Waitangi and Northland

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2007

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, May 13, 2007

This beautiful setting in the Bay of Islands, was the location for the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 by the Maori tribes and the first English Governor General, Captain Hobson. Apparently there was a slight difference in the wording between the English version and the Maori version of the Treaty which had a huge impact on the term "Governance" and arguments have raged since that date. Either way this historic Treaty ensured that New Zealand became inextricably linked to Britain.

Today the signing date is celebrated every year on "Waitangi Day" - 6 February, and Maori war canoes (waka) and NZ naval vessels hold regattas in the Bay. The original house of the first British resident, James Busby, has been restored and sits alongside a traditional Maori meeting house which features carvings from all of the significant Maori tribes.

Finally, the largest waka ever made is on the site and is shown off on Waitangi Day. It is 35 metres long and can hold 160 men - it would be quite awesome if it was used today for warlike purposes rather than merely show! We had a great guided tour around the site and for us, Waitangi is a real symbol of New Zealand unity. There is an acceptance that it's peoples originate from different corners of the World but together they constitute part of a great country that is stronger through their friendship and comradeship.
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