The people of Niue and New Zealand observe Waitangi Day every 6 February. The date commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and is considered the beginning point of New Zealand’s national existence.
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Actually, New Zealand existed as a British colony and territory prior to 1840, but the treaty made its status in the British Empire official and extended citizenship to native Maori tribesmen. It also guaranteed Maori land rights.
It wasn’t until 1934 that Waitangi Day was first observed. It was observed a second time in 1957. In 1960, the Waitangi Day Act allowed regions of New Zealand to opt to make Waitangi Day a regional holiday. Finally, in 1974, it was made the nation-wide holiday that it is today. People celebrate by attending concerts, listening to patriotic speeches, holding family gatherings, and heading to the beach for some fun in the sun.
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