Day 345 on the Road
New Zealand History and Culture at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Today we are checking out the fascinating Waitangi Treaty Grounds with its museum and cultural show! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
So today is the last day with this big bulky cast this afternoon we’re heading back to Whangarei Hospital and getting a better sleeker cast. In the meantime, we are spending time at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds which is probably the most significant historical place in New Zealand.
Despite being mere minutes away from Paihia we are in a different town called Waitangi and we are checking out the Waitangi Treaty Grounds today. The Treaty of Waitangi is the major part of New Zealand’s history and today we are going to learn all about it in this super interactive museum. Plus, we’re gonna get to see an awesome Maori show.
So that’s the horn for the Maori and if you look over there, there’s a horn from the British.
The entrance to the Waitangi treaty Museum tells the story of New Zealand’s discovery from both sides, from the Maori story and the European story so that’s why we see so many contrasts in the way this museum is laid out, for instance we see Maori artifacts and we also see European artifacts.
Before we go into detail about the Waitangi Museum we’ll just go over the Treaty of Waitangi itself for those of you that don’t know. The Maori chiefs and the British generals basically got together to sign a treaty to create the nation of New Zealand and that’s what the Waitangi Treaty is, this happened on the 6 February 1840 and it’s now celebrated as a national day in New Zealand called Waitangi Day which happens the 6th February every yea. In fact, we went to an event that celebrated Waitangi Day which we will link to in the cards above and that will show you how New Zealanders celebrate Waitangi Day.
So these are all the different translations of the Treaty of Waitangi. There are heaps of exhibitions around us and a lot of them and interactive which is really cool there is this massive table in the middle where you can click around and go through the whole story of Waitangi and this is the middle of the document room where there is basically the signature of so many Maori chiefs to the Treaty of Waitangi.
Moving on from the main part of the museum, we are heading to a big marae where there is a big ceremony about to happen but we get quickly distracted on our way by a massive of piece wood currently being carved.
In the carving studio there is a Maori carver which is actually making a bird feeder in the traditional way. It’s quite amazing to watch but we need to be on time for the ceremony.
[Maori greeting] Kia Ora!
Before you enter a Marae in New Zealand as a visitor you need to go through a powhiri which is a traditional welcome ceremony in Maori but this is usually happening in the grounds on the outside of the carved meeting house but because it’s raining so much the team kindly invite us inside to perform the powhiri indoors.
Our elected tribe chief is met with a Maori warrior who presents a token to test whether we’re friend or foe.
Welcome to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds the birthplace of our great nation.
The chief of the Maori tribe welcomes us in te reo Maori which is the Maori language and in English and then the show can begin.
Now at this stage we are going to attempt something that we have been told is impossible to do. We are going to attempt to transport each and everyone of you back into time.
The Maori tribe tell their story through song and dance otherwise known as kapa haka and this is a real mix of both high energy chants and some slower paced love songs.
The show is super captivating to watch with the performers dancing with sudden jerking movements some of them are pulling different faces and they are dancing with traditional tools and weapons.
On top of the exquisite that we are witnessing right here the whole whare which is the Maori carved house is looking absolutely amazing there are carvings top to bottom and if you are not watching the performance you are watching the stunning carvings.
We’ve been told that all those carvings have been all done by hand there is no industrialisation in Maori carvings. Every single one of the piece of wood which are ornaments in this whare are actually made by hand.
But getting back to the performance, the chief also shows us some of their weapons. They are absolutely superb they are all hand-carved as well, and they demonstrate how they would have used them in battle, it’s quite impressive.
One of the really awesome things about this performance is that we are encouraged to take photos and videos and on top of it once in a while our hosts stop the performance to let us ask questions about what is happening on stage. I find that super interactive and really cool.
And obviously the performance finishes with one of the most powerful Maori haka that we have had chance to witness so far.
Once a performance finishes and we take the time to actually congratulate all our hosts we get the time to take a few pictures with some of the Maori warriors and get back out but the rain is still here. Today is really not a day to be spent outdoors but luckily there is a lot to see at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
There is just so much to see at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and another thing we’re checking out is the Treaty House. This is where a British government representative lived between 1833 and 1840 and it’s like a mini museum in itself showcasing the everyday life in the Bay of Islands during the 1830s.
To complete our visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, we are visiting the waka house which holds the largest Maori canoe in the whole world.
The rain is really picking up right now as we are driving towards Whangarei where I can get my arm x-rayed again, my cast recasted into something sleeker, thinner, lighter, probably a little bit waterproof so I can get on and do some awesome activities for you guys.
Like at the time when I broke my arm, the whole hospital experience is a breeze. I can’t believe how good the services are. It’s absolutely awesome.
Alright guys we are on our way back from the hospital. I have a good news and bad news. Good news is that I get a much flashier and much more comfortable sling. The bad news is I do have to keep that cast for a wee while longer. 7 more days exactly. Because my wrist is currently in a perfect position for healing and healing fast and we don’t want to take the risk despite the fact I tried to argue a lot with the nurse.
So yep, that’s right in short, I am stuck with that dirty old cast for another week so I’m going to try to forget and there is no better way to forget than with some bangers and mash and a tonne of alcohol so we are heading to the Pipi Patch bar which is basically the bar of our hostel and we are gonna get drunk.
I really love how many social events they organise tonight is barbecue night and the whole hostel is actually gathering together.
Are you having fun?
I’m having heaps of fun.
Heaps even, not eeps?