New Zealand holds events to celebrate Waitangi Day

Photo and Video by Chris Li

New Zealanders celebrated their National Day, the 181st anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, on Saturday with services and performances across the country.

The highlight of the day was the dawn service and a following free breakfast at Waitangi served by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, wearing an apron, and other government officials for people at the service.

Hundreds of celebratory events were also held across New Zealand.

In the South Island, the Okains Bay Museum Waitangi Day Commemorations was held on Saturday. It has been a signature event on the New Zealand calendar since the museum first opened in 1977.

It’s a fun day full of family activities, demonstrations, workshops and exhibits set amongst the extensive museum grounds in the beachside village of Okains Bay, which attracted several thousand visitors.

Wellington celebrations featured a film night, a film festival, a kite festival, Maori dancing performances and a delicious hangi to present Maori way of cooking food.

People row boat on the Opara River near Christchurch, New Zealand, Feb. 6, 2021. New Zealanders celebrated their National Day, the 181st anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, on Saturday with services and performances across the country. (Photo by Chris Li)

Hāngi