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Day of Peace in New Zealand

Mangere, New Zealand - The International Day of Peace celebration was attended by 70 people from the Te Wananga O Aotearoa (the Maori University of New Zealand) in cooperation with Ngaronoa Renata, instructor of the Oranga Tinana (wholistic wellbeing) course, and the Universal Peace Federation. Ambassadors for Peace took part in the Mihi Whakatau, the Maori welcoming of visitors, with Bill Tangariki representing the Universal Peace Federation.

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The spirit was high and people were feeling close in heart as they greeted each other in the traditional Maori hongi, which means ‘sharing of breath.' After the welcoming ceremony, there was a short break for tea and musical entertainment.

Barbara Minett was the emcee for the UPF segment of the program. Ambassador for Peace Rangi McLean gave the opening prayer, followed by a moment of silence for peace in the world. The words from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, “We must disarm,” were followed by the song, “We Are One Family under God,” led by Junki Kim and Shim Gicole.

Next, UPF Chair, Geoffrey Prentice, read the Peace Declaration of the Universal Peace Federation and encouraged everyone to join in a cheer of support for world peace.

Lynn Walters, musician and songwriter, sang “Just Like You,” playing the guitar and accompanied by Barbara on the flute. In keeping with the message of this year’s International Day of Peace that we must disarm, the words of the song “I Won’t Fight You, Why Should I, I’m Just Like You” ended the program on a high and peaceful note.

After a very generous and delicious supper provided by Te Wananga in the student cafeteria, Joel Komene shared his expertise in traditional Maori instruments, their history, and use. Each instrument was made from some natural source, such as wood, bone, shells, or plants. He played the wind instruments that he had made, and each sound was unique and healing. After the closing karakia (prayer), Joel let everyone try to play the instruments. It was fun, but a real challenge to get a sound from some of them.


To read UPF's Declaration on the International Day of Peace 2009, click here.

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