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We should embrace a better understanding of history not deny it to another generation Matthew Tukaki

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has said that New Zealanders, teachers, parents and educators should not be afraid of having tough and lively conversations as the history curriculum is rolled out. Tukaki has also said there is still a away to go but the rebalancing of the equation will see more local content taught but also greater historic significance around key events of the nations past:

“Can I say to all of those people out there that think this is somehow a sort of conspiracy theory – history is not one of conspiracy theories or made up stories its always been about the facts. The teaching of history pre-European settlement is not something that anyone should be afraid of just as we should not be afraid to talk about key events and facts from our recent past – as we do with the World Wars, disasters or key moments in time.” Tukaki said

“The cultural richness of a society comes from a shared and learnt understanding of our history because in order to understand where we are going we must understand where we have come from. The other point I make is that I am sure the curriculum will evolve over time and that’s because history is also made day in and day out.” Tukaki said

“The other benefit of these changes is that local history is also on the agenda so our young people also get to better understand their own surroundings and how things locally over time have been shaped. Stories, key events, characters and so on – all of this contributes to the knowledge bank of our young people – it doesn’t subtract anything” Tukaki said

“I accept also that history has often been a brutal occasion – and yes some of it may be hard hitting but simply cotton walling our children or hiding the facts from them doesn’t serve them any good in the long run – offer them knowledge and they will return it ten fold” Tukaki said

The draft of the changes are available for public comment. Consultation on the draft closes on 31 May.


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