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Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories

New Zealand’s unique Treaty settlement process has done much to shape our modern identity and is driving significant changes in communities around the country. Yet many New Zealanders know little about Te Tiriti o Waitangi or Treaty settlements, and some question their validity. In partnership with other government agencies and iwi, we will be telling the stories of our Treaty settlements.

Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories is a new history project based in the Research and Publishing team at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Our first iwi story is being prepared in partnership with Ngāti Awa and will be released in 2018.

About the project

While much academic research has been undertaken, there is no comprehensive history of the Treaty settlement process that records the perspectives of all participants. And time is running out to gather first-hand the experiences of many of the key players in early Treaty settlements. This project will fill that gap and preserve those memories for future generations.

Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories will be a comprehensive bilingual account of the recent history of Treaty of Waitangi settlements. Its digital publications will present scholarly findings in an engaging style that will help New Zealanders reflect on these events.

Iwi and hapū are important research partners for this project and will be a rich source of compelling stories. We'll also commission research from leading historians, and our expert staff will collaborate with other ministries, research institutions, wananga and universities.

Through this project we will build on our established reputation for producing authoritative and accessible digital publications such as Te Ara, NZHistory and the 28th Māori Battalion website.

Developing audio-visual education resources

We have recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking to work collaboratively with a film production team to produce a broadcast quality audio-visual documentary of approximately 25 minutes in te reo Māori as part of the Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories project. This documentary is part of a suite of resources designed to develop a deeper understanding about the significance and relevance of the Treaty settlement process. The documentary will be published online by Manatū Taonga and made available to the Ministry of Education’s Māori medium hub of schools which are located throughout the country. The audience for the video is Year 8-10 students in Māori Medium schools.

The focus of this particular documentary will be the Ngāti Awa Treaty settlement story. Manatū Taonga and Ngāti Awa have been working in partnership to develop the Ngāti Awa Treaty settlement story and this documentary must align with the existing story structure.

For more information about the RFP, see the documents on the Government Electronic Tendering System: Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories: Ngāti Awa documentary (te reo Māori).

Get involved

Te Tai is a priority project for Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice – Tāhū o te Ture, the Ministry of Education – Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – Māori Language Commission.


Contact us for more information:

Dr Monty Soutar, Senior Māori Historian, 027 5100 234,

Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian, (04) 499 4229 ext 220,

Updated on 15th March 2018