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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 6 (September 1, 1934)


IT is not too early to set going our preparations for New Zealand's centenary celebrations. While Wellington has a tentative proposal for an exhibition—the question of a suitable site is a troublesome preliminary—Auckland has a programme outlined for a week's pageant of history, on shore and harbour. It will be, as sketched so far, primarily a pageant of the pioneers, portraying with all the needful vividness and detail the phases of life in our first century, beginning with the missionaries and the traders and the Maori life, and depicting episodes in the coming of the early settlers, then the Maori wars, with some of the thrilling passages in the long conflict and the adventures of the frontier settlers; then the peace-making and the festive gatherings of the native folk welcoming their pakeha friends. Then, too, the social life of the pakeha town, from the days of crinolines onward.

The old-time naval and military pages in the story of Auckland, or of Wellington, are capable of being illustrated with most dramatic spectacles. Then, too, there could be a Maori village, a model pa all of the ancient time, by the waterside in one of Auckland's bays; and canoes could be brought down from the Waikato, and new craft built, or rather chopped out, for a revival of the great war-canoe races on the Waitemata, such exciting contests as we used to see on the Lower Waikato and on Auckland Harbour in the Nineties.