No compulsory lessons of NZ Wars in schools

By Heta Gardiner

Education Minister Hekia Parata says it's up to each school in NZ to decide whether they want to teach the New Zealand Wars to students. It follows the Ministry of Education's refusal to include the New Zealand Wars in the national curriculum.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna principal Mark Bradley is disappointed by the Ministry's decision and says, “It's really really sad.”

Kanapu Rangitauira teaches history at the school and disagrees with the Ministry's decision, “I think all students in this country need to learn about that history.”

But according to the Minister of Education Hekia Parata the directive is clear, “In NZ, each school can choose what they teach and how they teach it.”

The Ministry's decision comes after a student-led petition called for more teaching in schools about the Land Wars of the 1800s. The petition wanted physical and online resources to be provided, as well as Learning Outcomes and Achievement Standards to be created for the topic.

“We've seen in years past how ill-informed our own Prime Minister is about our history,” says Bradley.

Te Kāea asked the minister why the NZ Wars lesson weren’t made compulsory and her response was, “That's not how the NZ curriculum works.”

The Ministry doesn't know how many schools teach the Land Wars but TKKM o Ngā Mokopuna will continue to teach this history to their students.