See this flagpole? Looks kinda boring right? Well this flagpole has an important history to our country. Located in Paihia on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds it marks the spot where the treaty was first signed on 6th February 1840. The flags that fly today are the 3 official flags that we have had since 1834 - Te Kara (the flag of the United Tribes of NZ), the Union Flag (from 1840 to 1902) and the NZ Flag (from 1902 to present day).
The first flagstaff was gifted to James Busby by Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke Pokai. This was later shifted to Kororareka (Russell). In 1834 a flagstaff was erected by the Royal NZ Navy, replaced in 1947 and the Navy remains the caretaker of the current one to this day.
New Zealand's first flag was chosen at a meeting of chiefs at Waitangi on 20th March 1834 to ensure that ships built and owned by people in this country would be recognized by other nations. British resident James Busby invited Maori leaders to choose 1 of 3 designs for the flag which later became known as the flag of the United Tribes of NZ (Te Kara of Te Whakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Niu Tireni).
Britain's acceptance of this flag showed the country was now internationally regarded as an independant nation and started a drive from James Busby to form a government. The Declaration of Independance was created in 1835 followed by the Treaty in 1840.