Yes, but….

Yesterday – no doubt with Waitangi Day in view –  the history teachers’ association was out with a call (even a petition) for the compulsory teaching of New Zealand history in schools.   You might suppose this was a job creation scheme for history teachers, but I’m happy to grant that that won’t be the only motivation behind the association’s call.

You might suppose that history teachers –  in particular –  might be interested in the entire story of our country, ancient and modern.  And yet, oddly, the “Petition Reason” seems only interested in one brief period.

Too few New Zealanders have a sound understanding of what brought the Crown and Māori together in the 1840 Treaty, or of how the relationship played out over the following decades. We believe it is a basic right of all to learn this at school

As it happens, in principle I strongly favour the teaching of New Zealand history in our schools.  I find it utterly astonishing how little  of the story of our country –  and what little there is (ANZAC Day, Waitangi Day) typically wrenched from context –  and of our people and cultures is taught in our schools.  As I recall, I got through the whole of school with no New Zealand history, other than one School Certificate history unit on the New Zealand and US welfare system.   From what three children wending their way through the school system tell me, it doesn’t seem much different now, unless one chooses to do history in years 11-13 (a pretty small minority), but where apparently it is now only permitted to study history with “implications for New Zealand”.  No man an island and all that, so I’m happy to argue all human history (and certainly western history) has implications for who we are today, but I don’t think that is quite what the history teachers or the Ministry of Education have in mind.  I don’t know much about how it is done in other countries, but I’m struck by my daughter’s English penfriends who tell about studying specific history courses at around ages 10 to 12.  There is so much about New Zealand, New Zealanders, and our interaction with the rest of western history, that could –  and ideally should –  be taught.

Of course, the whole philosophy of many of our “educators” is opposed to learning facts, let alone placing them in a coherent narrative.  How vividly I recall the activist principal of our local primary school telling a group of parents of new entrants that the school tried not to teach facts, as nothing specific they taught now would be any use fifteen or twenty years hence.  Any serious teaching of history –  not isolated tiny NCEA standards –  would fly in the face of that sort of mentality.

I’d almost go as far as the history teachers in calling it a “basic right” for children to be educated in where our country today has come from.  We don’t invent ourselves anew with each new generation, but as individuals and societies we are formed –  and informed –  by what came before us.  That is so even when many want to turn their backs on much of their origins.  Origins they still are.  And choices made yesterday affect institutions (broadly defined) today.

And what counts as history doesn’t simply begin at Paihia in 1840 (or even the few years just prior to that).   So, in principle, I would strongly favour teaching (say) 1000 years of history, introduced from new entrants and expanded as the capacity of the children to make sense of the material grows.    Look back to the first human settlement of New Zealand, and to (say, and inevitably arbitrarily) the Norman Conquest and subsequent British (and European) history.  Tell the stories, establish a sense of the flow, cover (inevitably a bit lightly for most) the politics, the religion, the key figures, the way in which governments developed.   For New Zealand, I’d tell the more recent story partly in a cross-country comparative sense –  New Zealand vs (say) Australia, Ireland, Canada, Newfoundland, or even Fiji and South Africa.  As it is, smart historically-oriented children probably know more about British Prime Ministers and US Presidents than they do about those who’ve directly led and shaped our own country.        One can, of course, mount an argument that those big countries were “more important”, and I wouldn’t really disagree, but New Zealand history is our history.  Depriving our kids of serious exposure to New Zealand history is akin to depriving them of any knowledge of their great-grandparents.

My son’s year 12 history teacher told the class yesterday that he didn’t support the history teachers’ association call, because kids typically weren’t interested in New Zealand history and there was no point teaching stuff kids weren’t interested in.  Frankly, that seems like an abdication of responsibility –  most kids aren’t that interested in maths and yet we give them no choice about learning it.  And it is also something of a vote of no-confidence in teachers: sure, most kids probably won’t be that interested in New Zealand history at 15 if they’ve never learned any previously (I wasn’t then), but if you start early and introduce key figures, key stories, in age-appropriate ways I’m reluctant to believe that kids will have no interest.  But even if they still claimed no interest, they need to know where we’ve come from.  After all, in a very few years each of them will be eligible voters.

What I found most interesting in the articles yesterday was where the pushback from teaching history was coming from.

