How to Celebrate Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day is a New Zealand national day celebrated every year on February 6th. It marks the occasion on which the Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi with British representatives in 1840.[1] The Waitangi Treaty is known as New Zealand's founding document, covering matters of sovereignty and citizenship. Waitangi Day is a day in which New Zealanders can reflect on their past and think about the future. Get ready to say Kia Ora to everyone on Waitangi Day and perhaps celebrate in one of the following ways.


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    Plan a celebration in your local community. There is a special government grant fund available if you have a great idea that will help improve understanding of the pivotal role of the Treaty in New Zealand's history. Details can be found on the relevant government website.
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    Create a kiwi theme. Hang the New Zealand flag and create a kiwi theme in your home or place of work. Wear items that reflect the colours of New Zealand. Listen to kiwi music all day.
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    Have a party. Organise a party, a sausage sizzle or a barbecue at your home to get friends together for the day. If you are at work, ask everyone to bring a dish along for a work lunch. Make sure to get a variety of dishes that reflect the different cultures making up New Zealand. If you decide to have a dinner party, cook lamb, kumara and kiwi pavlova as representative of New Zealand cuisine. Have a hangi perhaps.
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    Attend official events. Your local community may be running official events during the day, including kapa haka and hangi, drumming, concerts, parades, dance, food, art and live entertainment. Look in your local newspapers or online to find out what is happening in your area.
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    Visit a museum. Learn more about the history of New Zealand and the Waitangi Treaty. You can also learn more history by checking government, council and museum websites online - finding sites and learning more about New Zealand's history can make a great project for children in the lead up to the day.
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    Do something to help the New Zealand environment. Visit local wetlands and nature reserves to learn more about environmental issues. Plant a tree. Pick up some litter and dispose of it properly. Ride your bike to work or celebrations instead of taking the car.


  • Wear a hat and sunscreen if you're spending the day outdoors.
  • Learn about the reasons why some people do not agree with celebrating Waitangi Day and why they protest the day. It is important to understand history and to see the perspectives of everybody when making up your own mind about the values embedded in historical celebrations.

Things You'll Need

  • Flags
  • Food and drink (Such as Pavlova)
  • Kiwi music

Sources and Citations

  1. New Zealand History Online, Waitangi Day

Article Info

Categories: Holidays and Traditions