Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday, dear New Zealand. Happy birthday to you.

Now, how to mark 177 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which also, handily, falls on a Monday.

Hello, long weekend.


The weather's going to be (finally) glorious for most of the country.

North Islanders and most South Islanders can expect a warm long weekend, with the Far North and east set for a scorcher, according to MetService.

Whangarei, Napier and Christchurch will all top 30C on Waitangi Day, and Gisborne is forecast a melting 33C.

In Auckland a warm weekend will top out at 26C on Monday and temperatures in the high 20s are also expected through the long weekend for Hamilton and Tauranga.

Only the west of the South Island should expect rain.

Many will be beach, river and lake bound. But there's so much more.

The day's main commemorations start with a dawn service from 5am on the Treaty Grounds, later to be followed by entertainment and market stalls.

Free Waitangi Day community events, many with live music, are planned around the country, including in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Taupo and Hastings.


Fat Freddy's Drop is playing in Queenstown on Sunday, and it'll be a laid-back vibe the following morning at the Tauherenikau Races in Featherston.

Motorists can expect congestion at choke points, such as State Highway 2 at Maramarua and SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford, north of Auckland.

A full list of hotspots is available on the New Zealand Transport Agency's website.

Those heading for the hills have been warned by the Mountain Safety Council to plan for the worst, including the possibility of an unexpected night in the bush, and always tell someone their plans.