Lyttelton, New Zealand.

aklfsjdlIt’s rather flat in Christchurh, which consequently makes for some great longboard pushin turf for me. Not too many views really close to me like I’m used to in Colorado.. or so I thought. Within a 25 minute drive, after driving through a long tunnel you’ll pop out to views of steep and rugged rocky hill tops with blue water rushing in at the bottom.

Driving up, up, up, and around you’ll eventually end up at a parking lot. The parking lot leads down down down to a beach. No sand though, much better. BEAUTIFUL SHELLS! When I first arrived I planned to park it and read while listening to the water and children play. Instead I found a different kind of meditation, shell collection. I moved slowly and patiently as I chose my favorite shells. Some big and pointy that consistently reminded me of unicorn horns. Some were so teeny my fingers could barely pick them up but still just astoundingly perfect and colorful. Some looked like tiny conch shells and there were heaps of clams or mussels. I should find out what they actually were. Myself and a few kiddos pulled them off the rocks and felt their suction detach. It was pretty awesome, don’t worry we either stuck them back or tossed them into the water.

As the tide started to rise, which it did quite a bit, children ran out with their paddleboards and boogie boards. Little girls were jumping off the docks and tiny boys were playing with their tonka trucks in the shells. It was a cloudy day so I didn’t have to worry about adding on to my already burned skin or protecting my annoyingly high maintenance tattoos. It was the perfect day to celebrate Waitangi Day.

jhWaitangi Day (named after Waitangi, where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed) commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. Ceremonies take place each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, on that date in 1840. The day is a public holiday.

According to wiki, the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee in the grounds of James Busby‘s house (now known as the Treaty house) atWaitangi in the Bay of Islands by representatives acting on behalf of the British Crownand initially, more than 40 Māori chiefs. During the next seven months, copies of the treaty were carried around the country to give other chiefs the opportunity to sign. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Māorirights to their land and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the English version and the Māori translation of the Treaty, and since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Māori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pākehā (the Māori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it. By the early twentieth century, however, some Pākehā were beginning to see the Treaty as their nation’s founding document and a symbol of British humanitarianism. Unlike Māori, Pākehā have generally not seen the Treaty as a document with binding power over the country and its inhabitants. In 1877 Chief Justice James Prendergast declared it to be a ‘legal nullity’, a position it held until the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, when it regained significant legal standing.lkj

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