Saturday, February 7, 2009
Every year on the 6th of February New Zealand marks the signing of the treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
In that year , representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed what is NZ's founding document.
For some people Waitangi Day is a holiday, for many and especially Maori it is the occasion for reflecting on the treaty.
Since the 1970's the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern NZ.
The Whare ( Council House) near to where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
The carvings are wonderful and it is amazing the work, craft and skill that goes into them.
The Waka ( canoe) can be manned by up to 80 paddlers and can be up to 40 metres long.
They are wonderfully carved also and are used for ceremonial occasions.