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6 top ways to celebrate Waitangi Day in Wellington

Celebrate our national day with a sense of pride at one of the many Waitangi Day events in the capital.


On 6 February 2020, it will be 180 years since the nation that we know today was formed. And since Waitangi Day is a public holiday, many of us get to enjoy a day off with our friends and family to celebrate our country’s history.

There are plenty of fun and educational events going on in Wellington this year. So get your friends and family together, and check out our list of things to do this Waitangi Day.

Top Waitangi day events and celebrations in Wellington

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1. Waitangi Day at He Tohu

Did you know that the Treaty of Waitangi is actually nine documents? He Tohu has the original documents on display inside the National Library.

On 6 February, you can join a 20-minute tour at half-hour intervals throughout the day and discover more about New Zealand’s constitutional past.

More info: Waitangi Day at He Tohu

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2. Te Rā o Waitangi

Join in the Waitangi Day morning festivities at Wellington waterfront, starting with a formal opening and waka salute.

Then head to Waitangi Park in the afternoon where there’ll be an opening blessing, live music, food stalls and award-winning Māori performers to entertain you throughout the day.

More info: Wellington Government

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3. Summer Pop-up Village

Head to Taranaki Wharf to check out the boutique stores and food trucks at the Pop-up Village.

It’s open from 10am-4pm every day throughout the summer, so take a wander around then stop at Te Papa museum to view the Treaty of Waitangi exhibition.

More info: Pop-up Village

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4. Treaty of Waitangi exhibition at Te Papa museum

While you can do this activity on any day of the year, 6 February is an extra special time to check out the Treaty of Waitangi exhibition.

You can learn about how the Treaty shaped New Zealand, explore the history of our indigenous people and hear stories of migrants from the past 200 years.

More info: Te Papa Government

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5. Waitangi Day Festival Porirua

With live music, cultural and creative activities, Treaty of Waitangi talks and delicious food stalls, there are plenty of reasons to spend Waitangi Day in Porirua with the kids.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can even take a trip out on the water and paddle a waka.

This festival is zero-waste, so bring your reusable cups and food containers.

More info: Porirua Mana

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6. Interislander Summer Festival Tauherenikau Races

With live racing action throughout the day, live music, food trucks and free kids’ entertainment, you have everything you need for a family day out.

If you have a group of 10 or more people, you can hire your own private marquee plus you can take your own picnic if you prefer.

More info: Tauherenikau Summer Festival

Are shops open on Waitangi Day?

Some shops may be closed on Waitangi Day, but here are the major shopping centres that will be open. Note that these trading hours are subject to change.

  • North City Porirua: 9am-6pm
  • The Mall Upper Hutt: 9am-7pm
  • Queensgate Shopping Centre: 10am-6pm
  • Johnsonville Shopping Centre: 9am-8pm
  • Outlet City: 10am-5pm

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