Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories – Part 1

This guide explores the foundational and key capabilities for engaging with the new curriculum content. It supports school leaders working with teachers to:

  • increase knowledge of national and local histories and grow critical inquiry skills
  • build productive partnerships with whānau, hapū, and iwi
  • review their social sciences teaching and learning programme for years 1–10 and start identifying ways to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Make sure that your plan for implementing Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories is part of your school’s long term strategic plans, including your annual plan and school charter. Your planning should also link to broader conversations about your school’s vision, values, and philosophy.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories poutama

How to use this self review tool

The stepped pattern of the poutama shows four stages that you can work through with teachers to understand, embed, and sustain Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in your local curriculum. Each stage has actions to help you find where your school currently is and identify next steps.

Important things to note

  • The suggested actions in the poutama are not exhaustive. Your school may identify additional actions to meet the needs and aspirations of your community.
  • Many of the activities within this guide relate to actions in the poutama. These are signposted.
  • Change takes time. Each school will be starting from a different point on their journey towards confidently and capably teaching Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories. Take a considered approach to this mahi and give it the time and attention needed to complete each part of the journey.
  • This guide focuses on the first two stages of the poutama. The second guide focuses on stage three. As your school moves toward embedding and sustaining Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, follow the actions in stage four of the poutama.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories poutama


Stage One

We are getting started, as we:

  • identify what we already know about Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and who our experts are (Activities: 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • improve knowledge of te reo and mātauranga Māori (Activities: 3)
  • know and connect with local whānau, hapū, and iwi (Activities: 3, 4)
  • connect with community networks to help us explore the historical significance of local places and people (Activities: 1, 3, 4, 5)
  • understand the what, why, when, and how of including Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in the social sciences learning area. (Activities: 1, 4, 5)

Stage Two

We are developing understandings and relationships, as we:

  • grow awareness of national and local histories using a broad range of sources and perspectives (Activities: 1, 2, 3)
  • develop our critical inquiry skills (Activities: 1, 2, 5)
  • recognise the links between current contexts/events and the past (Activities: 2)
  • grow productive and reciprocal partnerships for learning between our school and whānau, hapū, and iwi (Activities: 3, 4)
  • make use of Kāhui Ako/school networks to explore mutually beneficial opportunities (Activities: 3, 4)
  • take a closer look at the details of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in the social sciences learning area. (Activities: 5)

Stage Three

We are implementing Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, as we:

  • use it to design our local curriculum
  • support ongoing professional growth of our people
  • collaborate with students, parents, whānau, hapū, iwi, and communities to refresh our social sciences programme and implement Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories
  • reflect Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and use mātauranga Māori sources
  • design learning experiences to reflect the diverse histories and experiences of the peoples of Aotearoa
  • include national and local content that is relevant to all members of our school community
  • use the resources we have available – people, cultural heritage organisations, and local places.

Stage Four

We are embedding and sustaining Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, as we:

  • use it to review and refine our local curriculum
  • support ongoing professional growth of our people
  • grow enduring and reciprocal relationships with hapū and iwi
  • reflect on our programme regularly and collaboratively to ensure it continues to meet the needs and priorities of our community
  • offer students rich learning experiences across a range of contexts
  • use learning progressions and design assessment systems to know and show the development of students’ learning and critical inquiry skills.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in the curriculum

Why is our history important?

History is a continuous thread. Contemporary issues that influence our lives can often be linked to past events. People’s actions today shape history tomorrow.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories sits in the social sciences learning area of the curriculum and contributes to its purpose – for students to understand “how societies work and how (students) can participate and take action as critical, informed and responsible citizens”.

Young people who know about our national and local histories are able to succeed in today’s world.

