Understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi


There are a few places remaining on our next public one day workshop in Te Whanganui-a-Tara on 29 February. Nau mai, haere mai.

Understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi – One day workshop
How can we understand Te Tiriti o Waitangi in today’s context, and how might we apply this understanding to our daily life? Find out about the history of Te Tiriti—why it was written, what it says, and how we got to be where we are today. Use this knowledge to help make sense of current politics and relationships and to explore where you stand.
WHEN: 9.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 29 February 2020.
WHERE: Community Law Wellington office (Level 8, 203 Willis Street)
COST: Is on a sliding scale
Register now.

Confronting colonisation

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Groundwork is part of a 7 part documentary series in which Pākehā consider their responsibility to confront and dismantle colonisation. One episode is being released each day this week on the NZ Herald website. The work responds to calls from Māori for Pākehā to educate Pākehā about colonisation and our Te Tiriti responsibilities.
Filmmaker Kathleen Winter hopes the series documentary will encourage Pākehā to “realise the impact they can make by speaking up and speaking out – especially to each other…and join those who are taking action against colonial structures of power.”
In this episode, I talk about inherited privilege and the lands my great-great grandfather “acquired” in Canterbury – lands that were part of the Canterbury Purchase.
There’s more of my writing on addressing colonisation and honouring Te Tiriti in State of the Pākehā Nation


Info and action

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To save 100 handouts this evening and to make it easier to access online sources we’ve just updated our resource list.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi info and action details key texts, website and media sources that are used to inform Groundwork workshops. There is a wealth of useful resources on Te Tiriti – this is a starting point not an exhaustive list. Accompanying the list are ideas of personal actions people might take in response to a Te Tiriti workshop.


Te Tiriti Talks – Te Whanganui a Tara

Opening of the Oruaiti Reserve in Seatoun

A series of talks to commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Te Whanganui a Tara on 29 April 1840

The story of Motu Kairangi – Morrie Love (Wellington Tenths Trust Chair)

12.30-1.15 pm, Rāhina/Monday 29 April

St Andrews On The Terrace (no 30)

The State of the Pākehā Nation – Jen Margaret (Pākehā)

5.30-6.30pm, Rātū / Tuesday  7 May

The Hall, St John’s In The City, Cnr Willis & Dixon Streets

Te Arawhiti – Māori/Crown Relations and Te Tiriti – Morgan Godfery (Te Pahipoto (Ngāti Awa), (Lalomano (Hāmoa)

5.30-6.30 pm, Rātū / Tuesday  14 May

The Hall, St John’s In The City, Cnr Willis & Dixon Streets (Entrance On Dixon St)

Hosted by Wellington City Libraries and Groundwork: Facilitating Change


The State of the Pākehā Nation

SoPN Poster

You may have seen a photo of this poster circulating on Facebook recently. I’m not sure of the origin of the poster but if you are interested in the context for this quote it is from the State of the Pākehā Nation essay which explores the necessity to unravel privilege, racism and colonisation, and suggests ways in which Pākehā might work to do so.

It’s here to read to read/hear and share.
State of the Pākehā Nation (PDF) and Podcast


Te Rā o Waitangi

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Waitangi Day, an annual opportunity to reflect, assess, discuss and debate where things are at with honouring the agreement made between the Crown and hapū on 6 February 1840.

You’ve probably got plans in place for the day but perhaps they’re not meeting your drive to fully embrace what Waitangi Day is all about? Or maybe you’re feeling hōhā with the limited understandings of Te Tiriti that are being presented in some media (though here’s an good exception)? Or you’re keen to see the dial shift in Te Tiriti relationships and are wondering about actions you can take to contribute?

It’s clear that we’re a long way from being a Te Tiriti honouring society. While there are a multitude of actions needed to bring about a Te Tiriti honouring society, a simple action any of us can undertake is to build our understanding of: the context for Te Tiriti; what it says; the on-going process and impacts of colonisation; and how Te Tiriti can be honoured.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already undertaken some of that learning and you may well have been one of the many people who have been frustrated at only having had the opportunity to access this core knowledge as an adult. So here are some ideas for actions you can take to support the next generations in getting some of this learning earlier in their lives.

If you have connections with an early childhood or school community, ask teachers, the principal and/or the board how they are incorporating NZ history into the curriculum.
If they seem unsure why they might need to do so, you might suggest one of these Treaty and Education workshops.
If governance wants to understand their role then direct them to these resources for school boards.
If the school is keen but needs teaching resources here’s a comprehensive resource designed for teachers.

Regardless of whether you have links to a school, you can support this petition from the NZ History Teachers’ Association to have colonial history taught in schools (learn more about the background to this here).

If you’re wanting to learn more about Te Tiriti yourself, or to encourage others to do so, then check out these suggested readings and upcoming public workshops.

Aside from signing the petition, these actions can be taken on any day not just 6 February. Waitangi Day can provide the momentum to get the ball rolling for change in the year ahead.

Ki te hoe e hoa mā!

Independence Day

“… you can’t understand what the rangatira were doing with the Treaty without looking to the Declaration as well. The British Crown wasn’t bestowing tino rangatiratanga, nor were the rangatira creating tino rangatiratanga as something completely new. Rather, many rangatira were simply reaffirming what they’d done five years earlier.”
Morgan Godfery in conversation with Carwyn Jones and Claudia Orange

On 28 October 1835 rangatira in the north, along with British representatives gathered to sign He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence). It’s a foundational document for this country and critical to understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Moana Jackson’s clear and informative kōrero, and Vincent O’Malley’s accessible account provide valuable starting points for understanding the context in which He Whakaputanga arose and it’s enduring significance.

Earlier this year historian Claudia Orange and political writer Morgan Godfery discussed He Whakaputanga with Victoria University law lecturer Carwyn Jones. Kennedy Warne’s edited record of the discussion, He Whakaputanga: Partnership and power sharing is another engrossing read. Where He Whakaputanga sits in political discourse and constitutional history is to the fore in this discussion as Orange and Godfery note “its partnership with Te Tiriti.” Implications for collective Māori action, and the different understandings of kāwanatanga / governorship over time offer useful insight into He Whakaputanga’s role today and in the past.

He Whakaputanga is housed at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa as part of the permanent and award winning He Tohu exhibition. It can also be explored online.

Images: Cover of Ngāpuhi Speaks – independent report on the Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu Claim
and He Whakaputanga The Declaration of Independence, 1835