< October 2021 newsletter

No real changes to the radical draft New Zealand ‘histories’ curriculum

A recently released report on the draft curriculum content for teaching New Zealand’s ‘histories’ in our schools points to a determination to continue down the path of foisting upon our children an ideologically driven lop-sided version of our history. This is despite much criticism about the lack of balance in the draft content from historians, educationalists, parents/family, and community members.

The Ministry of Education released the report after considering submissions made earlier this year. While we have yet to see the finalised curriculum, the report states that “There will not be any radical changes to the content and any additional content will be in line with what currently exists”.

Although the Ministry acknowledges calls in the submissions for more diverse and wide-ranging topics, it reaffirms that:

 “The draft curriculum content has been developed to reflect the significance of Māori histories in New Zealand and to honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and the partnership between the Crown and tangata whenua.


“Suggested changes that would contradict the aims of the New Zealand education system and the Crown’s obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi will not be acted upon”.

Despite several requests, (one such is available HERE), the public has been denied access to the written submissions. Instead, we are instructed to rely on an analysis of the submissions undertaken by the following organisations:

The report states that consultation shows general support for the history curriculum content. However, they also state that teachers were more positive about the content than other groups such as parents/family and community members. Maybe this less than positive feedback from parents/caregivers and the public is the reason the authors of the report have chosen to focus on the responses of five groupings i.e., students, teachers, Māori, Pasifika and Asian.

The report promotes six key messages:

  • There was general support for the history curriculum content. Most respondents provided supportive comments about the draft curriculum content, offering constructive feedback, and pointing to areas for further improvement;
  • People saw strong links between the history curriculum content and their identity, culture, and citizenship;
  • Schools will play a significant role in whether or not the implementation of the history curriculum content proves successful;
  • People were supportive of bringing Māori histories to the forefront of the history curriculum content alongside other histories
  • Partnering with hapū and iwi was seen as a significant step in the right direction, but resourcing and support is needed; and
  • People had differing views about the nature of history. “Those who believed in the idea that there is only one “true” version of history were overall less positive in their responses. Such responses often conveyed the sense that the history content must be “objective”, “unbiased”, and “accurate”.

The Ministry of Education is planning to release the finalised Te Takanga o Te Wā (Māori history), and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content this month. The final content will be considered by the Minister of Education and Cabinet before it is published and available for schools to use. Schools will begin including ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories’ in their local curricula for history during 2022, working in partnership with their communities to introduce local histories and contexts that are meaningful for their students”.

‘Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories’ marks the first step towards the changes in the respective curriculum documents. Over the next five years, the Ministry of Education is undertaking a revamp of the national curriculum which includes The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Mātauranga o Aotearoa. These changes include the intention to “honour our past and obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.


MoE: Reports on the consultation for the draft curriculum content are available here: Aotearoa New Zealand's histories and Te Takanga o te Wā – Education in New Zealand.

MoE: Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories: What you told us and how we’re responding

School News: Finalised Aotearoa New Zealand history curriculum nears

MoE media release: The Ministry of Education releases the public consultation documents and its feedback for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

You can access the draft curriculum at: Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in our national curriculum – Education in New Zealand

MoE: Refreshing The New Zealand Curriculum   Curriculum and assessment changes

Go back to the October 2021 newsletter


Start From Scratch: The New Zealand Histories Curriculum

Sean Plunket recently asked one of our top historians, Dr Paul Moon, Professor of History at Auckland University of Technology, for his view on the new history curriculum to be taught in New Zealand schools. His answer? Start from scratch. Continue reading

The 'decolonisation' of civics and citizenship education

“The definition of ‘civics’ must also be broader than simply liberal democratic notions premised on the idea of indivisible sovereignty. The definition must look beyond the existing constitutional arrangements and carefully incorporate Indigenous constitutionalisms and aspirations”  - NZPSA Civics Citizenship and Political Literacy in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Public Discussion Paper Continue reading

‘Māori-Crown Partnership’ features strongly in revamp of education system

During 2018 the Government announced a three-year work programme to bring about significant changes to New Zealand’s education system, from preschool to university. The reforms include a complete overhaul of the Ministry of Education, a review of Tomorrow’s Schools, and NCEA, and a programme of change for vocational education.  Continue reading

New history curriculum - thumbs down from some

The Government has recently released their draft New Zealand history curriculum, which has been circulated for public feedback. The main themes include the arrival of Māori, early colonial history, the Treaty of Waitangi, the New Zealand wars, and New Zealand's role in the Pacific. Continue reading

Te Hurihanganui - education or indoctrination?

The Ministry of Education is about to implement a programme to radically change our education system. True to the doctrine of a Treaty partnership, the Ministry has been working with Māori academics and educationalists to design a blueprint for a ‘transformative shift’ in the education of our children and grandchildren. Continue reading

New rules seek to impose Māori cultural values on all our children

With its significant boost to the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in schools, the Education and Training Bill is another instance of the insidious shift of power and authority in government agencies. This Bill will confer undue rights on Maori to influence the education of our children and young people.  Please do not let this Bill go unchallenged! Make a submission on this very important issue. Continue reading

More on our highly unsatisfactory new NZ history curriculum

Haka performed in front of the Ōhinemutu pā, which withstood the assault by Te Waharoa in 1836. PUBL-0014-53, Angas, George French, 1822–1886: War dance before the Pah of Oinemutu, near Rotorua Lake. J.W. Giles lith., 1847. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Following the comments we made last month about the inexplicable decision by the Ministry of Education not to release for public viewing submissions made on the proposed new history curriculum, look at what noted  historian Dr Paul Moon says about how the exercise was handled.  Continue reading

Another Media Council Fail

Recently a member sent a letter of complaint to Stuff regarding a comment made by Labour MP Arena Williams as guest columnist in newspapers published throughout New Zealand during February. The Williams commentary trotted out the oft-repeated lie about the Rangiaowhia affray - saying that “Colonel Nixon… was famous for razing unfortified Rangiaowhia while men, women and children burnt in their church.” The member writes:  “That would certainly be a callous act if it were true. But it is not.  Continue reading

The indoctrination of our children through fake history

Many of us have grave reservations about the content the new, soon-to-be-compulsory history curriculum. As political commentator Chris Trotter writes in Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story:  “If Maori nationalist historians can seize control of the new, soon-to-be-compulsory, history curriculum, then the necessary ideological preparations can be made for a radical constitutional transformation”. We have a right to expect a fair view of our history that it will be taught in a factual and unbiased manner. However, our hopes are already being dashed - the indoctrination of children through fake history is already being realised. Continue reading

Event to commemorate Governor Hobson

Auckland City Early Heritage Group seeks to revive the tradition of showing respect to the founder of Auckland and father of modern New Zealand, Governor William Hobson. This month marks 177 years since he died of stroke complications in the city he created. Today his remains are buried in Grafton Cemetery. Continue reading

Recommended reading

Navigators and Naturalists – French exploration of New Zealand and the South Seas (1769 - 1824), by Michael Lee. Married and Gone to New Zealand, edited by Alison Drummond. Anyone interested in the truth about NZ history should read these books. Continue reading