Museum to open Treaty of Waitangi exhibition

by Samantha Woodhill07 Mar 2016
The Auckland War Memorial Museum will open a Treaty of Waitangi exhibition this week, featuring the ongoing Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Process including the work of the Waitangi Tribunal which turns 40 this year.

Visitors can see digital copies of the Treaty and compare English and Māori translations of the text.  A touchscreen map illustrates the changes in land ownership since the signing of the Treaty to today.

“The display is a pilot that will guide our future thinking,” said museum director Roy Clare.

“It represents a respectful and exciting addition to our ongoing dialogue with visitors about the Treaty of Waitangi, supplementing the ‘Treaty Trail’ that we installed in 2015 to mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty,” he added.

The museum will display films especially commissioned for the exhibition, exploring various perspectives about the Treaty and the process of settlement.

“Taking account of public responses to the pilot, we will be extending our conversations about the Treaty of Waitangi with other Tāmaki iwi in the future,” Clare said.

“It’s a further expression of our commitment to He Korahi Māori – a Māori dimension – first published in ‘Future Museum’ in 2012, and we are grateful to have been able to develop this exhibition in consultation with Ngāti Whātua and Ngāti Paoa who have generously shared their experiences.”

The exhibition timeline starts from first arrivals and extends to 1975 land marches.

Respected academic Dr Ranginui Walker DCNZM worked on the project as team advisor and helped set the direction of the exhibition before he died in February this year.

“We pay a humble tribute to Dr Ranginui Walker as we open this exhibit; we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Deidre and his whanau and we are sorry that he has not been able to view the outcome of his recent work with us,” Clare said.