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Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day 2024: Tuesday 6 February

Waitangi Day 2025: Tuesday 6 February

Waitangi Day is a national holiday in New Zealand that is observed on February 6th every year.

It marks the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed on February 6th, 1840, between representatives of the British Crown and around 45 Māori chiefs.

Several copies were taken around the Motu and were eventually signed by around 540 Māori rangatira.

The Treaty of Waitangi was a significant document in New Zealand’s history, as it established the basis for the relationship between Māori and the British Crown.

The treaty guaranteed Māori rights and ownership of their lands and resources, while also granting the Crown the right to govern and protect its citizens.

However, the interpretation and implementation of the treaty have been controversial and contested over the years.

Māori have argued that the Crown has not fulfilled its obligations under the treaty and that they have suffered injustices and marginalisation as a result.

Waitangi Day has therefore become a day of reflection and protest for many Māori, as well as a day to celebrate Māori culture and heritage.

The first Waitangi Day commemoration took place in 1934, and it was officially made a public holiday in 1974.

The day is marked by various events and ceremonies throughout the country, including formal speeches, cultural performances, and the raising of the New Zealand flag and the Māori flag.

The main event takes place at Waitangi, where the treaty was signed and is attended by the Prime Minister and other political leaders.

Waitangi Day remains an important day in New Zealand’s national calendar, and it provides an opportunity for the country to reflect on its history, celebrate its diversity, and strive for greater understanding and reconciliation between Māori and non-Māori.

Waitangi Day – Frequently Asked Questions

When was Waitangi Day first celebrated?

Waitangi Day was first celebrated on 6th February 1934, marking the 94th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

It was a day of national commemoration, but it wasn’t until 1974 that it became a public holiday in New Zealand.

Where is Waitangi located in New Zealand?

Waitangi is located in the Bay of Islands in the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated in the Far North District, near the town of Paihia.