  • When ākonga place themselves within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, they gain a deeper sense of who they are and how they and their ancestors came to be here.
  • To give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, students need to understand its history and the perspectives of the diverse people who keep the Treaty alive.
  • Learning about Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories helps students understand different perspectives and experiences, which grows empathy and builds connections between people.
  • The study of history helps ākonga develop critical thinking skills and become informed citizens.

quote“Our diversity is our strength, but only when we build connections to each other. We can move forward together, stronger when we understand the many paths our ancestors walked to bring us to today.”

Chris Hipkins, Education Minister


Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in social sciences

There have been strong calls through the Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga and wider public discussion to ensure that all ākonga in all schools learn how our histories have shaped our present day lives. 

The national curriculum has been updated to include Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in social sciences. The refreshed curriculum describes the big ideas, contexts, and critical thinking practices that all schools need to embed into teaching and learning.

This includes:

  • an understand, know, do framework that highlights the learning that every student should experience
  • important learning foregrounded in progress outcomes
  • clear requirements for national content that all young people need to know wherever they are learning – with room for local content.

The curriculum includes a strong focus on understanding the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society and recognising that Māori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Curriculum content also focuses on the diverse histories of the peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand.

There is scope for schools to use local contexts for learning, which include:

  • rohe and local contexts, as defined by whānau, hapū and iwi, with hapū, and iwi as the source of knowledge
  • historical contexts that are relevant to local communities
  • contexts chosen by students through inquiries into their local area.

Visit the Ministry of Education website for further information about the release of curriculum changes and professional support.

“The histories that make up a local curriculum should be meaningful to children that go to that school, and they should reflect the events and stories that sit within that school.”

Pauline Cleaver, Ministry of Education


Leading change

When your school is embarking on changes to teaching and learning, encourage everyone to be open to examining their current beliefs and practices and how these will support the changes.

A collaborative process of self review helps you probe into issues and establish focus areas. Building and sharing knowledge about teaching practices impacts positively on students’ learning. This knowledge can be used to review and refine your school’s strategic priorities.

In relation to teaching Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, you could work with teachers to:

  • explore the theories and principles that underpin the planned changes and new approaches
  • examine everyone’s reactions to these changes and approaches, and why they may be feeling this way
  • identify together how to most effectively trial and implement the changes.

For more information about self review, please see the collaborative inquiry tool in the Local Curriculum Design Toolkit.

Important things to note

  • People will be at different starting points in terms of both their understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and their readiness for change. Tailor a range of support to meet diverse needs.
  • Your school will already have history experts – they may be ākonga, kaiako, parents, support staff, or whānau. Recognise and empower your own people to help lead this mahi.
  • Preparing for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories may lead to difficult conversations in complex contexts. Consider how you can safely lead teachers into and out of open, authentic, and challenging conversations in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The Educational Leaders website offers guidance on engaging in “courageous conversations” with colleagues.

Increasing knowledge of histories and critical thinking

To support the implementation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in social sciences, school leaders and teachers need to increase their own knowledge of national and local histories.

A useful starting point is to consider and reflect on the following four big ideas for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories:

  • Māori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Colonisation and settlement have been central to Aotearoa New Zealand's histories for the past 200 years.
  • The course of Aotearoa New Zealand’s history has been shaped by the use of power.
  • Relationships and connections between people and across boundaries have shaped the course of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

As you learn about national and local histories with kaiako, use the big ideas as conceptual frameworks to make meaning, structure understandings, and establish connections. Understanding of the big ideas deepens through thinking critically about the past, interpreting stories about it, and growing your knowledge of national, rohe, and local contexts.

Draw on a rich range of history sources to learn about the past. Primary sources (for example, news articles, letters, photographs, paintings, interviews, and physical artefacts) provide original, first-hand, often unedited records of an event. Experts and resources in your community can be used to enrich your understanding of local histories.

Social Sciences Online links you to resources, supports, and information for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Māori History on TKI provides guidance on how to approach the teaching of Māori history. The resource Te Takanga o te Wā offers ideas for using different contexts, with emphasis on local history and building collaborative relationships with iwi and hapū.

