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Education Blog

Have a look at what the Education team have been up to in our various programmes with visiting groups from all over the world. We also enjoy reading about your time with us. If you have recently taken part in one of our Learning Experiences and would like to share then please get in touch on education@waitangi.org.nz .   Due to the Covid-19 situation, at this time we will be focusing on historical events and people of interest in our blog posts, with some fun whānau activities linking to our posts. 

We're on TV!

Sharing Waitangi's Stories

If  you tuned in this week to the Home Learning TV | Papa Kainga Channel,  you may have seen our very own Raranga Matihiko facilators making their TV debut! Our team appear in 2 of the 16 episode series created by Raranga Matihiko TV. If you missed it then just click on the links to TVNZ OnDemand:

Episode 3 – Starring Kerry Leaf
Episode 4 – Starring Monika Kern

Raranga Matihiko TV

Learning from Home

The Raranga Matihiko team from Waitangi, Te Papa, MTG Hawke’s Bay and Waikato Museum have been working hard over the last 4 weeks to produce 16 episodes of Raranga Matihiko TV which will be broadcast over the next 2 weeks on the Home Learning TV| Pāpa Kainga TV channel. Keep an eye out for our very own Raranga Matihiko facilitators who share some of our special taonga in Te Whare Rūnanga and Te Rau Aroha.  View Episode 1 – Seniors  

Scratch journey
Digital activity

Code Tupaia's journey to Aotearoa

Our last post was about Tupaia and his travels from Ra’iātea to Aotearoa on James Cook’s ship the Endeavour.  Today our digital activity is to code Tupaia’s journey using Scratch. Scratch is a free block-coding programme where you can create animations and games and share them with others from around the world.

Captain Cook's Endeavour or

Tupaia's Ship?

Did you know that without a certain wise Polynesian, our history could be quite different today? Tupaia was on the Endeavour , the ship commanded by Captain James Cook, and without him Cook may have never found New Zealand in 1769.  So how did this extraordinary high priest, navigator, mapmaker and translator come to be aboard?

Whānau Activity Idea

Memories in a bottle

In our last post, which looked at the arrival of Marion du Fresne to the Bay of Islands, we mentioned that his crew are said to have buried a bottle containing a declaration of possession. The French reportedly named this land France Australe but this ‘message in a bottle’ has never been found and it sparked an idea for an activity today…

Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne
The 'Tribe of Marion'

Arrival of du Fresne

The month of May marks a few notable anniversaries in the Bay of Islands.  In May 1772, 248 years ago, 2 ships arrived in the Bay of Islands under the command of French explorer, Marion du Fresne.

5th May 1833

Arrival of James Busby

May 5th 2020, marks 187 years since James Busby sailed into the Bay of Islands in 1833 as New Zealand’s first British Resident. Busby was the answer to an 1831 petition for protection against lawlessness signed by 13 rangatira and sent to King William IV.

he waka noa
Education Team update

He Waka eke Noa - We're All in this Together

Kia Ora from our Education team to teachers, students and whānau. He waka eke noa derives from the Māori whakataukī (proverb) and refers to working in unity and leaving no-one behind – it fits well with the journey we’re all on at this time.

bags x 4
Summer Holiday Programme 2020

Taonga Tākaro Tākoha

Many local and international families enjoyed our programme themed around Māori treasures, games and gifts of the past, re-imagined with a contemporary twist. Through fun practical activities, families learnt about the significance of some of the art, culture and traditions in Te Ao Māori.

team photo
Meri Kirihimete 2019!

Merry Christmas from the Waitangi Education Team

The Waitangi Education Team wishes all teachers, students and whānau a very Merry Christmas 2019! Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our various Education Programmes during the past year – not only from throughout New Zealand but also from all around the world.

sketch carving at waka for blog

Ashburton's Wakanui Meets Waitangi’s Waka Nui!

Wakanui seemed the perfect name for a school to have at our waka nui – Ngātokimatawhaorua, the world’s largest waka taua (war canoe). At the waka, Year 7 and 8 students from Wakanui School, Ashburton, explored the stories our waka and whakairo (carvings)

final collage for blog post RM
Raranga Matihiko Student Exhibition

A Digital Tapestry of Tales

This colourful, interactive exhibition was created by students using a range of digital tools and storytelling techniques to share their understanding of NZ’s unique history, traditions and culture.  Be drawn into tales of adventure, conflict, love and loss, taonga, natural phenomena, community issues and dreams for the future.

Waitangi Museum Med Res-22
He Whakaputanga

Declaration of Independence

In 1835 on October 28, 34 northern chiefs signed He Whakaputunga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, right here at the home of James Busby. Known in English as the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, it declared New Zealand’s independence as a sovereign nation under the Māori chiefs. Signatures continued to be added until 1839, by which time it had 52 signatures. These included the signature of Te Wherowhero, the chief of Waikato who would later become the first Māori king.

