Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Waitangi Day

Native Fern, Stokes Valley, New Zealand

Waitangi Day February 6, 2008. National holiday since 1974 in New Zealand commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February, 1840 between the British Crown and some Maori Chiefs. On what the agreement actually says though is disputable. There are two versions, in two languages: one in English and one in Maori. According to various New Zealand government websites, the treaty gave Britain sovereignty of New Zealand while granting Maoris the same rights as the British citizens. Sounds good but the treaty was ignored by the courts until sometime in the 1970's. This fact explains a lot about social conditions here that remind me of the black and white problems because of racism in The States. The USA didn't sign the Civil Rights Act until 1964.

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