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New Treaty Book Speaks to All

29 October 2004

New Treaty Book Speaks to All

A new book from award-winning historian Claudia Orange is set to advance New Zealanders’ understanding of their history. An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi is launched on Monday 1 November by the Attorney-General, the Hon. Margaret Wilson, and the Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court, Judge Joe Williams.

Following from Claudia Orange’s influential The Treaty of Waitangi (Book of the Year Award in 1988), this is a clear, insightful account of the complexities surrounding the document that is shaping contemporary New Zealand society.

Treaty issues are hotly debated today, by both Maori and Pakeha. The book, which covers the Treaty’s history from 1769 right up to September 2004, includes an analysis of such recent issues as Don Brash’s Orewa speech, the 2004 hikoi, the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, and the formation of a new Maori political party.

‘Treaty issues have their origins in New Zealand’s past. An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi gives us information we need to understand today’s debates,’ says Bridget Williams, who has been publishing on the Treaty for many years.

Public interest in Treaty issues is high: the Treaty website put up by the government’s Treaty Information Unit had 1.8 million hits in its first eleven days of operation.

‘I believe many Pakeha think that once the Waitangi Tribunal has processed iwi claims, the Treaty will “go away”. It is not going to. More and more people are coming to understand the relevance of the Treaty to every aspect of our society,’ says Claudia Orange.

Launch: 5.30 p.m., Monday 1 November, at Archives New Zealand/Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga, 10 Mulgrave Street, Wellington.

ENDS

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