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08 February 2009

"Ko au te whenua, Ko te whenua ko au"
I am the land and the land is me
Voiced by Marcia Murray no Ngai te Rangi, Te Arawa, Nga Puhi and Eru Rerekura no Te Ati Haunui a Papārangi

Once portrayed as a day of derision and divisiveness, it seems communities within Aotearoa mark Waitangi Day in a variety of creative ways. Some see in the day at the top of their ancestral mountain enjoying an early breakfast with their whānau, while others boogie the day away remembering a music legend.

Te Ahi Kaa profiles all in its Waitangi Special.

An archival recording from 1963 at Waitangi has Elizabeth II reiterating the promises made by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to Māori.

Having spent a significant part of his academic career researching Māori economic development, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Kūri, Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri scholar Manuka Henare, asserts that viewing the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of New Zealand is a recent convention, generated partly by the historical amnesia rife in countries where colonisation has occurred, continued misinterpretation of the original parties intent and simplistic view of the social, political and economic events of the 1830s. He explains his position to Maraea Rakuraku.

Seeing in the dawn on Waitangi Day at the top of their ancestral mountain is all the go for one iwi in Tauranga Moana. Since the 1990s, members of Ngai te Rangi Iwi have made the annual trek to Te Tihi o Mauao (the top of Mount Maunganui) where the event is broadcast live by the local iwi station Moana AM. As with any Maori occasion, the festivities conclude with kai - a breakfast hosted by Whareroa Marae. Paul Stanley describes the event to Justine Murray.

While the 6 February has specific relevance in New Zealand, internationally it is recognised as the birth date of reggae legend Bob Marley, whose musical influence is still felt some 25 years after his death in 1981. For Niuean musican Tigilau Ness particularly so, having founded Bob Marley Day/Waitangi Day back in 1993 with a concert in Auckland. A name change, to One Love and a location shift later to Wellington, we have an event patronised by hundreds of reggae lovers.

Waiata featured include:

Tikanga Treaty performed by Black Katz

Treaty performed by Moana and the Moahunters, 1998, from the album Rua