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Waitangi Treaty Grounds CEO excited about the future of education in NZ

The Chief Executive of Aotearoa New Zealand’s first National Historic Landmark welcomes the announcement that New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura from 2022.

Greg McManus, CEO of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, says the move is not before time and is excited at the prospect of future generations of New Zealanders being more aware of their nation’s history.

“Two things always strike me about visitors to Waitangi. Firstly, a general lack of knowledge about the origins of our nation, especially in regards to the first settlement of Aotearoa by Polynesian voyagers and the later relationships between iwi Māori, the Crown and European settlers and, secondly, how keen people are for more knowledge when they are exposed to new ideas and histories for the first time.”

McManus says the new curriculum will be an ideal complement to the wide range of education programmes already offered at Waitangi, and will also encourage new programmes to be developed. “We are very interested in offering adult education opportunities as well as the school programmes we currently provide. I predict a huge increase in interest in learning about our history, similar to the demand for Te Reo Māori classes we are seeing throughout the country.”

He adds “it will be critical that all historical viewpoints are explored in the new curriculum. The history of Aotearoa New Zealand is complicated and rich and often contested. Our children deserve to be exposed to all that richness so they can develop their own ideas and viewpoints. It is very exciting!”

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds hosts more than 130,000 visitors a year, including nearly 10,000 school students on organised class trips. Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, opened in 2016, tells the story of the relationship between iwi Māori and the Crown from multiple perspectives. A new museum, commemorating the contribution of Māori to the New Zealand Armed Forces from 1840 to the present day, opens in February 2020.

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Photo credit: Students participating in Education programme at Waitangi Treaty Grounds

For more information contact Natalie Jarufe, Marketing Manager, Waitangi Treaty Grounds nataliejarufe@waitangi.org.nz      mobile 021 109 4339

www.waitangi.org.nz