On a frosty morning of March, 22 Year 13 History pupils and four adults set off for a flight to Auckland, and from there a trip to the birthplace of our nation, Waitangi. We arrived at the Copthorne Hotel overwhelmed by the humidity and ‘last gasp of summer’, as put by Mrs Ellis. After making pit stops at the historical Puhoi and the world-renowned toilets of Kawakawa, we had thought we had seen it all, but Waitangi had a different idea.
The first day was full on, beginning with our journey to the treaty grounds with a guided tour of the museum, then a welcoming on the marae which left us in awe. We discovered our first flag and just how many treaties there truly were. The afternoon was spent on a ferry to our first capital, Russell, where we went to Christ Church (the very first in New Zealand!) and a quaint museum. Pompallier House was also a highlight for many, as we witnessed the processes at the tannery and made our own prints at the printing press, learning sayings such as “cut to the chase” came from there.
The second day included a trip to Te Waimate and the early missionary houses at Kerikeri where we discovered the trials and tribulations the missionaries went through. We ended the day with a long journey to Marsden Cross where we sang the school hymn, as a reminder of Christianity arriving in our beautiful nation and the blessings God has given us. The journey up the Pa site was challenging to say the least! However, ending the day with devotions and much needed rest truly made us understand the impact of the happenings at Waitangi, in which two people groups, Pakeha and Maori, came together to form a nation under God’s grace and protection. God defend New Zealand.
Elizabeth Thomson (Y13)