Crowds of thousands from all over the country united today in Waitangi to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty.

 Manuhiri who descended onto Waitangi enjoyed a day full of activities, performances, exhibitions and hundreds of stalls offering up great kai and unique items.

Te Waka Huia took to the stage to perform, and this morning spectators were treated to an impressive performance by the kaihoe waka, while local children practised their water bombs off the bridge to the Treaty grounds.

The Te Kāea online team compiled a short montage of some of the events that took place today and while the weather served up some surprises, it didn’t dampen the spirit of the day. (Source)

Waitangi Day commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840.

Although this is New Zealand's national day, the commemoration has often been the focus of protest by Māori activists and is often marred by controversy. From 1971, Waitangi and Waitangi Day became a focus of protest concerning treaty injustices, with Nga Tamatoa leading early protests. Activists initially called for greater recognition of the Treaty, but by the early 1980s, protest groups were also arguing that the treaty was a fraud with which Pākehā had conned Māori out of their land.  

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