A fresh understanding on our past – the value of a Treaty of Waitangi workshop

Recently I attended a 2 day workshop on the Treaty of Waitangi presented by Robert Consedine author of  Healing our History: The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Healing Our History: The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi

The aim of the workshop was to touch on many topics and issues relating to the Treaty in an engaging and thought-provoking way. The content featured:

  • World history events relating to the impact of colonisation on Maori and Aboriginal people.
  • Facts and events from the signing of the Treaty and time surrounding it.
  • An in-depth look at the ongoing colonisation and suppression of the Maori people and culture.
  • Real life stories, facts and events of Maori people.
  • Political and social issues of our times such as the Waitangi tribunal and details of different claims.
  • Protest and the rejuvenation of Maori language and culture.
  • Parihaka
  • And much more…

The presenter asked us to put ourselves in the shoes of Maori people at the time of colonisation. “Imagine back to WWII and Japan has evaded New Zealand and is taking over. How would your life change?”

It was a great privilege to have the opportunity to take a balanced look at the history and current issues between Maori and Pakeha. I came away with a greater respect and understanding for Maori people. I, as a Pakeha, understand more of their suffering, their resilence and patience with reclaiming what has been lost.

Healing the past is a challenging and difficult process which is better supported by many more New Zealanders knowing the facts and stories of our past. I encourage anyone out there to follow any curiosity they may have and read the book or even better get yourself along to a workshop. Check out Robert’s work.

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