Studying and teaching Māori history requires a base knowledge of te reo and mātauranga Māori. Identify the knowledge and skills of staff in this area and seek professional development where required. Kaiako might be interested in Te Ahu o te Reo Māori, a programme that develops teacher competency in te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and improved understanding of local narratives. 

Aspects of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories are confronting and may give rise to feelings of hurt, blame, loss, anger, and guilt. Create an emotionally safe environment where teachers can acknowledge and talk about their feelings. Keep a focus on workplace wellbeing as you engage in this mahi.

Critical inquiry

Learning about history requires thinking critically about historical events and considering why they still matter today.

As you work with teachers to learn about national and local histories, take time to explore and develop their critical thinking and inquiry skills. This table outlines outlines the curriculum inquiry practices for thinking critically about the past. The descriptors and focus questions can be used to guide and strengthen your thinking and inquiry processes.

Inquiry practice Descriptors Focus questions
Identifying and exploring historical relationships
  • sequence events, people, and changes
  • identify relationships between them
  • make connections to the present
  • What happened when?
  • How did key historical figures influence history and each other?
  • How do historical events relate to, or build on from each other?
  • How do historical events relate to life today?
  • How do people sequence their stories – what frame of reference do they use?
Identifying sources and perspectives
  • use a broad base of evidence
  • pay deliberate attention to mātauranga Māori sources
  • consider whose voices are missing
  • Who is telling the history and why?
  • Whose histories are being shared?
  • What mātauranga Māori sources have we used?
  • What evidence supports the history that is being told?
  • Whose histories and voices are missing?
  • How does having a wide range of perspectives deepen our understanding of histories?
Interpreting past experiences, decisions, and actions
  • take account of the values, attitudes, predicaments, and points of view of the time
  • make ethical judgements of what was right and wrong
  • What influenced decisions and actions of the past?
  • Who do I relate to and empathise with? And why?
  • Were the decisions and/or actions right or wrong and why do I think this?


“When we deny our history and pain, our history and pain own us. Historical healing involves gathering the pieces broken by historical trauma and stitching them back together in bold and beautiful intricate patterns of strength and resilience.”

Phoebe Davis (Ngāpuhi), Facilitator

Activity 1: Exploring Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

This activity is for school leaders and kaiako to increase their knowledge of significant events and people in Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Getting started (poutama stage 1)

As a staff, read this Press Release or watch this Te Karere newsclip to learn more about the inclusion of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in our national curriculum. Discuss what you already know about Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Developing understandings and relationships (poutama stage 2)

Watch a selection of episodes from the Aotearoa History Show, a 14 part web-series developed by Radio New Zealand. Teachers could watch all of the episodes together, or divide into groups and watch a selection of videos sharing back what they have learned.

Identify significant historical events, developments, and people from each video and plot them onto a shared timeline.

Select a historical event that happened in your region or that had an impact on people in your region. Work with your teachers to find out more about this event.

You could grow your awareness by:

  • researching online
  • engaging with whānau, community elders, and historians
  • visiting community museums, marae, libraries, and heritage organisations
  • exploring historical sites and buildings.

Encourage teachers to use the three inquiry practices for thinking critically about the past as they develop their knowledge.

School examples

Mercer School

In 2020 Mercer School held its first New Zealand history day to embrace the past. Principal Paula Faitala led a school wide focus on local histories following a challenge by Waikato Tainui.

Teachers and students have since learned that Mercer was named after a captain who was killed during the Waikato Invasion in 1863. The school has used a variety of resources to explore local histories including a book of students’ writing dating from the 1950s, the old Mercer jailhouse which sits within the school grounds, and former students who have shared stories of distinguished past pupils such as Princess Te Puia. Visit TVNZ news to find out more about Mercer School’s approach.

“Waikato Tainui were invited to our school to bless our school and I got challenged with the question, ‘Do you know about the land you’re standing on?’ and I said no. And as a principal, I didn’t think that was OK.”

