Visit He Tohu — opening 20 May with online resources too

Next week is an exciting week for schools around the country and for the National Library with the opening of the He Tohu exhibition in Wellington. Many schools have already taken up the opportunity to book a learning programme at the exhibition, which is great to see.

He Tohu — an exhibition with great learning opportunities

This remarkable new national exhibition opens on Saturday 20 May and sheds fresh light on 3 constitutional documents that shape Aotearoa New Zealand:

  • 1835 He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni — Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand
  • 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi — Treaty of Waitangi
  • 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition — Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine.

Celebrating He Tohu Celebrating He Tohu. All rights reserved.

The vision for the exhibition is: "He whakapapa kōrero, he whenua kura. Talking about our past to create a better future". In keeping with this vision, and to extend the reach of He Tohu to classrooms around the country, we have developed learning resources that focus on both the history of the documents and on their ongoing significance.

Programmes for schools

School groups visiting the exhibition can book a free, educator-led programme. 3 of the programmes are outlined below, but teachers can also request programmes tailored to the specific learning needs of their students. Māori-medium schools can request a programme in te reo Māori.

Mahi tahi

This programme focuses on all 3 documents in the exhibition (He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition). Students explore the history and significance of these 3 documents and their relationship to how we live together, govern ourselves, and manage power in Aotearoa.

Cultural interaction

This programme focuses on He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as responses to te ao hurihuri, the changing world. Students explore migration, cultural interaction and collective responses to community challenges.

Change makers

This programme focuses on the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition as a powerful example of people working together to create social change. Students explore leadership, collective responses to community challenges and systems of government.

Pre- and post-visit activities for students

Pre- and post-visit activities for students at levels 3, 4, and 5 of The New Zealand Curriculum have been developed for each of these programmes. The purpose of these resources is to support students to make links between what they are learning about at school and their experiences of He Tohu. These resources take a concept-led approach and will be freely available online.

Unable to visit? Use our online resources

More extensive resources will also be available online from next week, both in te reo Māori and English. These resources are designed to extend the reach of He Tohu to schools throughout the country.

Book a visit or find out more

He Tohu is a 'must-visit' experience for students nationwide.

Email to book a visit.

He Tohu has more information about the exhibition and online resources for schools.

By Kate Potter

Kate is a Learning Programmes Specialist with Schools and Public Programmes.

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