But the associate minister of education and minister of Crown Māori relations, Kelvin Davis, was quick to quash any impression the government might make the topic compulsory.

Davis was formerly a teacher, so one might have thought he’d favour making New Zealand history, including New Zealand’s place in the world, an integral part of what schools teach.   It is the sort of subject that probably matters even more for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who aren’t as likely to go digging themselves, or to be introduced to some structured narrative of New Zealand from home.

But supportive as I am in principle of a much more central role for history –  New Zealand history –  in what is taught in schools, what leaves me rather more ambivalent (“yes, but….”)  is the sort of people who would be teaching our history, and/or designing any curriculum.      Few of them seem to see New Zealand history as something to celebrate (I’m going to be fascinated to see how our Prime Minister treats the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first visit), and there is a strong theme of shame –  the “black armband” approach to history –  combined with some agenda for how these people think society should be organised now or what role (say) the Treaty of Waitangi should play.  There is little sense of handing down the traditions and insights that made us who we are –  the sense that any society stands on the shoulders of those who went before –  and little interest in the past for its own sake (understanding, for example, why people believed and acted as they did), only as subject for judgement or grist to the mill in current political contests.   And I guess that is why the government resists the idea of making the teaching of history compulsory: they sense that many parents probably really aren’t keen on ill-educated indoctrination.

Give parents effective choice over schools –  proper and full funding for independent schools –  and I’d be a lot keener on translating support in principle for some serious structured teaching of New Zealand history (ups and down, successes and failures, and so on) into something worth implementing, in ways that might usefully amount to more than (often unwitting –  most teachers know no better) indoctrination.

There was a quote from G K Chesterton in an article I was reading yesterday (in the Australian periodical Quadrant)

The trouble with too many of our modern schools is that the State, being controlled so specially by the few, allows cranks and experiments to go straight to the schoolroom when they never have passed through the parliament, the public house, the private house, the church, or the marketplace. Obviously it ought to be the oldest things that are taught to the youngest people; the assured and experienced truths that are put first to the baby. But in a school today the baby has to submit to a system that is younger than himself.  the flopping infant of four actually has more experience and has weathered the world longer than the dogma to which he is made to submit.  Many a school boasts of having the latest ideas in education, when it has not even the first idea; for the first idea is that even innocence, divine as it is, may learn something from experience.

Dated as the wording may be, the ideas seem apt nonetheless.

And there is an interesting new article in Foreign Affairs by Harvard historian Jill Lepore on “Why a Nation Needs a National Story”.   I’m ambivalent about, or even unsympathetic to, where she gets to –  she wouldn’t quite put it like this, but it amounts to history as indoctrination/shaping –   but I was quite taken with this line

“Writing national history creates plenty of problems. But not writing national history creates more problems, and those problems are worse.”

We owe it to our kids to form them in where we (they) have come from.   Only when given a decent base of knowledge can they intelligently challenge interpretations and reach useful views as to what from history should be taken forward and what left behind.  Whether agents of the state, imbibing radical agendas often upending that heritage, can be trusted to do that job is quite another question altogether.

44 thoughts on “Yes, but….

    • The founding of NZ reside in the Constitution of Australia which New Zealand largely wrote and was considered at the time as a founding member and still exist in the Constitution of Australia as a state of Australia. The Treaty of Waitangi was a British colonial document signed by the British crown and Maori as British subjects but was never signed by New Zealanders who existed at the time.


      • Hobson had been informed that New Zealand Company settlers had arrived at Port Nicholson, were laying out town sites, and flying the national flag of independent New Zealand. Responding to an act of independence by the settlers’ Council, Hobson hurriedly drafted proclamations asserting British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand. Soldiers were sent to Port Nicholson and disbanded the settlers’ Council and the offending flags struck down.


  1. This reminds me of something I read years ago. When in the UK they sent school pupils to Germany who had had several years of studying the language they returned with a better understanding of Germany but when they tried sending younger pupils with less knowledge of German they returned with stereotypes reinforced (humourless, fat beer drinkers, etc).

    If NZ history is taught to fairly bright kids for say five years minimum then it will do good – which is not to say they will all agree but the disagreements will be informed. I am concerned about the initial simplified introduction to NZ history that all children should be getting just as basic general knowledge. This does not need to be boring [“”because kids typically weren’t interested in New Zealand history and there was no point teaching stuff kids weren’t interested in””]. Leave out texts such as the treaty other than to say it is still a source of confusion and tackle the fighting and the navigating and the extinct fauna. Both Maori and English have much to be proud of in their history; for example they were both quite exceptional navigators.

