Read our submission to the Ministry of Education on Aotearoa New Zealand's Histories in the New Zealand Curriculum (draft for consultation).
New Zealand's history is much more complex than can be explained by arguments about the exercise and expression of power. It involves a spirit of community and shared values, reinforced by our small size and geographic location. It has been shaped by both bold and foolhardy political leadership. It has been buffed and buffeted by world events, including two world wars and periodic global financial shocks. It has been forged on the sports field, in the science lab and elsewhere by great New Zealanders performing on the global stage. And it has been enriched by immigration and multiculturalism.
At significant times in New Zealand's history, relations between Māori and Pākehā have involved a profound struggle for power. But for all its chequered past, New Zealand's history has been shaped not just by conflict but by consensus and by a sense of common humanity.
The draft for consultation falls so far short of capturing this sense of humanity that it should be rejected, and the drafters asked to start again.
Download the PDF to read the submission in full.