It’s Waitangi day today – 181 years since a naval captain, William Hobson, and Maori signed the Treaty of Waitangi on the lawn of James Busby’s house in the Bay of Islands – a place called Waitangi (weeping water). So the British established a Crown Colony in New Zealand. Since then the Treaty has remained … More Waitangi – a living treaty
It’s 180 years since a treaty was signed outside the Resident’s House in the Bay of Islands by which Maori ceded sovereignty to the British crown. It remains the only such treaty in the world; the British signed many treaties with many peoples, but none involved a cession of sovereignty. Of course, the question remains … More Waitangi Day 2020
The decision this week that New Zealand history should be taught in New Zealand schools is long overdue. Inevitably, the question is ‘what’ history – an issue raised by the backlash brigade, who object to the Maori renaissance and the way society has rejected the old ideas of colonialism in the last generation. The broad … More Why history must be taught in New Zealand schools
Last weekend I gave a one-hour talk with Q&A session that wrapped up a hectic two-week promotional push which my publishers organised for my book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. I made multiple appearances on radio, one on TV, held a book signing, a public talk, and featured in the national news. I’ve also been featuring … More And it’s a wrap (for now) …
There has been a debate brewing this past week in New Zealand about whether to make teaching history compulsory in schools. New Zealand history, of course. At the moment it isn’t. Because I’ve been on the radio and TV a bit this past week, thanks to the promotion of my book on the Treaty of … More Should history be compulsory in New Zealand schools?
On 6 February 1840, as Hone Heke prepared to be the first Maori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, the young missionary printer William Colenso stopped proceedings. He had a question for William Hobson, the man about to become governor of the New Zealand colony. Did Maori really understand the Treaty? It turned out that … More Did Maori really understand the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840?
I was interviewed on Tuesday by Sean Plunkett, host of a major talk-back radio programme, about my new book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. Click on the text below to listen to the podcast in which I also explain the origins of the term ‘Aotearoa’. Enjoy. Matthew Wright interviewed by Sean Plunket If you want to … More A radio interview about my latest book
It’s Waitangi day – the 178th anniversary of the day when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in the Bay of Islands, establishing a basis for the British to establish a colony – and assert Crown law – across New Zealand. In the broadest context this colony was part of a much wider explosion of … More Thinking about Waitangi as a living treaty
I featured in the national media yesterday, subject of a personality profile piece to highlight my latest book, Waitangi: A Living Treaty. It was kind of cool. The feature was syndicated across several of the major national daily papers, and online – here. The basic idea of the book is that the Treaty is a … More Yes, the meanings of the past DO change
I spent a pleasant hour in Wellington’s Unity Books this week signing copies of my new book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. Book signings are always fun to do; you always meet new people, chat with them about why they’re interested in your book, and that kind of thing. The concept behind the book is that … More Pictures from a book signing