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Waitangi, immediately to the north of Paihia, is New Zealand’s most important historic site. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840, which effectively handed New Zealand over to British rule. The Treaty House and adjoining visitor centre is the highlight of a visit to the Bay of Islands and offers a crash course in New Zealand history. Waitangi is also home to a Maori meetinghouse and a huge waka (war canoe).

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