Waitangi Day is New Zealand’s national day with celebrations
taking place all over the country. Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. In that year, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed what is New Zealand’s founding document. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974. Click the links to see photos of Maori dancers: for more information on Waitangi Day: and information on Maori Culture.
One of the world’s largest Māori ceremonial waka (war canoe), the Ngatokimatawhaorua, can be found at Waitangi. The enormous wooden vessel, with room for 80 paddlers and 55 passengers, is an impressive sight on the water. The 70-year-old waka has been refurbished and relaunched for the 2010 celebrations. See photos of the canoe in action