This year “Waitangi Day – The Big 9” was the first stage of the inaugural Kahungunu Festival. The event attracted a huge crowd to the Hawkes Bay Sports Park on Monday 6 February 2017. The Big 9 referring to the nine activities held during the day included the main stage local performers and artists and Aotearoa’s most loved family bands including Three Houses Down, a 10 piece reggae ensemble from Otara, South Auckland, nine Kapa haka groups from marae and local schools, multicultural groups, hip hop dancers and local artists the Rude Boyz and Jharmony. Sports included Netball, Ki O Rahi, Touch and Hockey. This years highlight for families was having New Zealand’s iconic Mahons Family Amusement thrill rides at our event. They were free to all and a hit for the children and mums and dads who could fit on the rides. 30 food traders and exhibitors provided an array of delicious kiwi kai and wares for all tastes. Good food options continue to be a highlight for our health providers with water being our preferred option, hence the provision of the Water Truck onsite Crasborne Group donated a number of boxes of new season pears to giveaway to families. It was a great summer day for the whole family. Approximately 10,000 people came through the gates and safely left the complex that day.