Archives New Zealand will be open on Waitangi Day from 10.00am until 4.00pm giving Wellingtonians and visitors to the capital the opportunity to see the original 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
“On 6 February thousands of New Zealanders nationwide celebrate Waitangi Day, and experiencing the original Tiriti on our national day adds to the special nature of the occasion,” says Chief Archivist Greg Goulding.
“As the official guardian of New Zealand’s public record Archives New Zealand collects, stores and protects a range of material including important heritage documents,” Greg said.
“These include the Treaty of Waitangi which is on display in the specially controlled environment of the Constitution Room in Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office.
“Often people are surprised to learn te Tiriti is not one single large sheet of paper, but a group of nine documents; seven on paper and two on parchment. Together they represent an agreement drawn-up between representatives of the British Crown on the one hand and representatives of Māori iwi and hapū on the other.”
Te Tiriti o Waitangi is named after the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed on 6 February 1840, but it was also signed in a number of other locations around the country in the following months. These include the Waikato, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, Cook Strait and the East Coast.
Archivists will be available on Waitangi Day to provide information about the origins and the history of the Treaty. Visitors will also be given the chance to have their say about the Treaty and its value to New Zealand.
Entry to Archives New Zealand at 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, is free.
Find out more about te Tiriti at http://www.archives.govt.nz/exhibitions/treaty
Phone: (04) 894 6086 mob 021 596 726