Today, Waitangi celebrations were held as usual but it was not a day of protest. It was a day for celebrating that Maori and Pakeha people are united in this country. Thousands of families came to celebrate. They enjoyed the food, the music, the waka (canoes), the speeches and the warm weather. The Prime Minister, John Key, and many other MPs attended the celebrations beginning with a church service at dawn this morning.
The day before Waitangi Day is an important day for Maori to discuss matters with MPs at the lower marae at Waitangi. John Key attended. Two protesters tried to attack John Key but police quickly took them away. John Key said that two people should not spoil the events at Waitangi and he was happy to continue with the celebrations.
Other cities and towns also celebrated Waitangi Day. Porirua, just north of Wellington, Okains Bay in Canterbury and Bluff in Southland all had celebrations at local marae.
Many people are wondering what has happened to the usual protest. Some years there has been so much protest and so much noise that people have stayed away from Waitangi. Protesters believe that Maori have not been treated fairly. On February 6th 1840, Maori and the British government signed a treaty to share this country in a fair manner.
The National government has given the Maori Party some power in this government and perhaps Maori people feel positive about the future.