Waitangi Day 2021

Image: Reconstructing the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by Marcus King from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

Waitangi Day is a special day in New Zealand’s history. This year it will be celebrated on Saturday 6th of February. Waitangi Day is a public holiday. Therefore, Wellington City Libraries (except He Matapihi Molesworth Library) will be closed Saturday 6th February. All Wellington City Libraries’ branches will be closed Monday 8th February, which is observed as a Waitangi Day Holiday.

image courtesy of Ōriwa Haddon from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

Image: The Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by Ōriwa Haddon from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

What is Waitangi Day?

Waitangi Day marks the anniversary of the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. on 6th February 1840. The Treaty is the founding document of the nation and an agreement, in Māori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Māori rangatira (chiefs).

Did you know? The first Waitangi Day was not celebrated until 1934, and it was made a national public holiday in 1974

What’s on this Waitangi Day?

  • Click here to find out what other events are on in Wellington to celebrate Waitangi Day.

Where can I find information about Waitangi Day?

Kids’ Club Review by Mastani: #Tumeke!

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

I think #Tumeke! is a very funny book for everyone. I rate it 5 stars because it has a very cool and funny story I love how it includes lots of different points of view, from different students.

5 stars

Reviewed by Mastani from Miramar and Worser Bay School , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Zoe Alves: #Tumeke!

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

It was quite interesting. It’s about a town and what’s happening in the town. There’s this person selling dirt at a festival and dunk the teacher! It’s mainly about the person who just moved there and all the events.

4 stars

Reviewed by Zoe Alves from Johnsonville and Cashmere Avenue School , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: #Tumeke!

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

This book is based in NZ and is about a Waitangi Day celebration. It is made up of diary entries, texts, emails, community notices and so on. To be honest, it was difficult to get an overview of what exactly the book was about. That is, it was confusing. Because of that, I rated it 3 stars.

3 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Amelia: #Tumeke!

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

I liked #Tumeke! because it had a different and interesting way of telling the story. It used noticeboards, emails, texts, Facebook, Instagram and many more things to tell an amazing story about community and unexpected friendship.

3 stars

Reviewed by Amelia from Tawa and Tawa School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Nardous: #Tumeke!

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

I didn’t really like this book because of the way it is set out,there were emails and text messages everywhere along with the community notice board updates.it was confusing to read and hard to understand what was going on.I liked the diary entries though and the idea is unique.

2 stars

Reviewed by Nardous from Brooklyn and South Wellington Intermediate , 11 years old

Celebrate Waitangi Day with these free events in your libraries

Apirana Taylor: Saturday 3st January, 11am – 12pm, Wellington Central Library.

Bring the kids along to a special story session with renowned author, actor and storyteller, Apirana Taylor. Known for his charismatic and engaging style, Apirana will tell traditional tales accented by taonga pūoru and whai (string games).


Kōhunga Kōrero: Tuesday 3rd February, 10.30am, Newtown Library

Join us at Newtown Library for a Waitangi day themed session of our regular storytimes in te Reo Maori. 30mins of stories, rhymes, waiata and fun! Suitable for 3-6 year olds and their whanau.


Kōhunga Kōrero: Saturday 7th February, 10.30am, Wellington Central Library

Join us in the Children’s section for a special te Reo Storytime with a Waitangi Day theme. 30mins of stories, rhymes, waiata and fun! Suitable for 3-7 year olds and their whanau.



These events are free and open to everyone. Bookings not required. More Information.

Waitangi Day: The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in the grounds of James Busby’s house in Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands. It was signed on February 6th 1840 and is considered by many to be the founding document of New Zealand. It was signed by 500 Maori Chiefs and the British Leaders representing the British Crown.

There were two different versions signed, one in Maori and one in English. The wording was not exactly the same. And so the words did not mean the same to both parties, this has caused many problems over the years. Especially as past Governments have not always abided by the Treaty agreements.

Since 1974 New Zealand has celebrated Waitangi Day On February 6th each year as a Public Holiday (which means you get a day off school!).

Some celebrate it by re-enacting the treaty signing at Waitangi (in the Bay of Islands) others as a day to celebrate being a New Zealander.

What are you doing to celebrate Waitangi Day?

Some Waitangi Fiction:








And non-fiction:


Waitangi Day: Festival

Awesome Waitangi Day events and activities for you to do!


This week is Waitangi Day – 6th February. It’s a public holiday, which means you get the day off school to celebrate New Zealand.

There’s some great stuff happening, the coolest is Te Ra O Waitangi – a Waitangi Day festival around the waterfront area. Events and activities starting from 10am.



For Kids there will be activities and entertainment at WHAREWAKA-A-TEA:

10am: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids

11am and 11.50am: Storytelling with Apirana Taylor

12 noon: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids


But there’s more…

WAKA ACTIVITIES (Lagoon and inner harbour)

10am: Have a go at waka ama with Wellington Tenths Trust and Palmerston North Ma- ori Reserve

11am: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga display on the harbour and a race along the Frank Kitts Park waterfront edge

at 11.30am

12.30pm: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga salute from harbour



From 10am: Raranga Ro-pu- Manaia – Flax-weaving showcase and learn how to make putiputi/flower. Solander Gallery exhibiting ‘The next chapter/Te Ara Whakamua’. Paintings by various artists in residents from Matiu Island. Department of Conservation have brought geckos to view

1–3.30pm: Waka ko-rero (at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm) by Neavin Broughton from Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust



12.30pm: Public address – Hon. Mahara Okeroa, Chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown. Nga- Taonga Mai Tawhiti Kapa Haka

1pm: Toni Huata and Nga-ti Po-neke Kapa Haka

2pm: Downtown Community Ministry Ukelele Crew. Te Kura Kaupapa Ma-ori o Nga- Mokopuna Kapa Haka. Indigenous Melbourne-based SKIN Choir

3.30pm: Tomorrow People

4.30pm: Ladi6

6pm: Salsa at Sunset



10am–2pm: Ki-o-Rahi 4 Wha-nau Traditional Maori Sports games – exhibition and have a go. Hangi available for purchase.

9pm: Films by Starlight: Boy (M)



1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm: Treaty of Waitangi Floortalks: Nau mai, haere mai! Learn about New Zealand’s founding document

with a 30-minute tour through our Treaty-focused exhibitions. Limited to 20 people a session

12noon–2pm and 3–5pm: Wailing Chamber



All events and activities are free and fun – everyone’s welcome. Festival info plus a map of the locations here.