Waitangi Day

February 6 is Waitangi Day in New Zealand commemorating the signing in 1840 of the Waitangi Treaty putting New Zealand under British sovereignty. The treaty was signed by representatives of the British Crown and more than 40 Māori chiefs. During the next seven months, copies of the treaty were carried around the country to give other chiefs the opportunity to sign. The Treaty was written at a time when British colonists were pressuring the Crown to establish a colony in New Zealand, and when some Māori leaders had petitioned the British for protection against French forces. However the immediate result of the Treaty was that Queen Victoria’s government gained the sole right to purchase land, which lead to massive confiscation of property and the New Zealand Wars or the Māori Wars.

It is the same sad story as all the other sad stories of colonization during this period of history. Apologies and settlements have been made by the Crown to the Māori but with no legal imperative and no guarantee that reparations are going to offended parties.

Nonetheless, Waitang Day is celebrated in New Zealand and by New Zealanders around the world, and festivities include traditional Māori performances.

Summarized from Wikipedia.

02-05-18 b

This image of Traditional Māori Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi, Paihia was created by Ryan 762 at English Wikipedia and is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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