The little town of Waitangi looms large in New Zealand’s national
psyche. It was here in 1840 that the famous Treaty of Waitangi was
signed by local Maori chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria.
Waitangi Treaty recognized Maori ownership of the land and promised
equality as British subjects. However, the exact wording of the treaty
has been disputed over the years and the annual Waitangi Day
commemorations attract a mixed bag of celebration and protest.
this history and more is explained at the Waitangi National Reserve,
including audiovisual displays at the nearby visitor information center
and colonial-style Treaty House, which features a facsimile of the
A must on every visitor to New Zealand’s list, the
reserve hosts displays of singing and dancing, including the fearsome
haka war dance. There are Maori guided tours of the nearby meeting
house, garden tours and sound light shows.
is 3 kilometers (2 miles) north of Paihia on Te Ti Bay in the Bay of Islands.
It’s a pleasant 40 minute walk between the two towns.