    Like you I would be worried that some teachers politics would influence their teaching but on the other hand at my last U3A lecture on ‘the History of Western Society’ (next lecture is about Adam Smith) I turned to the elderly man next to me and asked him what he had done before he retired. His reply “I was a history teacher all my working life”. While NZ has people like that we will be OK.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have no issues about teaching the Treaty. It is an elegant and simple document despite the baggage that comes with it these days. It comprises a cession of sovereignty to the Crown; a guarantee of property rights by the Crown; and the establishment of equal civil and political rights for all as British subjects. Ardern has been exposed as having no knowledge of the Treaty’s articles. She said however she knew the ” principles” which in fact only exist in Geoffrey Palmer’s imagination as they have never been written down She is a fraud.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Property rights in NZ was written by the Australian New South Wales government who set up the original NZ government. Our property law and rights follow the Torrens system which has its origins in New South Wakes and not from the British Crown which had a Deeds system at the time.


      • The treaty was a hastily written document largely found unworkable within the first couple of years due to the New Zealand government finding the conflict between cession of sovereignty to the Crown and Maori believing they continue to have self governing rights. In NZ there is 3 types of land ownership. Maori land is administered by the Maori Land Court, Crown land that is owned by the crown and private land ownership that is administered under LINZ.

        The Treaty only recognises Crown land ownership and does not actually recognise private ownership of land which is increasingly a threat to privately owned land.


      • I don’t believe the sovereignty bit. Ipsos say the reason people voted for Trump is nativism in times oF high migration and demographic tipping points . If so why would Maori be such a pushover?


  2. If you really want to know how various people, including teachers will approach the 250th anniverary of Cook’s first visit here then examine the latest copy of New Zealand Geographic – use the library or stand and read the editorial in a bookshop-for heaven’s sake don’t put money into the outfit and encourage them. It says that for Maori it was great disaster and even details of how there has been a petition launched to send to the United Nations to try to prevent the NZ Government from support it with money.
    Perhaps even more worrying is to examine the history of the Rangiaowhai incident which was taught in a NZ Secondary School as being a massacre that happened during the Land Wars in the Waikato. It was alledged that on 20th February, 1864 elements of the British forces in this country herded 100 unarmed Maori into a church in the settlement of Rangiaowhai and set it on fire buring to death all inside.
    Of course it never happened and is easy to check as all churches in the settlement were still standing after the incident. The details are easy to check using Papers Past and all the main references including James Cowan. However this ‘incident’ has been used and expanded to form the foundation for the Land wars day.
    I invite you to check my details and if this doesn’t cause you to question the teaching of NZ history I can’t think what would.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Land Wars was more to do with disputes over private ownership of land which the Treaty of Waitangi signed by Maori never recognised. Maori only recognised crown ownership but never agreed to the crown on selling the land for settlers to own and reside on that land.


      • Many Taranaki Māori opposed land sales, and fighting began in 1860 over a disputed land purchase at Waitara. The British army and Pākehā settlers fought local Maori.

        The NZ government wanted to punish the Waikato Kings followers who had fought in Taranaki, and to make Waikato land available to settlers.

        Māori prophetic movements emerged to resist land loss.

        Ngā Ruahine leader Riwha Tītokowaru wanted to defend Māori land in South Taranaki as settlers moved onto confiscated land.


      • faffinz – I’m sorry that you have no idea of the whole story even though it was the subject of a speech on Waitangi Day -I think in 2015 by Dame Susan Devoy as the Race Relations Concillator. In 2014 on a school trip three students from Otorohanga College, Rhiannon Magee, Tai Jones and Leah Bell heard the story about the ‘massacre’ and started a petition for a Land Wars Day. Even though great doubt was cast on the story they found since it is obvious as you pointed out that only about seven people died-almost certainly as their thatched hut caught fire, their teachers stated that without a doubt that the massacre happened and as I said Susan Devoy made a speech about it. Further the principal of the College stated something to the effect that ‘there are many truths’.
        Since then it has been restated many times that there was massacre and as you will know if you follow TOW hearings at all the fact that it is Maori oral history means that it is accepted before any written history.
        The whole Land Wars Day which has government approval is in fact based on this one lie.
        I am sure that you can quite easily do your own research and find out if what I say is true or not. I have the newspaper cuttings and printed material in front of me now.
        Be interested to hear from you.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Interesting example of how history reflects how we see society today. I have no knowledge of the incident you write about (I’m rather embarassingly ignorant of the details of NZ colonial history) but what this story whether true or false tells us about today is:
        (a) people can kill one another especially if we have them labelled into different cultures – it is shown on TV everyday in foreign countries – so we can conceive it happening in the past in NZ and
        (b) we no longer think of churches as being holy places.