Pauline Faitala, 2020

Hora Hora School

Ākonga from Hora Hora School walked in the forest above their school and found pathways and kumara pits dotted along the cliff tops forming a huge fortress. They wondered about the people who had lived there before and so began an inquiry to find out more. Students visited their local marae, where the kaumātua talked about the carvings and tukutuku panels. His kōrero helped students learn about local Māori history and gave them a rich understanding of how carvings and tukutuku panels can tell stories about the past.

Read about their discoveries on the Living Heritage website.

Resources for further exploration

Te Takanga o te Wā – Māori History Guidelines Year 1–8
Te Takanga o te Wā provides a framework to support the teaching and learning of Māori history.

Artefact 2
This TV series focuses on objects and taonga that relate to Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Activity 2: Reflecting on the processes and consequences of colonisation

This activity is for school leaders and kaiako to reflect on their awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand’s colonisation.

Getting started (poutama stage 1)

Revisit the following big idea for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories:

  • Colonisation and settlement have been central to Aotearoa New Zealand's histories for the past 200 years.

Ask teachers to identify what they already know about Aotearoa New Zealand’s colonisation and how their understandings relate to the big idea.

Developing understandings and relationships (poutama stage 2)

Work with teachers to develop deeper understandings about how colonisation and its consequences have been central to our history.

Watch the following two videos to hear Māori and Pakehā perspectives:

Give staff members time to reflect on the viewpoints and information in the videos. Ask them to consider which messages in the videos resonate the most for them and why. Encourage kaiako to think about:

  • their personal awareness and experiences of the impact of colonisation
  • the ongoing effects of colonisation.

Resources for further exploration

Land of the Long White Cloud
Watch the entire six-part series that tells the stories of Pākehā New Zealanders who are confronting our colonial past and present, 250 years after Cook’s arrival.

Land ownership
This animation shows major Crown land acquisitions since 1840, including confiscations after the New Zealand Wars and the peak of the Native Land Court era.

Productive partnerships with whānau, hapū, and iwi

Māori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa. Understanding and planning for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories requires schools to build productive and enduring partnerships with their local whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Through these partnerships, schools can give better effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as specified in the Education and Training Act 2020. Schools can also work towards the guiding principles and outcome domains of Ka Hikitia and the goals of Tau Mai te Reo.

There is no land in Aotearoa that does not connect to whānau, hapū, or iwi Māori. All schools in Aotearoa have an obligation to seek out, understand, and accurately teach the histories of tangata whenua to their students.

There are opportunities to:

  • invite whānau, hapū and iwi to share local tikanga and knowledge
  • include mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori sources in history learning
  • use place-based education to enable ākonga to better understand the events that have shaped their community.

Through this mahi, teachers can demonstrate a commitment to tangata whenuatanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership as described on page 18 of The Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.

A good place to start building productive partnerships is within your school. Māori students and their whānau may have expert knowledge and connections with iwi.

If you have no Māori whānau, or hapū and iwi connections at your school already, seek support and introductions to Māori communities through Kāhui Ako/school networks or talk with your regional Ministry of Education office.

For more guidance on working with Māori communities, please refer to Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, Hapū and Iwi. (Berryman, 2014)

Many of the activities in this guide involve working with Māori communities. Keep coming back to this section for advice and strategies to support the development of productive partnerships with whānau, hapū, and iwi.

To avoid overwhelming hapū and iwi with multiple requests for engagement, partner with other schools in your immediate area. There may be opportunities to work collaboratively with hapū and iwi to develop teaching resources for your community. Discuss together with hapū and iwi what histories are going to be told and how.

“There is an opportunity for a different curriculum, one based on strong relationships between schools and mana whenua, where the mana whenua, if properly resourced, can lead the process … it’s a liberating way of teaching and learning the full history of home, as told by the home people.”

