PM’s Waitangi Day speech: ‘With togetherness, we overcome’

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has used her Waitangi Day speech to call for people to come together and overcome the challenges facing the country today and into the future.

A pre-recorded speech from Ardern has been broadcast as part of today’s Waitangi Day commemorations.

Because of the pandemic, the Waitangi Trust shifted the focus for this year’s Waitangi Day commemorations from the typical in-person ceremony at the treaty grounds north of Paihia to a virtual experience via broadcasts and online.

Ardern said it is important to take time and reflect on Waitangi Day and think about how to improve outcomes for Māori and all New Zealanders.

She said across Aotearoa there are stories of arrival, settlement, conflict, unity, hope and hardship and acknowledging the stories is crucial to people’s connection to each other.

“Today, we mark the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our ancestors who signed this document, we mark their journey, and continue to make our own, one that defines our nation – a nation we can all be proud of.

“Togetherness is something we have shown throughout the last few years, I know it hasn’t been easy. There were many clouds and at times they seemed so dark that the sun could not shine through, but together we have, and we continue to overcome.”

Ardern said she was proud that this year schools will have the resources to teach New Zealand history and the country will celebrate the first Matariki public holiday.

Ardern said she will return to Waitangi in person, but for now she had to address people from Parliament in Wellington.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro travelled to Waitangi to pre-record speeches last month.

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