Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day

February the 6th is the annual Waitangi Day. Now, I’m not an expert on New Zealand history but I think it is important to follow the national celebrations in order to get closer to this (and any other) nation. It makes sense to me. Waitangi Day is controversial: from what I have read the Maori population feels their rights were and still are not fully recognized by the dominant white population. The Treaty signed in 1840 is blamed for reinforcement of the social unjust order and the dominant population is mostly blamed for not recognizing its legal importance.

It would be naive to think that New Zealand has found a cure for all contemporary social problems. Just as Esther wrote in her last guest post there is still poverty visible and few other social problem that we wish to forget about. I don’t know to what extend the tension between Maori and white population is being managed or what is the national strategy to deal with it. It would be very unlikely, however, that any nation with a colonial heritage would be free of typical post-colonial problems.

But today I would like to express my delight with this country. New Zealand is really special. I saw many things in my life but visiting New Zealand was one of the best things I have ever done. And I am truly grateful that I went there in the first place and that I could experience their hospitality.

When I’m thinking about New Zealand today I would like to wish all New Zealanders all the best in the world. I hope your country will flourish so we could all visit it and be delighted about the wonders of nature you have there!

About the author

I get easily fascinated with people and places. I am passionately curious. I get often seduced with the beauty of nature. Blue sky, pure water, white snow and endless horizon seams to be enough to make me happy.

View all articles by Agata Mleczko
  • Catherine Sweeney

    Happy Waitangi Day to all of our New Zealand friends. Thanks for the background on this day — didn’t know of it before! And thanks for sharing that amazing video — what a country!

    • I hope to go a little bit deeper with this issue during my next visit. It is fascinating!

    • I think it is important to follow the national celebrations to get a full picture what the country is like. It is often difficult to understand but always needed if we wish to travel for real. THX for comment Catherine!

  • hikebiketravel

    Love the video. I’m with you in wishing all New Zealanders a happy Waitangi Day. New Zealand was teh first country I visited for any length of time on my own, right after university. I have nothing but great memories about the place.

    • The video is great, no doubts about it! And NZ really is that beautiful. I am jealous that this was your first country visited! For me it was Italy (which is not bad at all, no complaints here).

    • So jealous of your fist country! It took me a while to go there ;-) but totally agree on great memories!

  • The first part of your post left me with a sad and heavy heart. There’s still too much injustice and unfairness in the world. I understand why the Maori would protest Waitangi Day.

    • Yes, Marcia. These are highly controversial issues. Difficult history is also true for relatively young countries. I really hope NZ will find a good way of doing this.

    • Indeed! For some people this celebration is unacceptable. For me this is fascinating to look at: in my country the majority of national celebrations are religiously related and are, at least, few centuries old. In New Zealand everything is so new! And quite naturally it is controversial.

  • Happy Belated Waitangi Day! I haven’t made it to New Zealand, but would love it. It’s a shame that injustices still exisit. I had hear that New Zealand was better than most places.

    • I think it is true: New Zealanders do really well but the problem of injustice is very complex and difficult to manage. Hopefully they will do better!