Auckland Anniversary celebrated the final day of Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival held at Auckland Viaduct basin.

The three-day annual extravaganza has been running for the last three years driven by mana whēnua of Tamaki Makaurau in partnership with the Auckland Council.

A total of half a million per year is invested by ATEED on behalf of the Auckland Council.

For the chairman of mana whēnua of iwi in Tāmaki Makaurau, Hauaru Rawiri, he says it is a day to give opportunities to our Māori businesses.

“He mea nui kia whakaatuhia ngā hua ngā taonga ngā pukenga o a mātou tohunga, kia whakapakari i a rātou. Mā te wā ka taea e tātou te kite atu rātou e kokiri ana. Ngā ahuatanga e pā ana ki te whakaatu te kōkiri ake o rātou ake pakihi, he mea nui ki a mātou.”

Curator for Toi Tāmaki, Anya Vitali, was able to showcase for the first time works from Māori artists.

“It’s a beautiful thing just even for a day. There are so many international tourists coming through and showing interest in buying works here as well and they are really wanting to know the stories of things and showing interest.”

ATEED has been the main organiser.

However, according to Event Production Manager, Leisa Siteine, by 2020 they will look to give the reigns back to mana whēnua.

“This really is a partnership, so we are the subject matter to delivering the event but mana whēnua are the subject matter experts when it comes to what do they want as a Māori festival and what is the tikanga that goes around that festival.”

Hauauru says that they want to ensure that mana whenua with other tribes are able to solely run their own festivals in Auckland including the likes of the America's Cup in 2021.