Topic: Land

Native Affairs - Kids Teach Us Māori History

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa

It’s an optional subject in New Zealand schools, but the history of the New Zealand Land Wars is rarely taught and many New Zealanders are not aware about the important events that shaped our country.

As part of a special report, Native Affairs reporters returned to their own tribes to film stories about the NZ Land Wars. Renee Kahukura-Iosefa returned to her old Waikato school of Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga, where she was taught the history about the New Zealand Land Wars, in particular the crowns invasion into Waikato Tainui.

She spoke to Year 12 students to see what they know about what took place and if they believed this history should be taught in schools throughout Aotearoa.

Te Wiwini Mahuta says, “By learning about what took place, you understand the sacrifice that was made men, women and children were killed. This is New Zealand history and it can’t be ignored and forgotten about.”

Taamia Harris says, “Waikato was not the only tribe to have their lands confiscated during the New Zealand Land Wars, tribes throughout the country also suffered. Students in New Zealand need to be educated about this history.”

Hemiona Nuku says, “The objective is learn and understand our own history, not just for our own sake as Māori, but for everyone, Chinese, Pākehā, and Indians alike. I encourage mainstream principals to take up the opportunity to teach this history.”

For more information here’s a link to online resources the Ministry of Education provides about the New Zealand Land Wars.