Treaty of Waitangi 175: Our past, our present, our future.

2015 is an important year for all New Zealanders. It marks 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, our founding document.

Education plays an important role in providing opportunities for people to teach and learn about the Treaty and consider what it means in 21st century Aotearoa - New Zealand. 

Visit the Waitangi 175 website to find resources, discuss themes and share projects and ideas: www.waitangi.tki.org.nz

Throughout 2015 you can make the most of opportunities to explore the Treaty, its relevance to you, your area and the future of New Zealand. Educators, communities, students and families will come together to commemorate the signing of the Treaty and explore its impact on New Zealand’s nation building story. What will you be doing?

Localising learning – was the Treaty signed near you?

The national date of commemoration for the Treaty of Waitangi signing is 6 February. In reality though there are many local dates of significance that communities can recognise as they learn about the Treaty’s journey around our country. These events from our past provide great opportunities to localise teaching and learning content today.

After the signing at Waitangi, copies of the Treaty were taken to different parts of New Zealand to collect more signatures. The nine surviving documents are largely named for the areas they were signed in. Around 500 Māori chiefs, including 13 women from around Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu signed the Treaty. All but 39 of them signed the Māori version.

Do you live in an area where the Treaty was signed 175 years ago?

  1.  The Waitangi sheet (including Waitematā, Kaitaia, Auckland and Russell)
  2. The Manukau Kāwhia Treaty sheet
  3. The Waikato-Manukau Treaty
  4. The Tauranga Sheet
  5. The East Coast Treaty Sheet (Tūranga or Gisborne, Uawa or Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru, Whakawhitira Waiapu, Rangitukia Waiapu)
  6. The Bay of Plenty (Fedarb) Treaty Sheet (including Ōpōtiki, Te Kaha, Tōrere and Whakatāne)
  7. The Herald-Bunbury Treaty Sheet (Coromandel Harbour, Mercury Islands, Akaroa, Ruapuke Island, Otago, Cook Strait and Kāpiti)
  8. The Henry Williams Treaty Sheet (Wellington, Queen Charlotte Sound, Rangitoto/D’Urville Island, Ōtaki, Waikanae, Manawatū, Whanganui, Motu Ngārara)
  9. The printed sheet (including rangatira from Waikato River and Raglan, signed at mission station on Manukau Harbour)

The Treaty in recent history and wider society

Studying the Treaty is a cross-curricular activity reaching into many aspects of New Zealand’s future planning including; economics, health, international relations, law and social and political science.

Treaty of Waitangi 175 is an opportunity to review the Treaty’s impact on how our national identity has formed, recent historical events and themes that arise from the Treaty’s spirit; participation, protection, and partnership.

Some examples to consider are:

  • The land march (October 1975)
  • The establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal (1975)
  • The emergence of the first kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori (1981 and 1985 respectively) in response to the serious decline in te reo Māori
  • 20th anniversary of the Tainui settlement (May 1995)
  • 19th anniversary of the Ngāi Tahu settlement (September 1996)
  • 11th anniversary of the seabed and foreshore hikoi (March/April 2004)

More information and resources on Treaty of Waitangi 175 is available on www.mch.govt.nz/waitangi175.

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