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Waitangi: What Really Happened?


Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:30pm–6:55pm

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, National Library Building, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $5.12 ($5.00 + $0.12 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


The Treaty and Waitangi Day have occupied a complex place in our history ever since 1840 when Governor Hobson is said to have announced “He iwi tahi tatou – we are one people". Screening before the main feature "Waitangi: What Really Happened?", a dramatization of the days leading up to February 1840, we have two excerpts, made in 1934 and 1990, that illustrate changing attitudes to the Treaty.

First Excerpt: "Māoris Display Their Goodwill and Loyalty at Waitangi", 1934 (1.46 mins)
Fox movietone news footage of the first official commemorative celebrations held for the signing of the Treaty, attended by the Governor-General Lord Bledisloe.

Second Excerpt: "Waitangi Day 1990 – Tatou Tatou, One People", 1990 (9 mins)
TVNZ covered the 1990 commemorations at Waitangi. This excerpt highlights the address by Reverend Whakahuihui Veroce, the Anglican Bishop of Aotearoa, who silences the protestors when he reminds the treaty partner “you have marginalised us, you have not honoured the Treaty... I come to the waters of Waitangi to weep for what could have been a unique document in the history of the world”.

Main Feature: “Waitangi What Really Happened?”, 2011 (69 mins)
In English and Māori (with subtitles)

A dramatisation of the days leading up to 6 February 1840 when the gathered Māori leaders signed the Treaty of Waitangi, told in recreations and interviews with the participants and locals.

The film's scriptwriter, Gavin Strawhan said “... one of the points I wanted to make was that the tangata whenua were not acting in unison as a united group with common aims, but were comprised of many individual chiefs, all with different motives and objectives.” -, 21/3/2011.

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