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Waitangi Day a time for reflection

HPF joins the rest of the nation today (Sat FEb 6) to commemorate Waitangi Day and reflect on our nationhood and national identity.

It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Te Tiriti O Waitangi, which was signed 181 years ago, and its impact on hauora, health and wellbeing.

Today, in the context of health and wellbeing, the link to Te Tiriti remains as relevant as ever. It is in matters of social justice, health equity and the need to address the wider determinants of health. It draws on the importance of Tino Rangatiratanga, Maori self-determination and mana motuhake.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, health promotion is based on Te Tiriti and the Ottawa Charter,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.

“While it is important to mark Waitangi Day to remind us all of Te Tiriti, ensuring that the articles of our nation’s founding document are translated into action and concrete outcomes for the betterment of all is of the utmost importance.”

HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere says now is also a pivotal time for Māoridom to strengthen ties and create strategies to protect Papatuanuku, and the environment.

“The planet has already reached crisis level and cannot be sustained if we continue to abuse it. Propelled by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and other social movements such as BLM and change of legislation around Māori wards at council level, Māori are in a strong position to take steps to legally and strategically protect natural resources, thereby safeguarding the hauora, mauri and wairuatanga of future generations.”

Meanwhile, community events from Northland to Southland and from the West Coast to the Chatham Islands will be held to commemorate the day.

“Thirty-four grants totalling $288,000 have gone to organisations throughout Aotearoa to support events commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and celebrate its importance to who we are as a nation,” said Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni.

“From workshops on Te Tiriti and whānau-oriented marae days to performance and children’s activities these nationwide events will deepen our understanding of Te Tiriti.”

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