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February 2015

Wishing You A Happy Waitangi Day, New Zealand!

Published: Friday 06 February 2015


February 6th is the date given as the birth date of modern New Zealand and is celebrated every year as Waitangi Day. It is a public holiday that commemorates the signing of modern New Zealand’s founding document – the Treaty of Waitangi. Signed on 6th February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and a number of Maori chiefs from different North Island tribes, the treaty established New Zealand as part of the British Empire. It also gave the Maori the rights of British subjects while also recognising Maori ownership of their land. While celebrated by many with public concerts, sailing and festivals, the day has also become the focus of minor protests carried out by a small band of Maori activists who are still unhappy with the way their forebears were treated by the original British rulers. During a special commemorative speech today in Waitangi, Prime Minister John Key reflected on the achievements New Zealanders have given to the world over the years: “175 years,” began Key. “Just think about what we have achieved in that time. The great scientists, adventurers, sports men and women, pioneers and dreamers who call themselves New Zealanders. The first person to split the atom, the first women voters, the first conqueror of Everest. The first Rugby World Cup winners. “The artists, writers, singers and musicians, actors and directors who not only entertain us, but who have also created a body of stories and songs which could have only been made in New Zealand. “And the leaders, Maori and Pakeha alike, who have developed a Treaty partnership which is admired around the world. That’s a lot to be proud of.”