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Waitangi Day 20236 February 2023
Rā o Waitangi
Te Rā o Waitangi, te rā ā-iwi o Aotearoa. Ia tau i te 6 o Pēpuere – te Rā o Waitangi – huihui ai ngā tāngata o ngā hapori me ngā āhuatanga katoa o Waitangi ki te whakanui i te hainatanga tuatahi o te pukapuka tūāpapa o Aotearoa: Te Tiriti o Waitangi i te 6 Pēpuere 1840.
New Zealand's national day. Every year on 6 February – Waitangi Day – people of all communities and backgrounds gather at Waitangi to commemorate the first signing of New Zealand’s founding document: Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi, on 6 February 1840.
Waitangi Day has been a significant day on New Zealand’s calendar since the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840. The flagstaff which stands on the Upper Treaty Grounds marks the location of the first Treaty signing by representatives of the British Crown and over 40 rangatira (chiefs) on 6 February 1840.
On 5 February 1840 a marquee was erected on the lawn in front of the home of the British resident, James Busby. Captain William Hobson presented a proposal for the attending chiefs to agree to British settlement in New Zealand. The meeting lasted throughout the day, during which the chiefs vigorously debated the proposed Treaty, with some rangatira supporting the Treaty and others opposed to it. The discussions continued that night across the Waitangi River at what is now Te Tii Marae.
On February 6 the rangatira returned to the marquee at Waitangi, where over 40 signed the Māori version of the document, now known as Te Tiriti o Waitangi. By September 1840 over 500 leaders from throughout New Zealand had signed the document.
Ongoing recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document will continue to keep this celebration alive, as the Treaty continues to live as part of New Zealand’s past, present and future.
Text from www.waitangi.org.nz