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Vector Lights for Waitangi 2020

Vector Lights

Vector Lights for Waitangi - What you need to know:

  • The Waitangi light and sound show starts at 9.00pm on Sunday 2 Feb and runs through to Thursday 6 Feb at midnight.
  • Duration is approx. six and a half minutes and will repeat every half hour until midnight.
  • Get out on one of these five nights and enjoy the experience from your favourite view point around the Waitematā harbour.
  • Audio: bring your mobile device and speaker with you! There will be a dedicated narrative synced to the light show at
  • The show will also be live-streamed on and our Facebook page, so you can watch at home.
  • Share your experience on Instagram and Twitter with #vectorlights

2020 is the 180th commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.  This year’s story is brought to us by Waikato-Tainui.  The light show depicts each of the Ūpoko Ariki – the heads of the Kiingitanga - from its inception in 1858 through to current time.
Ko Uenuku te pou
Each of the Upoko Ariki - heads of the Kiingitanga are represented through the colours of the rainbow with a graphic depicting the stories that relate to each individual Ariki and their influence and legacy. 
Kiingi Pootatau – 1858 – 1860
The first Māori King elected by several tribes throughout Aotearoa.  Red depicts his traditional name of Te Wherowhero which is said to represent the red kaakahu that he wore often.  Te Wherowhero lived at Pukekaaroa (Auckland Domain) and was the protector of Taamaki Makaurau.  The white lines represent the awe (feather plume) of a taiaha representing Kiingi Pootatau’s strength and prowess in hand to hand combat. 
Kiingi Taawhiao 1860 – 1894
Kiingi Taawhiao was an adherent of the Paimaarire religion as it is practiced today.  Despite suffering the effects of confiscation of lands, he was also responsible for the bringing of peace between Waikato and the resident magistrate following his move into Te Rohe Pootae.  Known for many sayings and prophecies, one of the lesser known of his sayings is:
Waiho too raakau ko te aroha, waiho too patu ko te rangimaarie
Lay down your arms.  Let your weapons be love and peace.
The green represents Te Rohe Pootae – the verdant King Country while the white birds represent his undertaking of peaceful resistance. 
Kiingi Mahuta – 1894 – 1912
Kiingi Mahuta was offered a seat on the Legislative Council which he viewed as an opportunity to influence the government for the greater good of Maaori across the country. He would petition for return of confiscated lands and try to ensure Maaori access to development funds. 
The image of the book represents his time in Government. 
Kiingi Te Rata – 1912 – 1933
During his reign as Ariki, Kiingi Te Rata followed the mandate left by his tupuna Kiingi Taawhiao of not taking up guns again and opposed the conscription of Waikato Maaori into the armed forces.
Nau mai hoki mai e ngaa pua koowhai o Ranginui e tuu nei nei, o Papatuanuku e takoto nei
A saying from Kiingi Te Rata on the return of the 28 Maori Battalion to Auckland in 1919
Yellow is representative of this saying with the pua kowhai (yellow flowers) depicting the returning warriors.   
Kiingi Korokii – 1933 – 1966
Known mostly for his work amongst his people, Kiingi Korokii’s first major appearance was at Waitangi in 1934 when the Treaty grounds were returned to the iwi by Lord Bledisloe, Governor General at that time.  Kiingi Korokii led thousands of visitors onto the grounds.
Purple is the universal colour representing royalty while the waka (canoe) outlnes the connection that all iwi have through their respective waka culture and stories
Kuini Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu – 1966 - 2006
The longest serving leader of the Kiingitanga – 40 years – who was much loved and well respected throughout the country.  Te Atairangikaahu signed the Waikato Raupatu Settlement Act 1995 on behalf of Waikato-Tainui which resulted in some lands that were lost from confiscation in the 1860’s being returned to satisfy the koorero:
I riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai
As land was confiscated, so should land be returned.
The kotuku flies across the skies and is a representation of Te Arikinui and her given name, Piki Kotuku.  The feather symbolises a quill that would have been used to sign the original treaty but also the signing of the Settlement Act by Te Arikinui. 
Kiingi Tuheitia – 2006 - present
Anointed as the seventh Maaori monarch after the passing of his mother, Kiingi Tuheitia assented the Waikato River Settlement 2010 with the aim of having the river return to a healthy state.  
Tooku awa koiora me oona pikonga he kura tangihia o te maataamuri. The river of life, each curve more beautiful than the last.
The blue and the seven stars represent Te Manawa o Te Kiingi – the Māori King’s standard which flies whenever a hui is underway, or when the King is present.  His most used flag is blue with Te Paki o Matariki (Pleiades Star Cluster) featured.  Te Paki o Matariki represents the Kiingitanga coat of arms. 
Waitangi 180
180 anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.  This document, known as one of the founding document, is significant in the history of Aotearoa and in the formation of this country.  The chevron patterns and twinkling stars represent this important part of New Zealand’s story. 

Vector Lights is part of a smart energy partnership between Vector and Auckland Council. Powered by a mix of leading clean energy technology, including solar, battery and peer-to-peer systems, Vector Lights transforms the Waitematā as a guiding light toward a smart energy future. See more about Vector Lights at

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