Reflecting on Waitangi Day

Today we join the rest of the nation in virtually commemorating Waitangi Day and to take stock of our nationhood and national identity.

Let’s also take the time today to reflect on the relationship between Te Tiriti O Waitangi and its impact and link to hauora, health and wellbeing, which remains just as relevant today.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, health promotion is based on Te Tiriti and the Ottawa Charter,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “It is important to mark Waitangi Day to remind us all of Te Tiriti. But 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.

“Equally important, and in light of lessons learned from our two-year experience with Covid-19, working together in unity, and understanding our inherent interdependence as a human family and with our environment, is central to our flourishing as a national and world community.”


HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere says it’s gradually becoming more accepted across NZ society that giving Māori the power and resources to decide for themselves how to address health issues is the more effective strategy that generates positive outcomes.

“While there are still some areas of the community who challenge these equity-based approaches, the majority of Aotearoa are choosing justice, bold strategy and faith in our society over fear. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a powerful tool for achieving justice for everyone”

Read about what NZ PM, Jacinda Ardern had to say about Waitangi Day HERE.

Waitangi National Trust Chairman Pita Tipene said he was very pleased that some of the special activities normally held in person on the hallowed ground where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed can still be observed, albeit virtually.

“We are creating a virtual Waitangi Day, honouring the promise of Waitangi to the nation and encouraging all New Zealanders to continue conversations and debate about Te Tiriti and our nationhood, especially with the bicentennial being only 18 years away now.”

Waitangi National Trust Board decided late last year to cancel all in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual Waitangi commemorations, which attract 30,000 to 40,000 people annually. 

Consequently, the Board decided to deliver a virtual Waitangi Day experience, much of which has been recorded at the Treaty Grounds itself, to be aired to the nation today, 6 February 2022. 


(Pictured: The pou haki (flagpole), located on the upper grounds near the Treaty House and Te Whare Runanga, marks the spot where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed on 6 February 1840.)