The name He Tohu means 'the signs', and refers to the unique signatures or marks of those who supported these documents. For Māori these tohu are sacred as those who signed have added their mana.
The exhibition objectives are to:
preserve our fragile and irreplaceable documentary heritage for future generations
improve access to these taonga for all New Zealanders and visitors to our country
enhance learning opportunities for young New Zealanders.
State-of-the-art display cases
The declaration, treaty and petition are displayed in state-of-the-art display cases in a specially built room — the waka huia. These cases allow greater visual access and the climate conditions in the cases which will ensure the documents’ long-term preservation.
Get close and personal with the documents
Surrounding the waka huia is an interactive area telling the stories of the documents.
There are interactive features to get up close and personal with the documents, and for people to trace the life-stories of the signatories and discovering their own family connections.
Representing He Tohu
Drawings of Patuone, Te Rangi Topeora and Kate Sheppard were chosen for He Tohu’s marketing campaign because of their connection to the 3 taonga, their mana and leadership displayed at the time and because they are celebrated by descendants.
In creating these artworks, we consulted descendants and experts on the lives of these remarkable people. Our approach was also informed by the He Tohu Māori Technical Advisory Group, Women’s Suffrage Petition Advisory Group and by iwi leaders.