Catherine Delahunty, 2020


Evidence based strategies for working with Māori communities

There are a number of evidence-based strategies that schools can use for building productive partnerships with Māori communities. In two separate interviews about home-school collaboration, Mere Berryman (2010) and Ted Glynn (2011) responded to questions about how schools should make connections to and engage with Māori whānau and communities. From these interviews, four common themes became apparent:

  1. Identify who you are
    When Māori whānau and community members are provided with opportunities to know who you are, they can determine their own connections with you. Seek opportunities to interact kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) and enable Māori communities to get to know who you are before finding out what it is that you do.

    “Māori communities want to know who I am not what I am. What do I bring to the whānau context, am I a parent, a grandparent, (an aunt, uncle, sister, brother), they want to connect at a personal level so that they can start to build some trust with me.” Mere Berryman, 2015
  2. Build relational trust
    Develop and maintain a partnership that is based on reciprocity and relational trust. Attend events within Māori communities so that you can strengthen connections. Have discussions on matters of real interest to build trust and establish shared obligations.

    “I liken a relationship with a rūnanga or a marae to a friendship – so when you’re friends with somebody at the beginning of your friendship, you generally wouldn’t ask for things from them. You would develop the friendship, you would visit one another, you would talk about who you were and where you came from and what things you love before you start putting your hand out and asking for things.” Melanie Taite-Pitama, 2017
  3. Listen to communities
    Listen respectfully to what whānau, hapū and/or iwi are saying and be prepared to follow the tikanga set. By listening to what is being said, you are showing commitment and willingness to take part in the process rather than attempting to define how communities will participate.

    “You learn more by being silent and listening than you do by speaking and the irony is that if you listen hard you find you can speak more.” Ted Glynn, 2015
  4. Respond accordingly
    Instead of approaching partnerships with a “this is what I want you to do” mentality, try “this is who I am; this is what I have to offer; how can we work together?” Be humble and patient in your offering and be guided by whānau, hapū, and iwi. What you are seeking and what Māori communities are prepared to give might not be the same thing.

    “Look before you leap, listen before you speak and put into the network before you take something out.” Ted Glynn, 2014

Koha atu, koha mai

Reciprocity is essential for building productive partnerships with Māori communities. As hapū and iwi share their knowledge and narratives with you, discuss and negotiate how you can give back.

Activity 3: Understanding local history through a mātauranga Māori lens

This activity is for school leaders and kaiako to explore the histories of tangata whenua and develop an understanding of what is unique about the place and the people their school is part of.

Getting started (poutama stage 1)

Work with teachers to explore the meaning of the terms whenua, tangata whenua, tūrangawaewae, and whakapapa. Understand that in the Māori world view, people’s connection to the land is hugely important. As a staff, walk outside your school buildings, place your bare feet on the ground and ask:

  • “How well do we know the rich history of the whenua on which we stand and the history of tangata whenua?”

Ask teachers to share their prior knowledge of local Māori history and ideas for building knowledge.

Developing understandings and relationships (poutama stage 2)

Discuss and develop a shared understanding of cultural narratives.

Use several staff meetings to carry out some or all of the following activities to uncover your school’s cultural narrative. Partner with whānau, hapū, iwi, local libraries, and museums for support. You could elect a representative from your Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako to liaise with Māori communities so they are not overwhelmed with multiple requests from individual schools.

  • Identify ancestors, historical figures, geographical and environmental features, places, and historical events that are unique to your school’s community. Include a focus on the people, places, land, and histories that matter to local hapū and iwi.
  • Explore the ways that tangata whenua have interacted over time with the land that surrounds your school, learning about traditional ways of life.
  • Go on a field trip to visit significant local landmarks or historical places – this is especially useful if you have kaiako who aren’t familiar with your local area.
  • Read or listen to Māori histories and narratives that connect people to the land and describe how the whenua around you was formed.
  • Find out what te reo Māori kupu (words), waiata (songs), and whakataukī (proverbs) are important to local people.
  • Develop a school pepehā that acknowledges your school’s cultural location and visit the places named in your pepehā.
  • Work out ways that you can reflect and express your cultural narrative in your school’s physical environment, curriculum, values, language, and kaupapa. The following three examples from Canterbury can be used for inspiration:
    Haeata Community Campus
    Rāwhiti School
    Sumner School

“A cultural narrative describes what is unique about the place and the people your educational setting is part of. In the New Zealand context, a cultural narrative recognises the histories of and by mana whenua (tribes who have territorial authority over land), their sacred places, their interactions with the land and their ways of being as a people.”

