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The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, situated in the Bay of Islands, is New Zealand’s premier historic site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and Maori Chiefs in 1840.
The Treaty House
The estate, governed by the Waitangi National Trust Board, is home to the beautifully restored and preserved Treaty House, Te Whare Runanga, the impressive carved meeting house, the waka house which houses Ngatokimatawhaorua, the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, and the Flagstaff which marks the spot where the treaty was first signed on 6th February 1840.
Guided tours and cultural performances will give you an insight into New Zealand’s unique indigenous culture and an understanding of the treaty that has shaped the nation.
Waitangi Day Festival
The Waitangi Day Festival takes place on the 6th February each year when New Zealanders of all communities and backgrounds gather to commemorate the first signing of the treaty. The day starts at 5am with the traditional Dawn Service in Te Whare Rūnanga, the carved meeting house. There is continuous entertainment throughout the day and around 20 Maori canoes are on the water, including the impressive Ngatokimatawhaorua.