Week 4 (Part 1) – Wellington – Māori Treaties and Marmite

Our time in the North island is almost over (for this trip anyway :-) ). However, before we got on the Ferry we’d arranged to spend a few days in the capital city of Wellington.

I didn’t know much about Wellington before arriving, and people who we’d spoken to about it seemed to either love it or hate it (like Marmite!).

When we arrived and took a wander around and the most surprising thing to me was how much space there seemed to be! Compared to somewhere like London, Wellington just seemed to be calm, easy going and with nowhere near as many people – Around 400,000 inhabitants, which is around 1 million less than Auckland and over 9 million less compared to London!

We had taken 3 days out to stop in Wellington and wander around the city.

Dive like a Lord!

Dive like a Lord!

Street Art

Street Art

During the time there, I also spent a day wandering around the ‘Te Papa’, the national Museum of New Zealand. Te Papa, is so large and impressive that I could easily have spent another 2 or 3 days there in order to see everything properly….I felt like I was rushing around in the 6 or 7 hours I took.

There are a number of changing exhibitions, but one of the floors was dedicated to Maori culture and history. It has its own ‘Marae’ (communal or sacred place) within it’s floor, including entrance and meeting house.

The Waharoa (Entrance) of Rongomaraeroa

The Waharoa (Entrance) of Rongomaraeroa

Te Hono ki Hawaiki ("The link to our ancestoral homeland")

Te Hono ki Hawaiki (“The link to our ancestral homeland”)

Some other pics from the museum.

There was also an interactive section, where kids were asked to write on stickers “What do you do to remember to take care of things for the future”.

Here are my 2 winners (well 3 winners)

Smart Kid

Smart Kid

I Feed My Pet

I Fed My Pet!

And the most significant thing which stood out was the space dedicated to the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’. Which was an agreement signed in 1840 between the British crown and around 400/500 Maori Chiefs.

The Treaty of Waitangi (British Version)

The Treaty of Waitangi (British Version)

The treaty was to give sovereignty of the country to the British in return for protection and rights of the people as British citizens. However, in the rush to get is signed by the British crown, it was very loosely translated in Maori (in 9 different versions eventually) for the signing by the chiefs…and it turned out there were significant differences between the details of the documents……which didn’t help as even the original English was confusing and ambiguous to me as an native speaker (see image above).

All in all, I loved Wellington. I liked the whole feel of the city………and as for marmite……..I have no strong feelings about it one way or another :-)

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