Ten Trends 2019 Cultural Narratives

“Get to know this place first, and then spread out into the world… This is my message to teachers and educators everywhere. We need to start where our feet are, but never let it stay there. That’s the beginning point only. Everything else moves out from that.”

Professor Wally Penetito


School examples

Whangārei Boys’ High School

The rebuild of Whangārei Boys’ High School has led to authentic engagement between the school and Ngāti Kahu ki Torongare and Te Parawhau. The school partnered with iwi to learn the histories of the land and ensure that its new buildings and grounds reflect narratives of historical occupation, place, flora, and fauna.

Examples of the school’s culturally informed design include:

  • the orientation of the school marae to give visitors a view of Parihaka Maunga, a sacred place for iwi
  • carved pou (pillars) in the school grounds that reference the school’s values and cultural diversity
  • Māori weaving patterns used on building facades that are relevant to the school and local weavers.

“We gave our lands to build a city that our mokopuna could grow and prosper in. Now to be asked to share our history of these lands with the school is really wonderful and so appreciated, I thought it would never happen. We have waited for over 130 years to be asked to share our history and stories of this land with the school.”

Te Parawhau Kuia, 2020

Sacred Heart Primary School, Petone

Ben Ngaia of Te Ātiawa, shared origin stories with staff, the Whānau Support Group, and the Board of Trustees at Sacred Heart School in Petone to enrich their understanding of iwi history, perspectives, and values. Ben’s kōrero covered many layers of Māori migration, settlement, and histories. Hearing these narratives was a game changer for the school.

The Whānau Support Group and staff developed their school pepehā with a strong sense of place, heightened by classes visiting the maunga and moana in their pepehā. The school continues to work towards a culturally located curriculum with students learning and retelling origin stories, developing knowledge of te reo and mātauranga Māori, researching place and street names, and continuing to develop relationships with iwi.

Resources for further exploration

Building relationships with whānau, hapū, and iwi
The Educational Leaders website supports school leaders to build enduring, reciprocal relationships with whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Knowing where you come from, knowing where you are going
On Māori History on TKI, Norma Sturley, Ngāti Whakaue koeke, talks about how important it is to know about stories from the past to help build confidence and an understanding about being Māori in the world today.

Reviewing your social sciences programme and identifying ways to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

Changes to our national curriculum have made Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories a stronger part of the social sciences learning area. Schools and communities can use the national framework to design their local curriculum.

School leaders and teachers need to review how they currently approach teaching and learning in social sciences and identify ways to incorporate histories content to strengthen students’ learning of contemporary topics.

As you work with kaiako to review your social sciences programme and plan for histories, use the following questions to guide your inquiry and facilitate discussions:

  • What content and conceptual understandings do we currently focus on in social sciences?
  • What histories and related conceptual understandings do we want our students to know?
  • What relationships and resources do we draw on to support teaching and learning in social sciences?
  • What relationships and resources will strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories?
  • How do we currently focus on students’ inquiry practices and how can these be enhanced?
  • How can learning in the social sciences be strengthened with knowledge of histories?

Rich community experiences strengthen your programmes. As part of your review look into your relationships for learning with your school community. Make use of your community’s resources and of connections with different organisations, groups, and service providers. Use the productive partnerships with whānau, hapū, and iwi strategies in this guide to support your development.

For more information on relationships for learning, please see the Local Curriculum Design Toolkit.

