The Treaty of Waitangi is the central document that led to the establishment of New Zealand when representatives of the local Maori tribes and the British Government who had settled in the country signed it in 1840.
The treaty therefore holds an important position within New Zealand culture, and is a feature of all children’s education, with the Treaty House being the most visited historical location annually.
The signing of this document despite being of central importance to the genesis of modern New Zealand was not though without incident. The signed treaty – when translated between English and Maori languages can be seen to contain crucial differences, and this has led to continued discussion and some disagreements ever since.
He did recognise that some Maori had resentment about their place in the modern New Zealand but his belief was that rather than have a victim mentality that it was right that their community tried to work their way out of it.
‘We need to take responsibility for our actions. Stabilise our own situation and lay foundations for the next generation. Leave little legacies for others.’
Ngati Kawa was passionate about the opportunity for young Maori people in modern New Zealand and also shared with me his own experiences and thoughts on his own ambitions…