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What does Waitangi Day mean in 2022?

Waitangi Day will look a bit different this year, with the Treaty Grounds in Paihia closed due to Covid-19 and limits to gatherings across the country.

As one of New Zealand’s largest employers, ANZ, too, is thinking differently about this year’s celebrations.


Later this year we’ll launch our first-ever Te Ao Māori Strategy, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to travel to Waitangi and hear from four people with close connections to the Treaty Grounds.


We asked what Waitangi Day means to them in 2022.


Mori Rapana - Te Pou Arataki, ANZ - Ngā Puhi



"Waitangi Day means to me, a combination of things - the commemoration of, in my opinion, New Zealand's most significant, most important and special day, and a collaboration between Māori and and Pākehā, who are here by virtue of the Treaty of Waitangi, to come together under the collective unity that is the Treaty of Waitangi, and all the principles that it entails.


"It's a day for us to put our put aside our our political allegiances to come together under the one belief that forged our nation, forged our modern day Aotearoa, our modern day New Zealand.


"It's a very special day, and it's a day that should be recognised and commemorated by all that reside within Aotearoa and New Zealand.


"Particularly, to understand the principles - understand the aroha, the manaakitanga, the kaitiakitanga - and why those principles and those values are important in our everyday life today.


"So it's a beautiful day - it's a day for collective unity, it's a day for collective thoughts, it's a day for culture, and all the cultures coming together to celebrate being in such a beautiful country.


"Without the Treaty of Waitangi, there would be no foundational document, or contract, if you want to call it that, that would be able to lead us to where we are today.


"So I think we're very, very fortunate that Waitangi Day is commemorated - because we've got to remember that in the past, it wasn't recognised - it's only in modern times that it has been remembered.


"So it's a special day - North Island, South Island, Stewart Island - for me, Waitangi Day is all about unity - kotahitanga."


Chanel Clarke - Te Rau Aroha Curator - Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou, Waikato



"For me, it's a time of reflection, a time to see where we're at as a nation, and to see how much further we need to go.


"I guess my understanding of what our tūpuna did on that day, in signing the treaty, was entering into a partnership, which indicates a relationship with one another - when you promise one another to be good partners.


"So for me, Waitangi Day is about reflecting on, since that day, what have both sides done? What have we done to be good partners? And what can we do today?


"It's not something that happened in the past, and that we need to ignore and forget about - the ramifications from that signing still have effects today.


"The thing I find the most interesting, and that's reflected at Te Rau Aroha, is that just five years after that signing, we were at war in the North.


"How did we get to being at loggerheads with one another after signing this agreement, that we would work with one another and we would respect each other, and each other's mana?


"There are two sides to every story - and as a nation, we've possibly only received one perspective of that whole sweep of New Zealand history.


"And so for me, Waitangi Day is a chance to say, well, what are some other views? What are some of those other perspectives that there might be, of what happened, and what the consequences and impacts might be for those people, in particular, Māori?


"And what can we do about it? What can I do, as a citizen?


"Let's talk together again - really reflecting and looking deep inside to gain a better understanding of history, and what that might mean, from a different perspective."


Mele Hampson - Branch Manager, ANZ Kerikeri & Kaikohe - Ngā Puhi



"Waitangi Day is special. For me, it represents our tūpuna making decisions, and thinking about making new relationships, adapting to change, and thinking about how our people can survive that change.


"I'd like to think it was a future-thinking korero that was happening in those days. And for me, Waitangi Day represents, doing that justice - for me and my whānau.


"I celebrate those decisions, celebrate being a part of a beautiful part of the world. We're very lucky to live here.


"It's important that we we adapt, the way our tūpuna adapted, and we adapt to the changes that are happening in our world - for our children, our mokopuna, and think forward for them.


"So Waitangi Day for me is about celebrating those relationships, and creating a good place for people to live - and thrive."


Mukai Duder-Hura Jr - Te Tokerau Youth MP - Ngāti Hine, Ngā Puhi



"Waitangi Day, to me, means more than just a day of school - it means the whole week off.


"My Dad is involved with the waka preparations up here, so usually that means the whole week, or just half the week.


"But Waitangi Day itself?


"I look at it as a day where we can all come together as a nation and reflect on where we've been.


"Obviously, lots of mistakes in the past, but you can only learn from mistakes - so being able to learn from those mistakes, and moving forward into the future."


Nga mihi nui to the Waitangi National Trust for allowing us to film on the Treaty Grounds.


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