Kia ora koutou!
I would never suggest you get official information about historical events from me. Period. If you have had any conversation with me about factual events you will know I take wild stabs and fluff my way through nodding in agreement and understanding but actually kicking myself inside for pretending, cause I know fuck all.
So even though I have celebrated 29 Waitangi Day’s in NZ, the lessons I learned in school is vastly different to the information available now. Perhaps you could call this truth? Every year I got the 6th of February off school. Or I would work the public holiday and get double pay and a day in leu, which as a 16 year old was a free day off work paid. Yes please! The sun would shine, the bbq’s would be delicious and generally people were pretty happy about it and ignorance was bliss.
Waitangi Day – or Te Rā o Waitangi marks the day the British signed an official document with many Maori tribes of Aotearoa . This happened in 1840, which was not that long ago really. Of course some Maori Chiefs – Rangatira saw right through what was happening and kicked up a massive fuss, but you all know who wins power struggles between ‘Adventurers’ on a mission to claim new lands and the original inhabitants – tangata whenua. Yeah the British won and the rest as they say is history.
This day is highly controversial, as all ‘National Days’ are. But from the mighty protests of the 70’s, to the dildo throwing events of the early naughties, through to recent years where Aunty Jacinda was welcomed with open arms onto Waitangi, a rare occasion that installs a whole lotta hope for this day, and future generations. Always more mahi to be done!
I will not tell you the story of of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Lord knows I will get it hella wrong and offend everyone, but I will tell ya this. Aotearoa is the home of my heart, it is where I feel the greatest sense of belonging. We always joke that God created the world, then he hid away and created Aotearoa for herself and settled down for the night. It really is that special and if you get the chance to visit I would highly recommend it. Hit me up for all the pie and ice cream shops x
Aotearoa is special and Maori have a connection to this place which is inspiring and nothing short of magical. If you are welcomed onto a marae, are lucky enough to sing waiata, share kaimoana, cooked in a hangi, listen to the myths of Maui, and generally share a moment in this sacred space of these people your heart will open, you will feel loved, connected and whole and hopefully you will be changed for the better.
Despite the British shitting all over these people, and I wouldn’t know where to start with the long list of injustices, Maori persevere and unite and they are fighting back one Treaty tribunal at a time for the greater good of Papatūānuki and all that she holds in her arms.
In London, we would celebrate this day with our fellow kiwi mates, eating New Zealand 80’s party food, listening to BBQ reggae, maybe someone would get out the guitar and we would sing along tutira mai nga iwi at the top of our lungs and remember how lucky we are to call that precious place home.
This year we will probably watch some Taika Waititi film and yearn for home with jealousy, where the land is green, the people are nice and Covid is a distant memory.
Waitangi Day is pretty special and I reckon it can only get better x
Arohanui x Tumeke x