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UNESCO New Zealand Tentative List - Waitangi Treaty Grounds

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New Zealand Tentative UNESCO
Waitangi Treaty Grounds Historic Precinct
New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are situated at Waitangi, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand.
The Waitangi Treaty complex is New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It was here that the Treaty of Waitangi (The Treaty) was first signed between Maori and the British Crown on 6 February 1840, and has been the site of subsequent annual commemorations of the signing.
The Waitangi National Trust Estate comprises 507 hectares, lying between the lower tidal reaches of the Waitangi River and the coastline running north to Wairoa Bay. The Estate was gifted to the people of New Zealand by the then Governor-General Lord Bledisloe and Lady Bledisloe in 1932. It is administered by the Waitangi National Trust Board whose members represent various sections of New Zealand people. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds historical precinct itself occupies 4.8 hectares within the eastern end of the estate, and includes the Treaty House, the Whare Runanga and the historic naval flagstaff. The Maori waka, Ngatoki Matawhaorua is situated close by. There are extensive park-like grounds containing native birdlife, trees and heritage gardens.
The key cultural heritage elements of the proposed Waitangi World Heritage site are:
The Treaty House: The original British Residency was erected in 1833-34 for Resident James Busby and his family. It was the scene of meetings to set up an independent Maori government, resulting in a Declaration of Independence in 1835. In 1840 the grounds in front of the house were the scene of discussions leading to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Most of the Residency was pre-cut in Sydney of Australian hardwood, and then shipped to the Bay of Islands. It is New Zealand's very earliest pre-cut building. The house underwent various additions and alterations over time, including a major restoration in 1933 and more recent conservation work in 1989/90.
Te Whare Runanga: The Whare Runanga was built in 1939 and opened during the Treaty of Waitangi Centennial Celebrations in 1940.
Waitangi flagstaff: The flagstaff marks the approximate spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840.
Ngatoki Matawhaorua: This 35-m Maori waka (canoe), built for the New Zealand centennial in 1940, bears the name of the voyaging waka in which the legendary explorer Kupe visited Aotearoa. (The waka house is situated just outside the core heritage precinct but is closely linked with it.)

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 08 June, 2011.

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