Maori, News

Waitangi Day a time for reflection

Waitangi Day on Thursday, February 6 marks 180 years since the signing of Te Tiriti O Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and is a time to reflect on our nationhood and national identity.

It is also an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the Treaty and hauora, health and wellbeing.  

“It is widely understood that in part, Te Tiriti o Waitangi was drafted based on a concern for the declining health of Maori at the time,” says HPF’s Deputy Director Trevor Simpson.

“Today, in the context of health and wellbeing, the link to Te Tiriti o Waitangi 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.”

HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahui said because it is about the wellbeing of all peoples, and their environment, “Te Tiriti inspired us to organise the world conference on health promotion last April. Additionally it influenced our drafting of the conference’s two legacy statements. Further it has driven us to consolidate Indigenous knowledge, especially health promotion, and planetary health, at the international level, working with our partner, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

Mr Tu’itahi said viewed from that global vantage point, it is undoubtedly clear that the wellbeing of one is the wellbeing of all, whether it is at the local, national or global level.

“With increase in natural and human-made challenges, such as the coronavirus, fires and cyclones, within the context of climate and other earth systems’ crises, Te Tiriti provides a pathway to collaborative effort for the benefit of all.”

If you can’t make it to the official celebrations in Waitangi, there are numerous events to mark the day around the country.

View the legacy documents at

BANNER PIC: The museum of Waitangi features many valuable and significant historic pieces like this version of Te Tiriti O Waitangi.

Photo credit: Museum of Waitangi