2015 was the 175th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty was signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 and in over 50 other occasions around the country. The anniversaries of these signings will be the focus of commemorative activities throughout the year.
In recognition of the anniversary, the government agreed that the 175th anniversary should be conferred a Tier 1 status in the government’s commemoration programme for 2014-2020. (Tier 1 anniversaries merit a significant level of whole of government involvement). An interdepartmental working group was established to lead a whole of government approach to the commemorations.
Treaty of Waitangi 175th commemorations (Waitangi 175) represented an opportunity for New Zealanders to reflect on the significance of the Treaty as the founding document, what it means in 2015 and in the future looking ahead. The commemorations were also an opportunity for a national conversation about the Treaty and where New Zealanders see a post-Treaty settlement society.
The Waitangi 175 logo provided a common identity for the programme. The logo depicts the kotuku in flight in a morning blue sky representing the progress of the past 25 years while looking forward to the bicentenary in 2040.
The Waitangi 175 programme was based on the following vision statement and whakataukī:
New Zealanders commemorating and paying tribute to the partnership created by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi through initiatives that raise awareness about Te Tiriti and what it means in the 21st century.
Waitangi 175 will be:
- inclusive – engaging young and old, and all communities at local, regional, iwi, hapū, whānau and national levels
- stimulating – a catalyst for events, reflection, actions, conversations, a focus on wellbeing and education
- forward looking – marks a journey to 2040 which looks to the future as historical claims are settled and a new phase of Treaty relationships emerges
- connected – occurring alongside WW1 commemorations, the Treaty’s 175th anniversary is a special opportunity for conversations about New Zealand and Māori identity and citizenship
- coordinated– linked with other significant Treaty milestones occurring in 2015 including the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Māori Land Court, creation of the Māori Land Court (150th) Waitangi Tribunal (40th), and the Declaration of Independence of the Northern Chiefs (180th).
Ko te reoreo a kea ki uta, ko te whakataki mai a toroa ki tai, he kotuku ki te raki, he kakapo ki te whenua.
Meaning - Everything has its rightful place.
Literal translation: “The voice of the kea is heard inland, the cry of the albatross is heard at sea, a kotuku in the sky, a kakapo on the ground.”
2015 was the opportunity to reflect on the Treaty and our progress as a nation, looking forward to our bicentenary in the next 25 years.
As the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae said in his speech to end his theme of Nationhood for 2015, “Mā te ronga, ka mōhio; Mā te mōhio, ka mārama; Mā te mārama, ka mātau; Mā te mātau, ka ora – Through listening comes awareness; through awareness comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and well-being.”
Waitangi 175 events
A list of major initiatives that took place in 2015 to mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi is available here.
Some of the 2015 events supported by the Ministry’s Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund are listed on Eventfinda’s Waitangi 175 feature here.
Contact the Ministry if you require any further information.
Visit our Treaty of Waitangi page for further information.