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History of Waitangi Day On

History of Waitangi Day On


History of Waitangi Day on the Net

The story of Waitangi Day, which was first officially commemorated in 1934, mirrors the development of a more politically sensitive New Zealand society in the twentieth century, according to Dr Claudia Orange , author of an online history of the event now available on is the official website of the Heritage Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Dr Orange, author of an award winning history of the Treaty of Waitangi, says that newspaper reports of the 1940 centennial celebrations described Waitangi day as the “foundation of nationhood” and Waitangi as the “cradle of the nation”.

“Jump forward 30 years and Waitangi Day had become the focus of protest from Mäori unhappy at the government’s slow progress towards honouring the treaty.”

Matters came to a head in 1995 when protests caused the celebrations to be canceled: Prime Minister Jim Bolger declared “there can be no going back to commemorate and celebrate Waitangi as it was. That is over.” “

More recently other issues have to come to the fore including the question of speaking rights for women on Te Tii marae .

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