Sancta Maria College visit
History students from Sancta Maria College in Auckland visited Waitangi as part of a haerenga (journey) to see key historical sites relating to the Northern Wars. At the Flagstaff we explored the significance of Te Kara, New Zealand’s first flag. Students also explored crucial differences between the Māori and English versions of Te Tiriti/The Treaty in Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi.
This diverse group of Year 12 and 13 students explored causes of the Northern Wars. After the signing of the Treaty , the Flagstaff flying Te Kara here at Waitangi was moved across the water to Maiki Hill in Russell and only the Union Flag was flown. This was the first sign to the northern chiefs such as Hone Heke that this was not the partnership Māori had expected. Hone Heke targeted the flagpole at Russell as a protest against increasing British authority, cutting it down a total of four times which led to the sacking of Kororāreka, and the wider Northern Wars.
In Te Kōngahu Museum, we looked closely at crucial differences in meaning between the Māori and English versions of the Treaty. Students gained a clearer understanding of what Te Tiriti/Treaty say and what this really means.
Coming to Waitangi was an important part of this group’s journey which included visits to Northern Wars battle sites such as Ruapekapeka.