6 Feb 2023

As it happened: Hundreds gathered in dark for Waitangi Day commemorations

1:04 pm on 6 February 2023

Te Whare Runanga was lit up as hundreds gathered in the dark before it on the Waitangi Treaty grounds this morning.

It was 183 years ago there that Māori rangatira signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi with the Crown.

A dawn service commemorated the signing and all that has happened since for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Politicians, the Governor-General and the chief justice offered karakia.

"183 years ago people gathered here to do something very bold," Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said, in a prayer asking for trust, understanding and a common purpose.

"Listen to the call of the Treaty," chief justice Dame Helen Winkelmann said, asking for strength for the courts to judge fairly.

"Unity and love towards one another," National's Shane Reti said. He spoke as party leader Christopher Luxon left Waitangi on Sunday night.

Act leader David Seymour asked for light and understanding, as well as prosperity, "though we'll probably settle for affordability."

Green Party co-leader James Shaw asked for love and trust.

Take a look at how the events unfolded:

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