Waitangi Day in the 21st century has been linked more closely with New Zealand identity, and events have expanded beyond Waitangi itself. Protests have continued, and representatives of the Crown have not always been present at Waitangi.
This page gives a broad outline of how teachers and students of social studies and history can use material on the Treaty of Waitangi. There are many resources available to help teachers prepare for themes about the Treaty. The material given here is authoritative and accessible. It is written and organised to help users quickly find the information that is most relevant to their needs.
This is not an exhaustive list of teaching activities but some ideas to help busy teachers get started.
We welcome feedback.
The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6 February 1840. The Treaty is an agreement, in Māori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Māori rangatira (chiefs).
The flagpole at Waitangi. For years the New Zealand navy ensured that it was kept in good condition. From 1974, three flags have usually been flown on it - the New Zealand flag, the Union flag, and the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand chosen in 1834.
Governor-General Lord Bledisloe gifted the Treaty House and grounds at Waitangi to the nation in 1932. Two years later there were celebrations at Waitangi to mark the date of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. For most people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is a time for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in modern New Zealand.