12 September 2019
NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning that the teaching of Aotearoa's history in
schools will become compulsory in 2022.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart says the decision is long overdue.
“It is something we have been advocating for some time,” she says. “Our children need to know the true history of
Aotearoa if they are to grow up to be informed citizens.”
Ms Stuart says that there will need to be support for teachers if New Zealand history is to be taught successfully in
“It will be important that professional development is accessible to teachers and that appropriate resources are
available for teachers at all levels of the curriculum.”
NZEI Te Riu Roa's Matua Takawaenga, Laures Park, says that the announcement is “not before time.”
She says that some quality resources already exist and are already being used by some schools. She points to the
Ministry of Education resource, Te Takanga o te Wa, which the union has been promoting for some time.
“It is an excellent resource that gives teachers the opportunity to collaborate with local iwi and hapu in teaching the
stories and histories of their geographic location. Many schools have taken up this approach very easily and
successfully. As a result, tamariki have gained a deeper sense of their history and personal identity.”
Ms Park says that she hopes the Prime Minister’s announcement will result in Te Takanga o te Wa being picked up by more
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.