        It is this latter element that leaves me on balance believing Roger Strong’s assertion. If the story had been burning Maori in a barn I would have found it far more believeable. I simply don’t think typical people of that time would deliberately burn a church building. It was a time of faith for both Maori and settler.

        However this is a fact that should be fairly easy to establish unlike the question “was Napoleon good or bad for France” which was answered by a wise Chinese politician with “it is too soon to know”.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Someone here has already mentioned James Belich but he didn’t speak Maori and was writing many years removed from the events whereas people like James Cowan spoke fluent Maori and interviewed the people while they still had the memories of the actual events -indeed a letter from my great-grandfather is in the back of volume 2 of Cowan’s history of the land wars.
        And yet Belich is often quoted as dismissing historians like Cowan because ‘ they were just Victorians and spoke with Victorian voices’. – As if they could speak in any other way! Or have any other values.
        What we are faced with today and I tried to highlight, is a large group of Maori who say nothing written can be trusted and oral history passed down in their tradition is far more accurate.
        Typical of this is the number (most Maori I assume) who say that all land was stolen from Maori. Only is a very few areas was land confiscated and then largely returned but in huge areas such as the South Island the land was all sold-the documents to prove that still exist.
        Our history is in real trouble if this attitude is prevalent and what chance that it is taught fairly?!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I think kiwis who grew up in a certain time like I was at school in the 80s were exposed to a bit of it at school. But if you had kiwi grandparents like me I would chat for hours about it with my grandfather and learned a lot. As the population heads to a non anglo first generation population with no roots here the agencies of the state have a receipe for social engineering. At school kiwi history was more centred around explorers and famous ship wrecks etc which has actually been removed now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Coincidently, Waitangi day holiday ties in nicely with the Chinese New Year. Makes it an opportune time for Chinese to travel to NZ for their Chinese New Year celebrations.


  4. “X should be made compulsory” comes up quite frequently in politics. The usual rejoinder is “what are you going to drop to fit it in” is a reasonably effective rejoinder. That said, NZ history can be fascinating; I think Belich is a really good writer, and some local histories eg Te Hekenga, contain some great stories that kids would love.


    • Yes, I often use the “and what would you drop?” line myself. In this case at least I know that I would favour teaching history (incl NZ history in particular) over teaching Maori language. Nothing wrong with the latter for those interested, but history shapes the present for us all – and those who learn none of it will leave it to the motivated to use/abuse it for their own purposes. Digital technology – that I think the Nats made compulsory late in their term – could also go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure how they do it nowdays, but it could easily have been slotted in as a social studies unit instead of something like “Victorian England” when I was at school.


    • Anyone making anything compulsory assumes they know what is best for others. So tentatively I’ll assert reading must have the highest priority. Once you can read you have the opportunity to be free to try learning anything.

      History if well taught is very important for brain development. My brother-in-law who lectured in accountancy told me that they had investigated the educational background that best predicted high ability at accountancy and discovered it was not aptitude at maths but aptitude at history was the best predictor. The theory being study of history requires sifting evidence and identifying what is significant.


  5. I see the black caps had Aoteroa on there playing kit. I’m not necessarily opposed to that as it was a gesture. However I really fo believe there will be efforts to make it the only name of this country.

    There were citizenship ceremonies all over nz yesterday. On stuff and tv it showed the 3rd world becoming nz citizens. They used the term new kiwis but I find it offensive as a kiwi supports nz above all others. These migrants have strong in group preferences. Last night most nz citizens at the cricket were supporting India on mass. This country is finished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Watch out for all the new mosques and halal restaurants that the government will be building in the 5 rural provincial towns that will be receiving our new 1500 muslim refugees and to make our new visitors fell welcome and comfortable.


