Vector Lights for Waitangi Day
2021 is the 181st commemoration of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). This year’s Vector Lights show features a range of designs that represent the locations where the treaty was signed and some of the Treaty signatories. Here is an explanation of the designs you will see throughout the show:
Te Tiriti, ngā tohu, ngā wāhi (Signatures and locations)
It is very well documented that Te Tiriti was in fact nine separate documents, all signed in different places. Despite being readily available for research, it is not very well-known to the general New Zealander. Waves between each of the scenes represent the travels of the various treaty documents, most of which were transported by waka (canoe / boat) on the oceans and rivers of Aotearoa.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
181 years of the treaty being in existence. Both parties to the Treaty sometimes clashing, sometimes working together
Signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840. The first of nine sheets to be signed. Waitangi translates to weeping waters – hence the 181 teardrops falling like rain
Signed at Te Mānukanuka o Hoturoa. Flying birds represent the Manukau Harbour which was named for the many birds seen and the loud noise that resulted.
Reportedly the only copy of Te Tiriti written in English and sent out for signing. White waves represent the waves of the Waikato river as they flow into the Tasman Sea
One of the sheets that made its way around the country was printed. Signatures of the five chiefs who could not write were represented by X’s
21 signatures represented by Christian crosses signifies the influence that the missionaries had at the time of signing. Waves to represent Tauranga Harbour
Red and white chevrons rolling in from both sides represent the chiefs coming from all around the Bay of Plenty to the signing location
Herald (Bunbury) Sheet
27 waves splashing representing 27 signatories
Cook Strait (Henry Williams) Sheet
Light purple background signifies the skies in the South Island in winter. Snowflakes form into snow-capped mountains to represent South Island landscape
East Coast / Tūranga Sheet
Two white lines represent the border around the document signed on the East Coast. 41 water droplets represent 41 signatories and the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
The opening scene is replayed to represent 181 years of Te Tiriti in Aotearoa.