Greetings in the languages of the Realm of New Zealand, in English, Māori, Cook Island Māori, Niuean and Tokelauan: Greetings, Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Taloha Ni.
On this day, 171 years ago, representatives of the British Crown and New Zealand’s first people, the Māori chiefs, agreed on how this nation should be governed. They managed to reach this accord without the accompanying conflict that has been seen in so many other countries.
From the very first Waitangi Day observance in 1934, many differing views have been expressed about the significance of the Treaty and its role and place in our nation. The fact that people continue to debate the importance of the Treaty is a positive sign, as it is evidence of New Zealanders increasingly talking to each other rather than past each other, thus maintaining a process of real communication and understanding.
Our country also continues to address the wrongs of the past. New Zealand is all the stronger for having the courage to attempt to reconcile its past with its present, and to make some amends, often after recourse to the Waitangi Tribunal.
I believe that our prospects as a nation are worth rejoicing. Ours is a young country, but in a short time New Zealanders have conquered the world’s highest mountains, achieved breakthroughs in science, and excelled internationally in sport, literature, film making and the creative arts. New Zealanders have also served with honour in many conflict zones, sometimes far from home, to defend democratic freedoms.
As Governor-General of New Zealand I send my best regards to all New Zealanders on Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national day.
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora, kia kaha, tēnā koutou katoa.
Rt Hon Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand