Schools mark Treaty signing with special plaques

Issue: Volume 95, Number 3

Posted: 22 February 2016
Reference #: 1H9d0c

Last year marked 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. To commemorate the anniversary, the Ministry of Education offered all new schools and those completing major developments special plaques to display. New early childhood centres were also included.

Last year was the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and to mark the occasions some schools and ECE centres had special plaques installed

One school that got involved in the project was Halswell School, which was rebuilt following the Canterbury earthquakes.

Principal Bruce Topham says as soon as the school was approached by the Ministry to install a plaque, he liked the idea.

“Halswell School was first built in 1864 so it is almost as old as the Treaty itself,” he says. “We’re now quite closely linked to the history of the Treaty, which is pretty neat."

“The plaque has been received really positively by everybody involved, which is really cool,” he says. “It will be a focal point in commemorations around the Treaty in years to come.”

Halswell School held a ceremony when it unveiled its plaque. This ceremony included the singing of a waiata and a tree planting, Bruce says.

Bruce says Halswell School’s plaque and tree are located in front of its new stadium.

The commemorative plaques were just one of several ways schools marked the milestone in New Zealand’s history.

A number of schools also took up the opportunity to install bilingual signage in their schools – some even developed it in partnership with their local iwi.

In addition, the Ministry launched a new website www.waitangi.tki.org.nz(external link) to highlight resources about the Treaty. Schools and communities were able to publish their own commemorative projects on the site for others to learn from and enjoy.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 10:21 AM, 22 February 2016

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