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Travelling Treaty of Waitangi Exhibition Coming!

18 May 2005

Travelling Treaty of Waitangi Exhibition Coming to a Location Near You!

Te Papa’s Chief Executive Dr Seddon Bennington and Kaihautu Te Taru White, confirmed today that Te Papa, in partnership with Archives New Zealand and the National Library, will present a nationwide touring exhibition on the Treaty of Waitangi. The exhibition will tour to at least 35 locations around New Zealand beginning early in the new year in a semi-trailer which will be set up at local events such as A&P shows and regional field days and in shopping malls.

The exhibition will provide New Zealanders with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Treaty and will be complemented by a second phase of the existing Treaty of Waitangi website ( which will include additional information on the history of the Treaty.

Dr Seddon Bennington said that despite being mentioned in some of our most influential legislation and accepted by many New Zealanders, both Maori and Pakeha, as this country’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi remains a controversial and sometimes baffling topic for many people.

“Te Papa has hosted very successful public lectures and debates on aspects of the Treaty over the last few years and the response from the public has been overwhelming. There is huge interest out there in learning more about the Treaty’’ said Dr Bennington.

Te Taru White said today that the exhibition will be interactive, user-friendly and informal and is intended to educate, enlighten, entertain and encourage discussion about the Treaty in its historical and contemporary contexts for a broad audience. “The exhibition has had significant input from Te Papa’s Director of History, Dr Claudia Orange, who will have an on going role in its development.” Te Taru White said.

There will be four segments to the exhibition. The first segment will begin approximately 20 years before the Treaty was signed, and will discuss the events and processes that led to the Treaty’s creation both nationally and internationally. It will also highlight the creation of the Treaty and the events that took place in February 1840. The second segment will discuss the content of the Treaty and key differences between the Maori and English versions. The third segment will explore some of the contemporary issues that have stemmed from the Treaty. It will represent the differing opinions, conflicts, hopes and some of the ways that the Treaty has been applied in everyday life. The fourth and final segment will track some of the stories of individuals, families and tribes in the areas the exhibition will be travelling to.

Details of the touring schedule will be released later in the year.


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