Every year on February 6th, we in New Zealand celebrate a national holiday to commemorate the 1840 signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The treaty itself is not a long document, only consisting of three clauses, but the interpretation of those clauses differs between the English language and te reo Māori versions and has led to disagreement and reparation between the signing parties: iwi and government.
Over time, laws in New Zealand have begun to refer to the ‘principles of the Treaty of Waitangi’, and no doubt if you work in a New Zealand school you will be bound by the school’s Treaty of Waitangi policy to act in accordance with these principles.
Do you know them?
If you are interested in reading more information on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, for yourself or for your students, I recommend ‘The Treaty’ by Marcia Stenson and ‘An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi’ by Claudia Orange.
What do the principles of the Treaty mean to you?