Order Paper and questions

Questions for oral answer

3. Schools—History Curriculum


3. TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki) to the Minister of Education: He aha ngā pūrongo, mēnā rā kua whiwhi i a ia ki te whakahē i tā te amorangi o te Kura Māori o te Whare Wānanga o Wikitoria, a Peter Adds, i kōrero nei, kei te taumaha te nohotahi o te iwi nātemea, kei te hē te aronga o te hītori e whakaakongia nei i rō kura; ā, hei tāna hoki, kāore te whakatikatika o te marautanga ina tata nei i paku whakatika i te tino raru; ā, he aha te kōrero o aua pūrongo?

[What reports, if any, has she received to dispute claims from the head of Victoria University’s school of Māori studies, Peter Adds, that the way New Zealand history is taught in schools is hurting race relations and that recent changes to the curriculum had not fixed the fundamental problem; and what was the content of those reports?]

Mr SPEAKER: I apologise to the member. I did not understand the member’s previous point of order. I did not realise he was asking whether he needed to read both versions, and he does not need to read both versions. I apologise for that. I thought the member was asking whether both versions needed to appear on the question sheet, so I do apologise to the honourable member. It is not necessary to read the question in English. Members will have heard the interpretation.

Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister of Education) : I have not received or asked for any reports on the comments referred to by the member.

Te Ururoa Flavell: Kia āwhina atu i te reo Pākehā, [To assist the English language] what implications does she see from the fact that New Zealanders have for generations received perhaps a one-sided view of the country’s history—from the Crown perspective—and are ill-equipped to understand why Māori feel the way they do, especially regarding the capacity of today’s decision makers to shape the long-term history of our nation?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: I cannot speak for the rights and wrongs of the education system in the past, but I think that it is important that in the New Zealand curriculum of today, through the social sciences learning areas, students explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society that derives from the Treaty of Waitangi. From my travels around the education system, I am satisfied that many schools are looking to give their students meaningful insights into local history, particularly the bicultural nature of our local history.

Te Ururoa Flavell: What efforts have been made to address the findings of two separate surveys—one conducted by the New Zealand history teachers association, and the other by academic Richard Manning—which indicated that Māori content was often sidestepped, and that that had major educational and political implications for Māori and for Aotearoa New Zealand?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: I am satisfied that the New Zealand curriculum encourages and facilitates the development of knowledge about our bicultural history, including the perspective of Māori. The New Zealand curriculum requires teachers of history to make professional decisions about resources and learning experiences to help students understand the impact today of past events. The curriculum also requires that teachers help students understand that there is a variety of perceptions and that they differ. Students need to know that one-sided views are not the whole story.