Sunday, June 20, 2021
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Commendation And Critique Of Draft History Curriculum

The Tāmaki
Treaty Workers’s submission
commends the emphasis on
developing critical citizenship in the draft History
curriculum, but warns against the education system’
perpetuation of colonising interpretations of Māori peoples
as well as historical events and processes.

Te Tiriti
and English versions

An example is such
interpretations is the draft curriculum’s persistent use
of the phrase “Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Treaty of
Waitangi”. This confuses and equates te Tiriti o Waitangi,
which was debated and signed by Māori at Waitangi in 1840
and elsewhere, with an English version by missionary Henry
Williams that Governments have and continue to use to
further colonise Māori.

The rangatira who signed te
Tiriti o Waitangi did not cede sovereignty to the British
Crown, as the Waitangi Tribunal concluded in Wai 1040 in
2014, in response to the Ngāpuhi Treaty claim; however, the
English version erroneously states that they did. Under the
international principle of contra proferentem, te
Tiriti has precedence over the English version. To equate te
Tiriti with the English version undermines critical

Implementation: Reliance on unfunded

TTW has two major concerns about how this
curriculum will be implemented. The first is its expectation
that hapū and iwi will share their histories with students
from schools in their rohe, without resourcing for such a
huge demand.

The Department of Education played a
central part in disrupting Māori peoples’ transmission of
their histories, with the result that many hapū and iwi are
struggling to ensure that their own people know these
histories. This task may be more important to some hapū
than responding to the information demands of

TTW believes that the Ministry must support
hapū to share their histories with their own people, before
schools start presenting their children with an apparently
official version. At the same time the Ministry must ensure
that any hapū or iwi who are unable or unwilling to engage
with schools are not marginalised or

Implementation: Potential aggressive
disagreement with the new curriculum

TTW’s second
concern is the likelihood that some students who share their
new history knowledge with their families will be met with
aggressive disagreement, and that such parental disagreement
will be vented onto schools.

It is the Ministry’s
responsibility to ensure that teachers, schools and students
are equipped for such situations, by providing appropriate
professional development, help, and other

Full submission text


Treaty Workers is a network of groups and individuals in
Tāmaki-makau-rau/ Auckland who affirm Te Tiriti o Waitangi
as the basis for the future of


© Scoop Media


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