  6. As someone with a degree in history I think history is important to know. Being able to see history repeat itself is fascinating, but also depressing. However, also as a history major (who studied under Belich), I am aware of the problem of interpretation, and the issue, as you pointed out Michael, of things being taken out of context. I hold with Brash, in that it is just as important to study pre-Treaty New Zealand history (say, from Cook to 1839) as it is the New Zealand Wars and the 20th century. The key is good teachers, who understand the whole and can link the past to the meddle past to the present.

    Being as I am of the view that the school system will be detrimental to my children, my children are being home schooled. Our year 1+2 curriculum deals with world cultures and and overview of world history, which is a good place to start. I’m looking forward to the coming years where we can give them insight into where our culture originates, our family’s personal history and how all of history is important for understanding the world.

    They won’t get that at school

    Liked by 1 person

    • Minsk 100 percent agreed. Although it will depend on the family and there values. I doubt little neve will learn about her ancestors or history from jacinda and clarke.


      • Hendo: Not so sure. History is forgotten when the world is changing rapidly and everyone is getting wealthier. Our children are not interested in life pre-mobile phone let alone pre-TV. However if a severe recession occurs then people start reflecting on ‘how did we end up here’.

        Yuval Noah Harari pointed out how for centuries various empires invaded India and the Middle East and they ignored the many ruins of earlier times. What was unusual about European empires was their interest in what had happened before; it was Europeans who translated Sanskrit, Cretan hieroglyphs and Linear A, Egyptian heiroglyphs, etc.

        With luck little Neve will grow up to be a historian.


      • Just to say that young people are not interested in history is hardly an answer. I do notice that in quiz shows many people think that they cannot be expected to know about anything at all that happened before they were born!


    • I’m jealous of you having the opportunity to develop your own history course for your children. Diamond’s ‘Guns Germs and Steel’ explained how ‘germs’ were critical in history. For every Maori and UK settler killed by violence many thousand would have died of infectious disease. When an epidemic was even handed destroying all groups as per the Spanish flu of 1918 then it left a ripple soon forgetten by history. However when one group had some level of immunity and the other had none it changed history dramatically. The Spanish would never have invaded South America without smallpox arriving just before them. My wife’s PNG tribe lost over 90% of their population in an epidemic in the 1890’s that she had never heard of. However she did know the history of the early Catholic missionaries who arrived about 1850.

      The comments to this article already show intelligent people using facts to argue their case; the joy of history is how it brings the most controversial issues to the fore.

      If you have the opportunity take your children to Howick Historical Village; you need more than books.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bob I actually contemplated this when I opened the fridge and watched the cricket on my 50 inch led. I’ve found I’ve become detached from my past due to technology and just general change. People I grew up with seem less interested also.

    I guess with so much 3rd world immigration it also appears that they take there culture and past more seriously. I think much history learning can be self guided with the Internet and varies dedicated history channels etc.


  8. Michael King
    I draw attention to it (Chatham invasion) in the spirit of a historian who says, Take care. The evidence of history is unanimous on only one point. It shows us that no race or culture is inherently superior or inferior to another; and we all have skeletons in our ancestral closets that represent instances of behaviour of which we cannot be wholly proud by today’s standards of ethics and morality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In this podcast Vincent O’Malley is breathless in his condemnation of the British but you also get a hint that he thinks without crown intervention a good New Zealand would have emerged. In other words a socialist society.

      This also ties in with the great sociologist Paul Spoonley:

      “Racism is the ideological belief that people can be classified into ‘races’ … [which] can be ranked in terms of superiority and inferiority … racism is the acceptance of racial superiority … It is often used to refer to the expression of an ideology of racial superiority in the situation where the holder has some power. Thus prejudice plus power denotes racism in the modern sense … racism is essentially an attitudinal or ideological phenomenon. … A dominant group not only holds negative beliefs about other groups but, because of the power to control resources, is able to practice those beliefs in a discriminatory way … This ideological concept structures social and political relationships and derives from a history of European colonialism. The idea of ‘race’ has evolved from its use in scientific explanation (now discredited) and as a justification in the oppression of colonised, non European people. ”


  9. Michael. Michael King has a chapter Farmers and Red Feds. What would be the next chapter. You have spoken or hinted at a systemic rot in government. I put it down to positive liberalism, where it was decided New Zealanders should become post ethnic cosmopolitans and with that lofty goal came political correctness. Political correctness creates a culture where truth for truths sake is no longer virtuous?


