Concern over the coalition Government's agreement to 'restore balance' to the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum

The New Zealand History Teachers' Association has written to Education Minister Erica Stanford, asking for clarification on the coalition Government's agreement to "restore balance" to the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum.

Kaiārahi Craig Thornhill said the association believes the existing curriculum does have a good balance.

"It provides the teaching of histories for all New Zealanders, in a respectful manner," he said. "We're interested to see what the minister comes up with."

The association wrote to Education Minister Erica Stanford but hasn't received a response.

Stanford wasn't available for an on-camera interview but sent Newshub a statement saying "New Zealand has a rich history and an important duty to talk about the Treaty of Waitangi".

"We also have an important duty to ensure significant parts of New Zealand's history are taught in a consistent way across the country in a clear sequence, so that learning is not left to chance."

National and ACT have long criticised the syllabus for presenting a "narrow view".

However, there's concern about whether the teaching of Te Tiriti o Waitangi will still be prioritised with the changes.

"Knowing who we are and how we came to be who we are, can only come from us knowing and learning about our past," said historian Tom Roa. "And some of that past is really uncomfortable. But it's important."

Thornhill agreed, and said: "With recent events at Turangawaewae Marae and Waitangi, it's hard to really understand those events in full without understanding our past."

The Government said work hasn't begun on changing the history curriculum yet, and its first focus is on the English and maths curriculum, which a ministerial advisory group has started work on.