Waitangi Day Resources

Waitangi Day Resources

Waitangi Day is such an important day for New Zealand. It is also a hard subject to teach about and a big one to approach at the start of the school year!


What way do you go with it - there are so many angles!

  • A purely historic look at it - this can be a bit dry - how does it relate to the children in our class?

  • A look at the effects of the treaty - A Pandora's box!

  • A discussion about how awesome NZ is to live in, ignoring any actual discussion about the historic-ness!


ARGH! So much to think about! Great teaching opportunities BUT so few resources especially for primary school level!

In 2016 I went back to Teacher training to train in a different age range. One thing that I learnt more about were the three Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. I have been thinking about how this could be a different way to approach the Treaty in our classrooms. The principles are different to the 3 articles of the Treaty although some people like to assign each principle to a part of the Treaty. These principles were not articulated until the late 1980s. Here is my simplified version of the principles:


PARTNERSHIP: Māori and Pakeha work together. We value the taonga (treasures) each other bring to our country.

PROTECTION: The Treaty says it is very important to look after Māori knowledge, language and values.

PARTICIPATION: We need to ensure both Māori and Pakeha have equal opportunities in NZ.

These principles encompass a lot of things however I think we can help tamariki articulate them through different activities and in particular story. The following books have aspects of the principles in them however they may not directly address the Treaty - there is an overwhelming lack of books on the Treaty for children. Instead I suggest that these books be used as a starting point for discussion and for you to connect the Treaty to the theme e.g. in Elwyn's Dream, Elwyn protects the Takahe. The Takahe is a Taonga. What else is a Taonga?


NZ history website

A lesson around Waitangi Day

Global Kidz website

Waitangi Tribunal  resources




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