February 6, 2015 marks 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1840 representatives of the British Crown met with over 500 Maori chiefs in Waitangi, Northland, to sign what is considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. The treaty is not perfect but it is the only one we have. The treaty does stir up a lot of emotions for many kiwi's.
Over the years I have enjoyed doing the family tree and learning about our original family members who settled in New Zealand. David Galloway and his wife Ann arrived in Petone on the Bengal Merchant 10th March 1840 from Scotland. On 1st April 1847 an agreement was signed at Porirua by ten Maori leaders. Boundaries were redefined, further payment made to the Maori owners and a substantial area set aside as 'Native Reserve'. The settlers could now move onto their land. David Galloway was allocated 40 acres at Pautahanui. David acted for many years as a Maori interpreter which makes me think he must of had a good relationship with the local Maori to learn their language. Sadly in my school years we did not learn to speak Maori, we learnt some songs, how to count to ten in Maori and how to swing a Poi. We learnt more about the Amazon river than our own land. English history was taught more than New Zealand's history. In my parent's days Maori were punished for speaking Maori in schools. Now a days Maori language is taught extensively in schools which I think is a good thing.
I'm personally fascinated with learning Rongoa Maori, Maori medicine and native herbs. So for me as a kiwi I am very proud to be attending in one of the Waitangi Day events in New Zealand to celebrate 175 years of the treaty.
Next week is all about the fascinator .....