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Waitangi day in Wellington. According to "Wikipedia" - The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee in the grounds of James Busby's house (now known as the Treaty house) at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Maori rights to their land and gave Maori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the English version and the Maori translation of the Treaty, and since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Maori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pakeha (the Maori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it.