Commemorating the signing of our treaty – Waitangi Day

Tēnā koutou te hapori whānui o Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha. Ngā mihi i te wā whakamaumahara i te hainatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi. Greetings to the UC community as we commemorate and celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Last year I went to Waitangi on Waitangi Day, a first for me, and it was great. It was a positive day with formality and laughter, solemnity and smiles, music and moko, waiata and waka, kōrero and kai.

I had an extended conversation in te reo Māori with Meng Foon, the Mayor of Gisborne. A Pākehā and a Chinese New Zealander interacting for the first time in the first language of our country. It seemed right, and exactly what we commemorate and celebrate on February 6 each year.

I will go to Waitangi again. If you have yet to go, do it, and on Waitangi Day. While you are up there, take the ferry across from Paihia to Kororāreka, Russell, have a drink at the pub, share food on the shore. Maybe you’ll feel the vibe of “the hellhole of the Pacific”.

If you can’t make it to Waitangi, there is always a selection of local events that you can participate in with whānau and friends. Get out and about and interact with your fellow New Zealanders, tangata whenua and tangata tiriti. [The Marae Map App may help you plan your trip.]

You might want to read something. I am going to dip again into the rich and fascinating detail of Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris. Every time I do, I learn something new.

Dr Mary Boyce
Director of Māori Teaching and Learning
Kaihautū Ako Māori