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Dress, dance and dazzle like they did in ‘64!


Whangarei City turns 50 this year, and we’re having a huge 1960s party to celebrate.

The party starts with a 1960s-themed Grand Parade through the central city on the morning of 1 November and every Whangarei resident, business or community group is invited to watch or be part of it.

“The more the merrier,” said Mayor Sheryl Mai.

“This is a whole-community event celebrating what the community has become over 50 years.”

Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson officially declared the Borough of Whangarei to have achieved ‘city status’ on 21 May 1964, when the town’s population passed 20,000.

“The official proclamation was made on 1 October 1964, which allowed time to organise and hold 60 commemorative events over the course of the first year as a city,” Mayor Mai said. 

“A formal declaration took place in Laurie Hall Park, followed by a civic dinner in the Town Hall, and then an intense week of ‘City Celebrations’  featuring parades, flower shows, balls and a Miss Whangarei City competition, and a further year of commemorative tournaments, carnivals and exhibitions.”

This year’s celebration being organised by the Venues & Events department of Whangarei District Council includes a parade being coordinated by the Whangarei Lions, who did a great job coordinating the parade over Te Matau a Pohe when it opened last year.

“They do an amazing job and we are indebted to them,” said Mayor Mai.

Anyone wanting to have a float or walking group in the parade should contact Colin Twyman from the Lions Clubs of Whangarei on 09 4350717 or at colin.twyman@vodafone.co.nz, or download a registration form (link below).  Registrations close on 4 October.

The parade theme is 'Dress, dance and dazzle like they did in 1964'. It starts in the central city and makes its way down to the Town Basin where our 50th anniversary will be celebrated with food, a ‘Whangarei through the decades’ fashion parade, a dance band and prizes for the best 1960s floats, groups and costumes from the crowd.

We will also have display boards featuring photos, news clippings and other memorabilia from the 1964 city status celebrations.

“I’m grateful to everyone who contributed these mementos when I first called for them in May,” Mayor Mai said.

“We’re gathering a fascinating collection that helps us to understand the festive feeling that city status generated throughout the District,” Mayor Mai said.

“We have room for plenty more, so anyone with memorabilia they’d like to share should call Customer Services on 09 430 4200. We’ll arrange to copy them carefully and return them to you safely.”

Further information can be found on the Whangarei District Council's 50th Celebrations page.

View 50th Celebrations Information


To download the registration form, follow the link below. You can save a copy to your computer and either:

- print it, complete it by hand and send to the person listed on the form, or
- fill it out on your computer and save it before attaching it to an email to the person listed on the form.

Registration Form