Dear Chris Hipkins – future leaders understand the past

Hon Chris Hipkins – Minister for Education – New Zealand

New Zealand’s own history needs to be taught in our schools alongside stories from elsewhere – picture by sam-balye at unsplash

Dear Minister

I was delighted this week to hear the news that teacher resources for climate change education were now available. Fantastic news and I’m sure it will make a difference not just to the children’s education but to parents too as the work comes home and the opportunity to learn more is presented.

So congratulations on this progressive step – perhaps you could tell me when New Zealand’s own history will be an everyday part of the curriculum with the necessary resources made available in schools. I am still flabbergasted that our own history is not taught in schools and while the announcement was made that it will be introduced in future, the future needs to be informed by the past if an understanding of our country, identity and relationships is to be developed in our young people. If we are to progress as a nation we have to know and confront our own stories so that relationships can be strengthened, injustice and inequality overcome.

I hope that before this year’s election the relevant resources will be prepared and made available to schools and that they will include pre-colonisation history for our land of many stories. Doing so would ensure that this vital step is taken and, I hope, implemented next year.

Congratulations once again

Catherine Arrow