  10. God how I want to vomit when I hear teachers saying they no longer teach facts cause facts are redundant. Such a lack of respect for human intellectual progress. NZ teachers desperately need a clear knowledge based curriculum with plain English goals. NZ history should be non negotiable. Fully agree. The current curriculum is vague gobbledygook leaving teachers lost as to how to implement it. Part of the reason teachers give up teaching imho.


  11. My son has had since year 8 the ToW dished up over and over and over One of the unforeseen effects of the ramming of the ToW in this manner is resentment. Savvy Year 13 students see it for what it is, a mere hoop to jump through in the NCEA game. They produce a product for an ideological market place. How empty is that of meaningfulness? Historical inquiry ought to be a matter of genuine inquiry and curiosity.

    If one were to ask year 13 students what is significant about 1949 in our history there would be blank faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Law Lecturer Alex Frame quoted in David Slack’s – Bullshit Backlash and Bleeding Hearts

      People sometimes ask me, ‘How do I see the Treaty. How should we think of the Treaty?’ I’ve always said that the first article of the Treaty – the kawanatanga part – is very strong – much stronger than some Maori are prepared to concede, and the second article, which guarantees rangatiratanga is also very strong – much stronger than many Pakeha are prepared to concede. So how can we have these two strong articles sitting there? I’m tempted sometimes by this idea. In a way both sides gambled. The Crown gambled. Why was it prepared to sign up to Article II? Well, in a sense the Crown gambled that there would be assimilation. And therefore if there was assimilation, as you will see. Article II would become increasingly unimportant. On the other hand, Maori gambled. After all, why did Maori sign up for Article I – and by the way, don’t go for these readings that say Article I was only giving the Queen power over Pakeha. The most elementary reading of the Maori version of the first article shows that that is completely untenable. It gives the Queen te Kawanatanga katoa – all – of the kawanatanga; o ratou wenua – of their lands. Now, which lands is that? That’s the lands of the chiefs. That’s all it can be -have a look at the structure and I challenge anyone to show me an even faintly tenable reading which can dispute that it’s all the territory of New Zealand.
      So why did Maori sign up to that? Well, I think they gambled. I think they gambled that the as they were in 1840, but would stay approximately such that there would be a preponderance of Maori and that the newcomers would be relatively few. I know there is a reference in the preamble to others coming, but I think the gamble was that if the demographics stayed favourable to Maori then this kawanatanga thing would be a really abstract sort of notion in the background.

      How do you make a “foundation stone” out of that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Again I think David Slack read way too mcuh into the Treaty. It is what it says and our ancestors saw it beginning less and less relevant as time went by and the country became one people. The irony of that is that the last few years – well some 50 years, has seen the divisions grow as parts have found a way to get what they think is is advantage over the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just in case there is someone out there who would like to know more about Ngai Tahu and its histroy of claims – it is now the richest at $1.92 billion and by far the palest iwi with 61,000 members and an annual return of 12% (not paying any or very little taxes). There was fascinating history done in the late 1990’s by journalist Alan Everton under the heading ‘Ngai tahu’s Tangled Web’ which can be accessed via Google where I got most of my copy from.
        That the public is ignorant of all this is simply astounding!
        I have looked at the ‘official’ history of the tribe which doesn’t have the name Frank Winter in the index or indeed anywhere that I can see and yet he is an important leader through the 1960’s and 1970’s – work that one out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maori Iwi now has $60 billion in assets. Mostly invested in the Primary Industries. If you are wondering why successive government don’t pay staff and don’t invest in infrastructure or invest in productivity enterprises, it is because they have been giving away NZ tax dollars to Maori.


    • Comment in Stuff:
      I am not a history teacher. I teach another subject. At our school the history teachers set the NZ wars as a topic but the year 13 students protested strongly. None of them wanted to do it. The teachers had to give the students more choices in the end. Most of the students chose to do European history. So it’s not always the teachers who choose not to do it.–say-teachers

      I think (I hope) older kids can see the agenda?


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