The Treaty of Waitangi, the Declaration of Independence and the Women’s Suffrage Petition have officially been moved to the National Library in Wellington.
At 4am this morning a Māori led ceremony was held in Wellington city and attended by over 500 hundred people guiding the documents a block away to their new home where they will be on display and more accessible to the public.
The Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne says, “It's been a long journey and it’s had its moments but it's actually come out remarkably well in the end.”
The ceremony was attended by over 500 people. Māori Advisor for the move Kura Moeahu says the move itself is a milestone for the relationship between both Māori and Pākeha.
Peter Dunne says, “One of the things that I've valued in this process is the partnership that we've established with iwi and I’ve said to them that even though the particular project might be coming to an end the partnership cannot end we've got to carry on.”
The move and exhibition cost $7.2 million of government funding and has been in motion for over two years. A Ngāpuhi contingent led the documents to the new space in honour of their role as kaitiaki of the Treaty
Sonny Tau says, “There is no problem with the treaty staying here because we don’t have the skills back home or the right space to house these documents and preserve them.”
Kura Moeahu says, “It’s easy. This is our land we are the ones who will look after it but the documents? They belong to the whole country.”
The new exhibition space will be opening on the 19th of May.