Teaching New Zealand Wars History

Efforts to ensure more young New Zealanders learn the history of the New Zealand Wars at school stepped up recently, with Stuff launching a campaign to support this kaupapa. As an editorial announcing the campaign noted:

"Kiwi school kids can leave the education system knowing more about Tudor England than the New Zealand Wars.  This is a ridiculous situation and a sad indictment on our commitment to partnership under the Treaty."

The series of stories included some inspirational examples of schools which had taken up the challenge, including one Hamilton primary school. The New Zealand Wars, I explained in one interview for the series, could best be understood as a clash between two competing visions of what the Treaty of Waitangi represented.

I also spoke about this issue on TVNZ's Breakfast show. Over the past month or so I have been giving a series of talks in schools around the country on New Zealand Wars history, with more to come. I spoke about how young people have been engaging with this history with Dale Husband the other day. Students, I noted, really get why this history matters for them and their communities.


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