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Waitangi Day – how will you commemorate?

Waitangi Day takes place each year on 6 February and marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. In that year, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs signed what is often considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. Waitangi Day was officially commemorated for the first time in 1934 and it has been a public holiday since 1974.

Waitangi Day is widely recognised as New Zealand's national day; it is an occasion for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in Aotearoa today.

Waitangi Day provides an opportunity for students to examine the social science concepts of cultural identity, place and environment, and continuity and change. It is also a useful context to explore values such as diversity, equity, and respect, and to develop key competencies such as thinking and participating and contributing.

The resources in this blog encourage you to consider how Waitangi Day can be celebrated with your students and the wider community, and how you can use the Treaty of Waitangi principle as a foundation of curriculum decision making.

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