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.
He Tohu for schools — visit, explore online
Visiting the Wellington exhibition or exploring its online resources can help students understand the national significance of these 3 documents. He Tohu has a range of curriculum-based resources and education programmes that can help give your students a past and present understanding of the documents.
Visit He Tohu
Schools visiting the He Tohu can book a free, educator-led programme. There are also pre- and post-visit resources you can explore with your class.
Find out more or book a class visit
Explore He Tohu online
If you're unable to bring your students to the He Tohu exhibition in Wellington, explore its online content. There's information about the documents and social inquiry teaching resources and learning activities in both English and te reo Māori. Watch some engaging videos from the exhibition.
These videos give more information about wider contexts relating to the He Tohu exhibition documents:
- He whenua rangatira. A Māori land — the history of Māori arrivals from 1200, European arrivals from 1642, and the signing of He Whakaputanga from 1835 to 1839.
- The voyages of Te Tiriti o Waitangi — the voyage of the 9 sheets of the Treaty over 8 months in 1840 across New Zealand.
- Land ownership — major Crown acquisitions since 1840, including confiscations after the New Zealand Wars and peak Native Land Court era.
- Treaty settlements — settlements of long-standing Treaty grievances between iwi and the Crown from the early 1990s to today.
- Women's Suffrage Petition — the places across New Zealand that sheets of the Women's Suffrage Petition were sent to gather signatures.
- Kōrero — watch videos from the He Tohu exhibition and its visitors.
National Library supporting resources
The National Library of New Zealand also provides a wealth of information to support He Tohu.
Services to Schools' teaching and learning resources
Services to Schools' has online content directly related to He Tohu such as:
- New Zealand history — investigates many aspects of New Zealand’s Māori and Pākehā history.
- New Zealand Wars — the campaigns and battles between Pākehā and Māori and their ongoing significance.
- Treaty of Waitangi — resources looking at the Treaty from both a past and present perspective.
- He Whakaputanga — kua whiriwhiria e mātou ēnei rauemi hei tautoko koe inā hiahia koe ki ngā mōhiohio e pā ana ki He Whakaputanga.
- Women's suffrage — New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. Explore resources that cover the history of the suffrage campaign.
- Women in Aotearoa — a wide variety of resources about issues experienced by New Zealand women.
- Māori heroes — discover some of the Māori heroes associated with the He Tohu documents.
Many Answers gives answers to popular questions asked on AnyQuestions. He Tohu-related topics include:
EPIC (Electronic Purchasing in Collaboration) contains some of the world’s most comprehensive information databases, including New Zealand content. EPIC also provides access to the Bridget Williams Books ebook collection, which has lots of information relating to the He Tohu documents, such as:
- The Treaty of Waitangi collection
- New Zealand History collection
- New Zealand Women's Studies collection.
Index New Zealand (INNZ)
Index New Zealand helps you find He Tohu-related content published in over 1000 New Zealand newspapers, magazines, and journals since 1987. Schools can request free copies of articles they need.
Index New Zealand
Papers Past holds over 2 million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals from 1839 to 1945. These newspapers and periodicals provide a record of how the He Tohu documents have been discussed in the media over the years. Some of the early newspapers are also in te reo, providing a Māori perspective.
Digital New Zealand
Digital New Zealand helps you find hundreds of He Tohu-related items — including videos, audio, photographs, cartoons, and more — from a wide variety of cultural, heritage, and media organisations across New Zealand.
Digital New Zealand
Resources from other institutions
Treaty of Waitangi
- Archives New Zealand — have valuable resources covering the Treaty of Waitangi, including:
- Treaty2U — tells the story of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, including its past and current claims.
- Waitangi Museum — has a collection of online resources on the Treaty of Waitangi and He Whakaputanga.
- Waitangi Tribunal — provides essential information about the Treaty of Waitangi past and present, including the role of the Tribunal and claimant reports.
1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition
- Suffrage 125 — 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Resources from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
- Women, the Vote and Activism — New Zealand women won the right to vote on 19 September 1893. Resources from NZHistory.
- Approaches to building conceptual understandings — this TKI downloadable resource shows ways that students can explore, connect, and revise key concepts.
- NZHistory — provides authoritative coverage of many New Zealand historical events.
- Te Ara — New Zealand’s online encyclopedia provides a depth of historical and contemporary information.
- Te Papa — has an extensive collection of resources relating to Māori and Pākehā history.
Books and other videos
The following are some books and online videos relating to the He Tohu exhibition. Many of these are available from the Schools Lending Collection or from your school or public library.
Schools Lending Collection
- Battle at the Gate: The Story of the Battle of Gate Pa, Tauranga, New Zealand by Jenny Jenkins, 2008
- Changing Times: The Story of a New Zealand Town and its Newspaper by Bob Kerr, 2015
- The House that Jack Built by Gavin Bishop, 2012
- Remember that November by Jennifer Beck, 2012
- Te Wairua o Waitangi by Sharon Holt, 2016
- The Tree Hut Treaty by Wiremu Grace, 2006
- Be Counted! The Diary of Amy Phelps, Dunedin, 1893 by Janine McVeagh, 2007
- A New Song in the Land: The Writings of Atapo Paihia, c1840 by Fleur Beale, 2004
- Shadow of the Boyd by Diana Menefy, 2010
- Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic NZ Women by Barbara Else, 2018
- Marae: The Heart of Māori Culture by Malcolm Mulholland and Robyn Bargh, 2015
- Taketakerau: The Millennium Tree by Marnie Anstis, 2011
- Taratoa and the Code of Conduct: A Story from the Battle of Gate Pa by Debbie McCauley, 2014
- Teaching Social Studies for Critical, Active Citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Michael Harcourt, Andrea Milligan, and Bronwyn Wood, 2016
- The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Māori and Pākehā from Tasman to Today edited by Vincent O'Malley, Bruce Stirling, and Wally Penetito, 2011
- Waitangi Day: The New Zealand Story, What it is and Why it Matters by Philippa Werry, 2015
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi by by Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Toby Morris, 2018