On February 5th, 1840, over three hundred different Māori and European representatives met on the lawn of James Busby's home to discuss the treaty of Waitangi and the sovereignty of the nation of New Zealand. Signed the next day by those in attendance, the treaty is considered the founding document of New Zealand. February 6th is celebrated as a national holiday in New Zealand. Waitangi National Trust, which manages the site, preserves James Busby's residence, renamed as the 'Treaty House', along with a Māori meeting house that was built alongside it to celebrate the conception of independence.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds were documented by CyArk in December 2017 using a combination of terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry and LiDAR laser scanning. The data will be used by the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in ongoing management and promotion of the site.