OUR COMMITMENT TO TE TIRITI O WAITANGI
We recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document of our nation.
(Education Council – Standards, 2017)
Signed in 1840 by leaders of hapū and the Crown, Te Tiriti o Waitangi affirmed Māori rights as tangata whenua and provided a place and a shape of governance for Pākehā in Aotearoa. Te Tiriti o Waitangi provided a basis for ongoing, peaceful power-sharing relationships between the first peoples and all others who would come in later years. Today Te Tiriti o Waitangi is seen as a commitment under which Māori and all other New Zealanders may live together in the spirit of honourable relationships, with the promise to take the best possible care of each other. This requires the injustices caused by colonisation to be addressed and all New Zealanders to engage in creating a positive future that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi. New Zealand is an increasingly multicultural nation, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi is inclusive of today’s new settlers. As with earlier immigrants, their ‘place to stand’ comes with an expectation that they will live here in a way that respects the commitments of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the position of Māori as tangata whenua. As teachers, we are committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we understand this has implications in all of our practice.