Kiwis living in the UK don’t have to miss out on Waitangi Day celebrations.
The day, which marks the signing of a treaty that made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, is typically a day of sun and festivals in the bright New Zealand summer. Not exactly easy to replicate in snowy London. Nevertheless, it takes much more than the chilly UK weather to halt determined Kiwis and a few new traditions have sprung up.
1. The fancy way: Waitangi Day Charity Ball
Get dressed up for a black tie event hosted by The New Zealand Society UK. Tickets for this snazzy event are priced at £135 for society members and £165 for non-members. Proceeds from an auction and raffle held on the night go to a charitable fund that contributes to various causes throughout the year.
Held on Waitangi Day itself (6 February), this year’s event takes place at The Ballroom at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly. An award for the 2015 UK New Zealander of the Year will be presented and guests will enjoy a glittering night of fine food, wine and dancing.
2. The party way: Pub crawl
On Saturday 7 February, use the Circle Line for a marathon pub crawl involving 27 stops from the Pride of Paddington (starting at 10:00) to Temple Station where there are a couple of after parties scheduled. Don’t miss the 16:00 group haka at Parliament Square.
Organisers describe the event as: “Good natured fun, Kiwis having a laugh, meeting new friends, finding old friends, being good to the locals and not breaking any laws. “
3. The quiet way: At home
Waitangi Day is about community, but in the February cold it can be difficult to muster up the courage to go outside. You can host a Waitangi Day celebration in the comfort of your home. Put up a flag, put on some Kiwi tunes and invite a few mates over for a barbeque or, even better, ask them to all bring a their favorite New Zealand dish and have a feast big enough to make the folks back home jealous.