The importance of the Treaty of Waitangi Principle

This year, more than ever before, I’ve been going back to the original documents that underpin our curriculum. Like the New Zealand Curriculum document, the LPFs (Learning Progressions Framework) and the PaCT tool. We have key principles and values that should drive all that we do in our classes. One of the principles, foundational to curriculum design, is adherence to the Treaty of Waitangi. As the NZC states: The curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. It surprises me when teachers and school leaders still quote their low statistics of Māori students in their school, and therefore feel that cultural awareness is of more importance than te reo and tikanga Māori. The way I see it, based on what our curriculum says, all New Zealanders should prioritise tikanga and te reo first. And then look at cultural diversity, in that order.

I feel very fortunate to have Trevor studying Māori because he practises his kupu at home, which means that both my knowledge and confidence has improved. Never at his level, but certainly this has broadened my knowledge. In addition, our Orewa Kāhui Ako has Māori as one of the four focus areas. This helps with the priority to:

acknowledge the Treaty of Waitangi principles

acknowledge our nation’s bicultural foundations

enable students to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

I created the following posters to distribute to our community. The more we have our kupu up on our walls, the more we feel comfortable using the language in our everyday environment. In this way we can strive to be more bicultural, and then look further at our understanding of all cultures.

2 Replies to “The importance of the Treaty of Waitangi Principle”

  1. very confronting thinking Linda! thanks for raising all our awareness’ and for the way you make your connections to the MNZ and Te Tiriti so clear.
    kia kaha, Alastair

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