Personal Reflection on the Relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi

Published: 2021-07-16
565 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Although it has been over 170 years since England and the Maori Tribes first signed Te Tiriti O Waitangi, the accord is still relevant today. After England had expressed interests in colonizing New Zealand, leaders of the Maori Tribes requested to have an agreement with the British Crown. On February 6, 1840, leaders of the Maori Tribes met the Queens representatives and signed The Treaty of Waitangi.The treaty is relevant to me because it not only recognizes New Zealands ingenious people but also governs the relationship between the government, indigenous, and non-ingenious citizens. It protects the rights of Pakeha and Maori populaces. Additionally, I believe the treaty is relevant since it recognizes that the indigenous people have the right to form organizations, protect their culture, and manage their resources. As long as there is a government in New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi is relevant since it requires the regime of the day to act rationally towards the Maori, address their grievances, and facilitate equality.

Three Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi

In the late 20th century, while acknowledging the discrepancies between the English and Maori versions of Te Tiriti O Waitangi, the state, judges, and the Waitangi tribunal established principles meant to harmonize the two versions. While the Treaty of Waitangi has multiple pillars, the most important principles are partnership, protection, and participation. Firstly, the component of partnership signifies the treatys commitment to ensuring that all ethnic groups treat each other with utmost respect. It is the obligation of every individual to seek the consent of the Maori people in any transaction that pertains the indigenous community. Secondly, protection as a principle of the treaty entails the duty of The Crown and contemporary governments to safeguard the interests of the Maori. The regime of the day should work to ensure that the Maori people have full control of their resources and enjoy similar levels of prestige and privileges as non-Maori communities. Finally, participation as a principle of the treaty requires the governmental and non-organizations to actively involve the Maori at all levels of the decision-making process. That is, relevant stakeholders must consult the Maori people in regards to their health, education, and transport among other issues.

Application of the Three Principles in Early Childhood and Care Practice

The Treaty of Waitangi is an essential and relevant document in all levels of New Zealands education system. In Early Childhood and Care practice, Te Tiriti O Waitangi guides Maoris education in regards to partnership, protection, and participation. The treaty acts as a catalyst that revitalizes the Maoris culture and language. The three principles of the treaty establish the objectives for curriculum in early childhood education. In line with the principle of partnership, stakeholders in the school system collaborate with the iwi, whanau, hapu, and Maori populaces to establish strategies that ensure children from these communities get a high-quality education. Further, the Maori community is involved in all levels of decision-making, arrangements, and implementation of early childhood and care services. Finally, the government and education facilities protect New Zealands indigenous cultures and children. Stakeholders ensure that Maori children attain at least the same level of early childhood education and care and safeguard their cultural practices, values, and concepts. Overall, these pillars aim to help children become confident and competent scholars, who are healthy in body and spirit, have a high sense of belonging, and feel like prominent members of the society.

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