One of the country’s most treasured documents, Treaty of Waitangi, has been moved to a new home amid tight security.
The 177-year-old document, along with the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Women’s Suffrage Petition, was shifted from Archives New Zealand to the National Library in Wellington.
A pūtātara sounded in the still, 4am air outside the Archives building to mark the start of the documents’ journey from their home of 27 years to their new whare.
Archives staff carried the three fragile documents – each in a specially prepared crate – out of the building and into a waiting truck.
From there, four warriors led the truck down the road 200m to the library with elders from iwi nationwide following behind, voicing a karakia.
The documents will be part of a new permanent exhibition at the library. He Tohu.