Two Rivers Community Trust (Darfield Baptist Church) hosted its fifth Waitangi Community Fun Day on 6th February. 

With the busyness of the start of the school year, many took the opportunity the event provided to catch up with friends, share food and listen to music. The attractions, which were all free, included novelty bikes, bumper boats, bumper balls, archery, pony and vintage fire engine rides, face painting, balloon creations, sack races, tug-of-war and continuous cricket. Repurposing coffee cups by sowing seeds to plant in the garden was a hit, together with the community garden produce giveaway.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to share with people about how the community pantry works in the community garden,” says event organiser, Kelly Maude. “Glass jars were also repurposed as vases with some beautiful flower arrangements with contributions from local gardens. It was lovely to see all ages having a go at flower arranging and realising how therapeutic it is! 

“We enjoyed a fabulous day and created our own sunshine, as it had gone into hiding behind the clouds again this year. Many commented, though, on the welcome break in the hot weather, which was testament to the great positive attitude our community has to get together for events such as this.” 

Kelly says the Waitangi Community Fun Day began five years ago as a ‘Community Country Picnic’. As it has grown over time, it has evolved to a ‘Fun Day’, to communicate a clear message to the community about being together for some free fun. 

“Being a public holiday right at the beginning of the year, it is getting harder to get volunteer and community involvement in the event. People want to be involved, but are already at maximum capacity. So, we need to be smart about how we acknowledge and work with that. Hiring more activities costs us more to organise, but the freedom for our community just to be there to have fun, and the far‑reaching positive impacts, are well worth it.”