national day — at Mission Australia's South West Youth Peer Education Centre.

Project co-ordinator Niu Fiu said Waitangi Day marked the day New Zealand was founded.

"In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and more than 500 Maori chiefs signed what is often considered New Zealand's founding document," he said. "For some people Waitangi Day is a holiday. For many, and especially for Maori, it is an occasion for reflecting on the treaty."

Mr Fiu said the centre was chosen as a base for celebrations due to the high local Pacific Islander population. He said 20 to 25 Urban Youth Council members met monthly at SWYPE to help plan, organise and facilitate programs, events and activities in the 2168 post code area.

He said the members had said they wanted to organise the day and be the facilitators and volunteers.

"The day will be MC'd and facilitated by our local young people who are part of the Urban Youth Council," he said. "There will also be traditional performances, workshops and the screening of the U-Turn Waka Project. There will also be a performance by Jay Taputoro, who played Simba for The Lion King in Perth. He moved here to Sydney, was a back-up singer for Guy Sebastian and Jessica Melboy, and is now a new SWYPE worker."

Details: Contact Niu Fiu, fiup@missionaustralia.com.au.

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