• Ngatokimatawhaorua with paddlers

Waitangi Day 2022.

Waitangi National Trust Board decided late last year to cancel all in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual Waitangi commemorations.

Discussions with national broadcasters and Te Hiku Media resulted in a partnership with TV3 to broadcast a three hour programme on the morning of 6 February, with Te Hiku Media to make available footage to the Iwi radio network and other broadcasters.

The Waitangi Day 2022 programme will air on TV3 on 6 February from 7am to 10am, with an interview and address to the Nation from the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, from 4.30pm to 5.00pm.

Te Hiku Media of Te Taitokerau are producing a 2 hour special including virtual Waitangi Day commemorations content. From 7am, 6 February this content will be simultaneously broadcast on Māori Television, the Iwi Radio network and Whare Kōrero. The Whare Kōrero app can be downloaded from the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.

Estate closure, boat ramp closure, bridge closure.

Waitangi Estate

The Waitangi Estate will be closed to the public from 6pm on the 5th February till 8am on the 7th February.

Waitangi Bridge and Haruru Falls Road access

There will be no public access across the Waitangi bridge or around Haruru Falls Road from 6pm on the 5th February till 8am on the 7th February.

Boat ramp closure

The Waitangi boat ramp will be closed on the 6th February. Boats can be launched at Opua and at other public boat ramps in the area. There will be full access to the Waitangi boat ramp on the 5th and 7th February.

Waitangi Day, New Zealand's national day.

Every year on 6 February – Waitangi Day – people of all communities and backgrounds usually 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 is recognised as New Zealand’s national day and is the most important marker in the country’s history.

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.

 

The events of 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 local rangatira (tribal leaders) 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.

The first Waitangi Day.

In 1932 Lord and Lady Bledisloe purchased the 506 hectare Waitangi Estate and then gifted it to the people of New Zealand. The estate was put into trust to be managed by the Waitangi National Trust Board, made up of representatives from all the major regions and from various families with historical connections to the Treaty of Waitangi. This gift fulfilled a commitment many Māori had been seeking for decades.

A special hui (gathering) was held at Te Tii Marae and Waitangi in February 1934 to celebrate the formal handing over of the Bledisloe’s gift of land, with around 10,000 Māori from across New Zealand attending to honour and celebrate the gift. This became the first official celebration of Waitangi Day.