Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands, Northland, is the centre of the celebrations, with a concert on the evening of February 6 followed by a 6am dawn service on February 7 and a day of traditional dance, sport, market stalls and a gun salute at noon.
There are also many other events throughout the country. In Auckland the national day is celebrated at the city’s birthplace, Okahu Bay Domain. Classic sailing yachts and boats arrive at Okahu Bay to a traditional Māori haka powhiri (welcome ceremony).
Wellington holds an event at Waitangi Park on the city’s waterfront, where different cultures celebrate a mix of entertainment, arts and crafts, and food.
In Rotorua, Waitangi Day is commemorated at Whakarewarewa – a living Māori village – with an event known as ‘Whakanuia’. This Māori word means ‘to acknowledge, promote and celebrate’, and the day’s activities centre on learning about Māori cultural activities, including indigenous kai / food, crafts, Māori medicine, local legends and history.
Failing that, just seek out your neighbourhood barbecue. Happy Waitangi Day!