You will know you’re enabling relationships across your learning community when:

  • there is regular collaboration with whānau, hapū, iwi, and other important community groups
  • students have a say in the design of the local curriculum, particularly for contexts linked to their interests
  • your social sciences programme draws on community expertise, resources, and local contexts for learning
  • building community relationships is embedded in strategic and annual planning.

Activity 4: Resources in your community

This activity is for school leaders and kaiako to identify resources in their immediate area – people and places – to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories.

Getting started (poutama stage 1)

As a staff, brainstorm a list of people and places in the community that can support the development of histories in your social sciences programme. Send a newsletter or post to social media asking for parent and whānau input into the brainstorming process.

Start by looking inwards at the people who are in your school – kaiako, support staff, ākonga, parents, and whānau. Who are the experts?

Extend your view outwards to hapū, iwi, and other important community groups. Who could you collaborate with and what can you create together?

Identify relevant community services and organisations, such as libraries, museums, and historical associations, where you might find people to work with. Don’t forget to consider historical and sacred sites that exist in your towns and cities. Check A history of New Zealand in 100 places for heritage sites that are located near your school.

Developing understandings and relationships (poutama stage 2)

Look at your list of community resources and work through the following questions:

  • Which teachers use each resource/have contact with the resource?
  • How can you deepen existing relationships for learning and forge new ones?
  • Which resources do you think are critical to the success of histories teaching and learning – who do you need to be in contact with?
  • How can you collaborate with other schools in your area to invite hapū, iwi, and other important community groups to share their knowledge and resources?
  • Which history contexts and topics can be enhanced through local connections and places?
  • Who could help shape your vision and plan for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories?

Make a database of possible connections and allocate staff to investigate further. Add action points for enabling relationships for learning into your strategic and annual planning.

School example

Whanganui City College

Arapeta Latus, a student from Whanganui City College, visited Pākaitore which sparked his interest in learning about Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories. At this local historical site, Arapeta viewed a marble statue of Taitoko Keepa Te Rangihiwinui (Major Kemp), a famous Māori military leader of the time, who fought for the British. Arapeta studied Level 1 history to learn more about the Battle of Moutoa through the broader context of the New Zealand Wars. The sharing of local history by local people enriched his understandings.

Resources for further exploration

Broadening teachers’ perspectives
On Māori History on TKI, history teacher, Paul Enright, outlines the importance of teachers working with iwi and local communities to develop an understanding of local history.

“The big advantage to local history is that there’s, in terms of resources, there are so many that are readily available. Like I know that there are living ancestors of people who fought in that battle and there are people who still hold the medals that were awarded to famous leaders and fighters.”

Arapeta Latus

Activity 5: Connecting local histories to broader contexts

This activity is for school leaders and kaiako to develop an understanding of how local histories can be connected to national topics and big ideas.

Getting started (poutama stage 1)

Ask teachers to work in groups to discuss what they know about the history of the area surrounding your school. Encourage groups to think about historical events, people, settlements, buildings, and sacred sites that are relevant to different groups of people in your community.

Teachers may need extra time and opportunity to research local history to ensure that a rich range of events and people are considered.

Invite teachers to share their ideas with each other. Add local history to the shared timeline that you created in activity one.

Developing understandings and relationships (poutama stage 2)

As a staff, consider how local history can be connected to a broader national picture of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories. You could:

  • Examine the histories that are listed on your shared timeline and see if you can make links between local and national content.
  • Match local histories to national topics in the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories resources guide. For example, teachers in the Gisborne area might draw connections between the 1865 siege of Waerenga-a-Hika (local history) and the New Zealand Wars (part of a national context).
  • Read through the big ideas for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories (listed in this guide) and consider how these big ideas can be linked to, and explored through, local historical contexts.

Work with teachers, ākonga, whānau, and your community to decide which local content you will use to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories. Spend time growing your understandings of this local content using a range of sources and perspectives.