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Telling Te Tiriti o Waitangi’s untold stories

Ministers’ release: 20 November 2018

Aotearoa’s Treaty Settlement stories need to be told, recognised and remembered, says Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern.

Jacinda Arden at the launch of Te Tai in Whakatāne. Photo credit:

“Today’s launch of Te Tai Whakaea (Te Tai) means we’ll have increased access to these significant stories which capture the perspectives of various people involved in Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements,” Jacinda Ardern said, speaking at Ngāti Awa marae Te Mānuka Tūtahi. 

“Te Tai is a form of collective memory, providing a safe and enduring repository of knowledge so these stories, our stories, will never be forgotten.

“Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand, and are recognised internationally as a model for addressing past injustices. They are also an essential step towards restoring pride and vitality to many communities and are helping to shape our modern identity as a nation.

“Now we have Te Tai, an important kaupapa providing a digital platform to tell stories from the perspectives of all those involved. Drawing on accounts from historians, iwi members, academics, journalists and others to tell their accounts these stories are fully rounded, three-dimensional, and most importantly honest. 

“Using contemporary storytelling techniques, including immersive web stories, documentaries, and other educational resources Te Tai will be a valuable resource for all of us and particularly our young people.

“Today we take the next step in our nation’s journey as we launch the first of Te Tai’s iwi Treaty settlement stories, beginning with Bay of Plenty iwi Ngāti Awa. Appropriately today’s launch takes place in the wharenui Mataatua which was returned to Ngati Awa through the Treaty Settlement process. 

“My thanks to everyone involved, in particular Sir Hirini Mead, whose leadership and vision has been at the heart of Ngāti Awa’s treaty claim going back to 1980. I also acknowledge Dr Hohepa Mason, chairman of Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa whose organisation worked with Manatū Taonga to develop their story as a resource for all New Zealanders.

“Through this wealth of history and information about Treaty settlements we are able to reflect on how we got to where we are as a nation, and then continue to grow together, writing new stories and forging new relationships.

“In this way I hope we can continue to build a vibrant and connected culture for us all,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Te Tai Whakaea, a collaboration between Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, with iwi and hapū on their respective settlement stories, is being developed with the support of the Ministry of Education, Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Ministry of Justice. 

Updated on 20th November 2018