Waitangi Day on Feb 6 is
The date is an important marker in the country's history: the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on Feb 6, 1840.
In that year, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed what is
For some people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Maori, it is the occasion for reflecting on the meaning of the Treaty.
Since the 1970s the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi Day have been influenced by debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern
Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi)
Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) takes its name from the place in the
The Treaty is an agreement, in Maori and English, between the British Crown and about 540 Maori rangatira (chiefs).
The Treaty is a broad statement of principles on which the British and Maori made a political compact to found a nation state and build a government in
The Treaty has three articles.
In the English version, these are that Maori ceded the sovereignty of
Different understandings of the Treaty have long been the subject of debate.
It is common now to refer to the intention, spirit or principles of the Treaty.
The Treaty of Waitangi is not considered part of
The exclusive right to determine the meaning of the Treaty rests with the Waitangi Tribunal, a commission of inquiry created in 1975 to investigate the Crown's alleged breaches of the Treaty.
More than 1000 claims have been lodged with the tribunal, and a number have been settled.
The people of Aotearoa New Zealand
Māori define themselves as iwi (tribes), by descent from the crew of voyaging canoes or other illustrious ancestors.
Over 150 years later, settlers started to arrive from
The journey was long and arduous, but they came in the hope of a better life.
From the 20th century onwards, war, persecution and other troubles have led groups and individuals to migrate to
Others have come by choice, seeking a change of lifestyle.
Today's New Zealanders celebrate a wide and varied heritage – from the Pacific, Europe, Asia, Africa and
But whatever the origin of today's New Zealanders, for all of us the Treaty is not just a historical relic, but a living document that continues to help define us as a people.
More information about the history of Waitangi Day and Te Tiriti o Waitangi is available at: www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/waitangi-day and