When I was growing up in the 90’s as one of the handful of Māori kids in our tiny mid-Canterbury town, no one really talked about Waitangi Day. People preferred to talk about classic rural staples such as the likelihood of rain, which of the two fish and chip shops had the bigger scoops, and whether the All Blacks 1991 World Cup campaign was more disastrous than petrol prices rising above a buck a litre.
Times have changed now. In all likelihood, my son will know more about New Zealand’s history and Waitangi Day by the time he is seven or eight than I did when I was twenty.
Fortunately, he will probably grow up without hearing too many people pronounce ‘Wai-tangi’ the same way they say ‘Tangy Fruits.’ Unfortunately, he will also grow up without experiencing the sweet tangy joy of Tangy Fruits.
Iconic candy aside, you might be wondering how you even start to explain Waitangi Day to your kids. Here are some ideas.