New Zealanders divided over what Waitangi means

As Waitangi Day rolls around, so too do the debates and controversies that surround our national day.

A Newshub-Reid Research poll has found that although a lot of New Zealanders feel proud on Waitangi Day, there are still a huge number of us who don't. 

At London's annual Waitangi Day Pub Crawl, hundreds of expats show off their Kiwi pride through costumes ranging from sheep to Pink Batts to Irene Van Dyke. Multiple Jacinda Arderns were present at this year's event, complete with red blazers, Labour badges and baby bumps.

"We're very proud of our ass-kicking Prime Minister and we're proud of her pregnancy," one lookalike told Newshub.  

When asked what Waitangi means to them, attendees gave a variety of answers.

"I think it's really great that we celebrate how the English invaders made a great peaceful treaty with the indigenous people of New Zealand," said one.

"It's not like a 'yeah New Zealand' kind of day, but it is a reflective kind of day," said another.

Others said it simply meant a day off.

A Newshub-Reid Research poll asked the question, "Does Waitangi Day make you proud to be a Kiwi?"

Of the responses, 48 percent said yes. But nearly as many - 38 percent - said it doesn't make them proud. The rest didn't know or didn't consider themselves Kiwi.

Waitangi Day commemorates the founding of modern New Zealand - the good, the bad and the ugly.

It's not always harmonious. Protest is often involved, from a T-shirt thrown at the Queen, mud hurled at Don Brash and, of course, the sex toy tossed at Steven Joyce.

In the eyes of New Zealanders, Waitangi Day doesn't seem to be about any one thing. Unity, celebration, protest, debate, pride or shame - there's room for it all.

One reveller in London perhaps said it best.

"Maybe back home it's different, but definitely when you go overseas you realise how special New Zealand and being a Kiwi is."