Should Māori history be compulsory in all NZ schools?

By Harata Brown

For years, the history pertaining to Captain Cook and Abel Tasman has been taught in NZ schools.

One Kura Kaupapa Māori educationalist says regardless of ethnicity, students will become more familiar with the indigenous stories of this land through the publication of Te Takanga o Te Wā.   

Hoani Waititi principal Rawiri Wright says, "It will assist with building positive relationships between Māori and non-Māori."

Mr Wright says Māori histories should be made compulsory in all schools from years 1-10. 

He says, "It can be an elective subject for years 11-13, perhaps an NCEA choice, but for those outside of that age group, deliver it them."

Wiremu Flavell, a teacher who produced a report to make cultural professional development compulsory for all NZ teachers when he was a member of the NZ Māori Youth Council, says the publication is great, but it will still be a challenge to make Te Takanga o Te Wā compulsory in mainstream primary schools. 

Mr Flavell says, "It's quite difficult as there are little resources to support teachers within those schools, but the MoE needs to continue to encourage them."

The publication, Te Takanga o Te Wā, is part of the Govt's $1.6mil investment to support and strengthen the teaching of Māori history.