Libraries observe Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day

Libraries observe Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day
Hilary Beaton
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Libraries observe Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day

This weekend New Zealand commemorates our national day. 

Colourful and controversial, the Treaty of Waitangi is a foundational part of our history. One of the most significant days on our annual cultural calendar, Waitangi Day creates an opportunity to reflect on our unique bicultural heritage.  While some public libraries will be closed, so whānau can participate in Te Rā o Waitangi events, other libraries around the country offer talks and activities about the current state and future of the treaty partnership. Find out what your local library has on their programme and join the kōrero.


Did you know?

A version of the Treaty written in te reo Māori is held in the Special Collections Area of Auckland Central City Library.

As the nation's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi has been subjected to more intense scrutiny than any other set of New Zealand papers. Its drafting in late January and early February 1840 was a complex procedure, involving several hands. ... Reverend Henry Williams, head of the Church Missionary Society at Paihia, was asked to provide a Māori translation. - 'Real Gold' Treasurers of Auckland City Libraries.

The establishment of British sovereignty in New Zealand was not a single event that took place on the afternoon of February 6, 1840. It was a process of negotiations and signings extending over several months across the country. It is believed, this version was instrumental in persuading Ngapuhi chief Pomare II to sign the Treaty separately on February 17, 1840.

For more stories check out the Auckland City Libraries' heritage collection online or in person. Four research centres house comprehensive research collections with a focus on family history, whakapapa, and local history resources. More than 100 online resources are available through the libraries' website for research, study, or general interest.


Waitangi Day at the National Library

See the original Treaty of Waitangi, watch a bilingual puppet show, take a guided He Tohu tour in Te Reo and English, watch a compilation of historical footage of Waitangi commemorations and lots more. There’s something for all the whānau.

Wellington City Libraries will be participating in the Te Rā o Waitangi celebrations at the Wharewaka on Wellington’s waterfront. 

Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival - Te Rau Aroha Marae, at Awarua (Bluff)

Each year the Ngāi Tahu Waitangi Day commemorations rotate between the three locations where Ngāi Tahu signed the Treaty: Te Rau Aroha Marae, at Awarua (Bluff); Ōtākou Marae, near Dunedin, and Ōnuku Marae on Banks Peninsula.

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