• Events
  • E oho! How New Zealanders commemorate Waitangi Day 2021

E oho! How New Zealanders commemorate Waitangi Day 2021

A day of celebration or a day of mourning? What could it look like to mark Waitangi Day meaningfully?

This event has already happened. A recording will be posted soon.

| Recorded on Wednesday 20 January 2021 at Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken St, Thorndon, Wellington

What is Waitangi Day?

Is Waitangi Day a day to celebrate the birth of our nation? Or is it a day to mourn the ways in which the Treaty has not been honoured, and the ways Māori communities have suffered the consequences of colonisation?

Waitangi Day should be more than a day off work — it deserves to be commemorated in a way that acknowledges the Māori rangatira and Crown representatives who signed the Treaty of Waitangi/ Te Tiriti o Waitangi on 6 February 1840.

Watch a recording of the event thanks to Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision

Screening of Bishop Vercoe’s 1990 speech and korero

Join us for a screening of Bishop Vercoe’s 1990 Waitangi Day speech. This footage is part of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s collection and is supplied courtesy of Bishop Vercoe’s whānau and Television New Zealand.

After the screening guest speakers Kura Moeahu, Samuel Carpenter and Professor Rawinia Higgins will discuss celebrating, commemorating and commiserating Waitangi Day. They will share their experiences and talk about what they are doing for Waitangi Day.

This talk offers a Māori and a Pākehā perspective, giving insight on how we as New Zealanders might approach commemorating Waitangi Day 2021.

Family friendly event

All welcome! This is a family friendly event, activities for tamariki are available to entertain littlies during the talk.

Activities for the whānau

E oho! Waitangi series 2021

E oho! Waitangi Series 2021 is a series that aims to lay the foundation for all people living in Aotearoa by exploring key events in history that shaped the nation we call home.

This series is for everyone; featuring an amazing line-up of speakers from diverse backgrounds, experts, artists and activists, comprising a range of performances, screening, workshops and public talks that focus on historical events, contemporary consequences and collective understanding.

The programme for each event entails inspiring talks and the opportunity to kōrero further after the event.

E oho! Waitangi series 2021

About the speakers

Kura Moeahu (Te Ātiawa) has been actively involved in iwi governance as both a chair and board member, including as Chair of Te Rūnanga o Te Ātiawa, the Waiwhetu Marae Trust, the Harbour Island Kaitiaki Board, and Waiwhetu Pa Reserve Trust. As a member of the Weltec Māori Advisory Board, he was instrumental in establishing Te Auaha, the NZ Institute of Creativity and is widely recognised for his knowledge of te ao Māori, tikanga Māori and Māori arts. He is currently Parliament’s Tumu Whakarae.

Samuel Carpenter is a founding member and trustee of Karuwhā Trust, a New Zealand charity that seeks to engage Aotearoa New Zealand in a conversation about identity and history. The Trust facilitates groups of people to travel to Waitangi for commemorations, and recently began facilitating haerenga (journeys) to other parts of the country. After completing an M.A. thesis (history) Samuel Carpenter worked for the Waitangi Tribunal, followed by the Office of Treaty Settlements (as a senior historian). He has recently submitted a Ph.D. thesis exploring early New Zealand political texts.

Karuwhā Trust

Professor Rawinia Higgins (Tūhoe) was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) / Tumu Ahurei of Victoria University of Wellington in 2016. She was previously the University’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori Research) and Head of School for Te Kawa a Māui / School of Māori Studies. Professor Higgins came to the University as a senior lecturer in 2009 after holding academic positions at the University of Otago for 12 years. Her research expertise is Māori language revitalisation and, more specifically, language planning and policy.
Professor Higgins is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and the Chair and Commissioner of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission.

Check before you come

Due to COVID-19 some of our events can be cancelled or postponed at very short notice. Please check the website for updated information about individual events before you come.

For more general information about National Library services and exhibitions have look at our COVID-19 page.

Poster in the shape of the Treaty of Waitangi sheet of Treaty of Waitangi heading "Waitangi Day should be" and words that people have written to finish that sentence.
‘Waitangi Day should be...’ 6 February 2020.