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Waitangi Day

Get ready to honor the Treaty of Waitangi and celebrate New Zealand's rich culture with our guide to a memorable Waitangi Day!
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When it is?
February 6
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Category
Federal
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Country
New Zealand
Creator
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Founded
Introduction

Get ready to celebrate Waitangi Day on February 6th, a day that holds great significance in New Zealand's history and culture. This national holiday marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, which established the British Crown's sovereignty over New Zealand while also recognizing Māori rights and ownership of their lands. Today, it is a time for both reflection and celebration as the country comes together to honor this important moment in its past. From traditional ceremonies to lively parades, there are many ways to join in on the festivities and learn more about this special day. So let's get ready to commemorate Waitangi Day with pride and joy!

History of Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1840</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Signing of the Treaty</div><div class='timeline-text'>Representatives of the United Kingdom and over 500 Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, aiming to establish a British Governorship in New Zealand.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1932</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Recognized Celebration</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first official recognition of the holiday occurred, with the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, gifting the Treaty House and grounds to the nation.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1947</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Waitangi Day Act</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Waitangi Day Act of 1947 proclaimed February 6th as a day of national thanksgiving in commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1960</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Day Becomes National Holiday</div><div class='timeline-text'>In 1960, the New Zealand Parliament legislated the date to become a national public holiday.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1970s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Public Protests</div><div class='timeline-text'>The 1970s saw increased protests on Waitangi Day, bringing attention to Māori grievances over the Treaty’s interpretation and implementation.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Present</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>National Commemoration</div><div class='timeline-text'>Today, Waitangi Day is marked by various ceremonies, public events, and speeches at Waitangi and across the country, reflecting the mixed feelings surrounding the Treaty.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Waitangi Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a Waitangi Day celebration</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Check your local community events or cultural centers for Waitangi Day celebrations. These events often feature traditional Maori performances, music, food, and activities.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Learn about Maori culture and history</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take some time to educate yourself about Maori culture and history on Waitangi Day. You can visit museums, read books, or attend lectures to learn more about this important part of New Zealand's heritage.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a Maori-inspired feast</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather friends and family for a delicious feast featuring traditional Maori dishes such as hangi (meat and vegetables cooked in an earth oven) or boil-up (a stew made with pork, potatoes, and vegetables). Don't forget to include some Maori cultural elements in the meal, such as a haka performance or a blessing before eating.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Participate in a cultural workshop or activity</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many communities offer workshops or activities on Waitangi Day that allow you to learn and participate in Maori cultural practices. These can include weaving, carving, or traditional storytelling.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a Waitangi Day parade or ceremony</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Join in on the festivities by attending a Waitangi Day parade or ceremony. These events often feature cultural performances, speeches, and flag-raising ceremonies.</p></div></div>

Why Waitangi Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It marks the founding of New Zealand</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Waitangi Day commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, which established British sovereignty over New Zealand and recognized Māori rights to their land and resources. It serves as a reminder of the country's foundation and the importance of honoring its indigenous culture.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It promotes unity and reconciliation</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Waitangi Day is also known as New Zealand's national day and is recognized as a public holiday. It brings people from all over the country together to celebrate their shared history and work towards understanding and healing any past grievances between Māori and non-Māori communities.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It highlights cultural diversity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>On Waitangi Day, events are held throughout the country that showcase Māori culture through art, music, food, and traditional performances. The holiday celebrates and embraces the unique cultural heritage of New Zealand and recognizes the importance of inclusivity and diversity in society.</p></div></div>

5 Facts About the Treaty of Waitangi

Waitangi Day FAQs

When is Waitangi Day?

Waitangi Day is celebrated on February 6 every year. In 2024 Waitangi Day will occur on a Tuesday.

Waitangi Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Feb 6

Monday

2024

Feb 6

Tuesday

2025

Feb 6

Thursday

2026

Feb 6

Friday

2027

Feb 6

Saturday

Federal Holidays