October Holiday Programme

Inspired By Nature

Over 200 children and their families enjoyed getting imaginative with dried flowers, making special taonga such as bookmarks, flower and leaf creatures, sun catchers, key-rings, fridge magnets, badges and jewellery.

kohanga reo
Ko taku reo taku ohooho

ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria  – My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

This is a whakatauki (proverb) closely associated with language revitalization, a struggle which is very important in maintaining culture. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week, runs from 9-14 September this year. How did this come about?

Group in museum

from Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi

Students of all ages enjoy delving into the stunning collection of unique stories and taonga (treasured objects) in Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi.  Our educators guide students as they unravel the significance of the taonga to the story of our country’s founding.

russell school respond in whare (original)

from New Zealand's very first capital

All our education visits are special, but these visitors are extra close to us– just across the water from Waitangi. Their school is in Russell, where New Zealand’s first capital was sited (at Okiato) after the Treaty signing.

hongi for blog

A Place to Connect and Reflect

The connections and reflections that grow out of visits to Waitangi are deep. Sharing stories in the place where it all happened really brings history to life for students. As we explore the taonga of Waitangi and experience all it has to offer, students develop a real sense of past events and the people that have gone before us.

Did you know

New Zealand has two flags?

New Zealand’s first flag, Te Kara, was chosen and flew here at Waitangi exactly 185 years ago today and is still one of NZ’s official flags. Te Kara’s official name is the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand – Te Kara o Te Whakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni. Visiting schools are surprised to learn that NZ has two flags!

The Treaty signing

Celebrating the 179th Anniversary

Waitangi Treaty Grounds welcomed tens of thousands of people to celebrate New Zealand/Aotearoa’s founding document, signed here on the 6th February 1840.


Holiday Programme 7th - 18th January

Our Holiday Programme links to our latest gallery exhibition – ‘Being Chinese in Aotearoa – A photographic journey’, which explores 175 years of fascinating history of Chinese New Zealanders, past and present.

Kia Kaha te Reo Māori!

Let’s make the Māori language strong!

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori- Māori Language Week, encourages New Zealanders to promote the use of the Māori language , which, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language, has been an official language of our country since 1987.

Newly formed

Student Focus Group a great success!

Students from 5 local schools recently spent a day with our Education Team taking part in all aspects of our programme. The purpose was to gather valuable student feedback and suggestions.

AFS Intercultural

Students from eight countries visit Waitangi

This diverse group of students were honoured when one of their group played the role of ‘Chief’ for the visitors being welcomed into the Whare Rūnanga (Carved Meeting House) for the Cultural Performance.

Japanese students

Discover Waitangi’s beauty, culture and history

Our Education team enjoyed sharing some aspects of New Zealand’s culture and history with visiting Japanese students who are being hosted by Whangarei Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools.

Hands-on learning with

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe

Our Education Team recently had a fantastic visit with an awesome group of Year 9 and 10 students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe.

Happy Matariki!

The Māori New Year celebrates new life and remembers the past

​Matariki was marked mid-winter when the storehouses were full after harvest time and people began to plan for the future.

New Digital Learning Lab

Offers exciting opportunities

Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of only three facilities nationwide selected by Te Papa Tongarewa Museum to deliver the state of the art digital programme, Raranga Matihiko – Weaving Digital Futures.

Kaikohe Christian School

Students share what Waitangi meant to them

During a recent visit from Kaikohe Christian School, the Year 8 and 9 students discovered a real interest in New Zealand’s history. They shared this enthusiasm in their awesome thank you letters.

Raranga Matihiko

Teacher Planning Day

Raranga Matihiko is a Digital Technologies for All programme, funded by the Ministry of Education. We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Te Papa Tongarewa to deliver a Ministry of Education Digital Equity for All Equity Programme that supports student learning with the use of digital technologies.

Visit from

Cannington School

All our visitors are special to us, but last week’s visit was even more special than usual: Students, teachers and parents from Cannington School in Cave, South Canterbury, came to spend Wednesday morning with Imogen here at the Treaty Grounds.

Welcome back

To Term Two!

Ngā mihi nui kia koutou, welcome back to Term 2! We hope you and your students had a relaxing term break and are ready to get back into learning! Term 1 is traditionally our busiest term; we had the pleasure of working with more than 2700 students since the beginning of the year. It has been great to meet so many familiar and new faces, and we are looking forward to meeting many more of you as the year progresses.

Whangarei Boys’ High School

Whole Year 10 school visit to Waitangi

In March all Year 10 classes from Whangarei Boy’s High School visited us over the period of a week. The visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds included a Pōwhiri and Cultural Performance in Te Whare Rūnanga.

Visits from

Albany Junior High School

We get the loveliest thank you notes from our visitors!
Te Kara

Our first flag

Our first flag, Te Kara, is also known as the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand – Te Kara o Te Whakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni. It came about as trading grew between New South Wales and New Zealand. Patuone and Taonui, two important northern chiefs, were partners in the Sir George Murray, the first European-style ship built in New Zealand.