What does Waitangi Day mean to us? Is it worth commemorating, and what is the best way to do that? The Wanganui Chronicle took to the street to find out what people in Whanganui thought.

PAT DOMBROWSKI, Kakaramea: "I suppose it's history, but it has been blown out of proportion ... the Maori thing. They got paid for their land years ago, so why do they come back for more? Why should it be a public holiday? What about other things - we don't celebrate Captain Cook's arrival."

GENEVA TUMANGO PATEA, Whanganui: "I believe in it. I suppose being a Maori, we believe in it ... those are our memories. It was an important day, and for all New Zealand it is important to remember it, because it's important not only for ourselves but for Europeans - for everybody in New Zealand."

JOSH HIROTI-REWI, Whanganui: "It's a day that celebrates us merging with the Commonwealth, them letting us have our rights, kind of. We should have events around the town to commemorate that day."


CARLOS RAWIRI-BROUGHTON, Whanganui: "As a Maori culture, it gives us a bit of rights and identity - it gives us that bit of a chance to have a bit of our own as a people. It's worth remembering, just to have more community things where all the people get together as one. It doesn't happen very often to get everyone together, where we all come here as one."

CONSCIENCE GREEN, Whanganui: "I think in this generation we don't really understand Waitangi. For us, Waitangi is a time just to have a few drinks with the family ... it's not getting to the heart of the Treaty of Waitangi. It is worth commemorating as it brought us together - we wouldn't be New Zealand without the Treaty. But we should remember it throughout the year, not just that one weekend."

JESSICA BALSLEY, Whanganui: "I'm not really sure about Waitangi Day and I don't really celebrate it. I feel if people want to celebrate they can, but I don't really bother."