New Zealand (Aotearoa) marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934 and it has been a public holiday since 1974.
In his opening address, Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene encouraged people to think about the country’s long history since the Treaty and to imagine what the country could one day look like.
Waitangi is a small town and historical landmark where Māori Chiefs and the British Crown signed the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) , the founding document of New Zealand (Aotearoa). The name means weeping waters in the Māori language.
Every year on February 6, the country marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi with observations throughout the country and in Waitangi itself.
The day was first officially commemorated in 1934 and has been a public holiday since 1974.
Treaty of Waitangi
In 1840 Māori chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. This treaty is considered New Zealand’s founding document and established British law in New Zealand, while at the same time guaranteeing Māori authority over their land and culture.
FYI – The Waitangi Treaty Grounds overlook the Bay of Islands.
- What would locals like visitors to know about Waitangi?