Ministry of Education calls for public's feedback on schools NZ History curriculum

The Ministry of Education has finished its draft of the new New Zealand history curriculum and is calling on the public for feedback.

The themes include the arrival of Māori, early colonial history, Treaty of Waitangi, the New Zealand wars and New Zealand's role in the Pacific.

In September 2019 the Government announced their plan to clarify that NZ history should be taught in all schools and kura from 2022.

Previously the national education curriculum allowed them to make their own decisions over how New Zealand history is covered, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it left too much to chance.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said over the past year the ministry has been working with educators and leaders to draft the content for Aotearoa New Zealand's Histories.

It was tested in select schools in Term 4 of 2020 and now they want to know what the public thinks of it.

"This year the Ministry is seeking input from all schools and kura and the public before the content is finalised."

From Wednesday, the public will be able to read the draft content and complete an online survey. It will run until May 31.

The content will then be taught in schools and kura in 2022 from entry-level in year 1 to year 10. From year 11, when students elect their subjects, it will be optional.

The seven themes the Government agreed to in 2019 were:

  • The Arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand
  • First encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and its history
  • Colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars
  • Evolving national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries
  • Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Pacific
  • Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 20th century and evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality.

Hipkins said he expects in the curriculum, students will learn about stories from across the country to "help students get a stronger sense of how the past has shaped who we are".

"In practice, learners across New Zealand will explore the stories that are unique to us. In Te Tai Tokerau, for example, I know people will be interested in learning about the battle that took place in Ruapekapeka during the Northern Wars in the 1800s," he said.

"In Waikato, ākonga may learn about the invasion of Waikato led by Governor George Grey and the implications this had for people living in the region...

"We want all New Zealanders to have their say on the draft content and we are hoping to hear from as many people as possible. I urge all New Zealanders who are interested in our history and kura to provide feedback."