Waitangi Treaty Grounds

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The treaty of Waitangi is generally considered to be the founding document of modern day New Zealand, albeit a controversial one. Signed on 6th February 1840, in response to the burgeoning number of European settlers, the Maori ceded governance of New Zealand to the British Crown, in return for the right of ownership of their land and resources. However, differing interpretations (and some bad translation) of the treaty led to conflict and many Maori rights guaranteed by the treaty were violated in the coming years. In the 1970s this began to be addressed, resulting in the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975, and despite great progress many Maori claims are still ongoing.

The Waitangi Treaty grounds is the exact place where the Maori chiefs first signed their accord with the Crown and here you will find the treaty house, a traditional meeting house, ceremonial war canoe (Waka) and fascinating museum that tells the story of the treaty and the Maori tribes of the time. In addition, the grounds are a wonderfully peaceful spot overlooking the Bay and a great place to reflect on the history that has taken place here.

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