In 2015, He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand 1835) was registered as a heritage document with UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme on the New Zealand Register. Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) was registered into the same programme, in 2011 and on the International Register, in 1997. He Whakaputanga (DoI 1835) is on permanent display in the secure, climate controlled Constitution Room at Archives New Zealand in Wellington. Being listed on the New Zealand documentary heritage register raises public recognition of the value and significance of heritage documents, See New Zealand Register about the documents and the purpose of the UNESCO Programme.
I strongly advocate that 1) justice, legal and ethical rule of law demands that both the DoI 1835 and TToW be taught as compulsory historical and heritage subjects in mainstream school, to be decided at what level, 2) the TToW must play a pivotal role and be recognised in the citizenship process undertaken in Aotearoa, as this ceremony by solemnity of oath or affirmation seeks to a) commit new citizens to pledge loyalty to the Queen and reigning monarch only and b) create new ‘Kiwis’ which I find highly problematic as a term being stealthily used and imposed on a people to manufacture ‘one nation under one law’ (but that’s another post) and 3) the TToW be counted in the pledging of oaths when recognising new political leaders within registered parties. As the so called ‘founding documents’ of Aotearoa, this is long overdue and must be remedied as soon as possible otherwise they are not worth the parchment they are written on. If this is not part of the Treaty’s equal, rightful and lawful governing role in Aotearoa, then it might well be the greatest fraud ever perpetuated on the Māori people. If only the ancestors could see our day. Nevertheless, both sides are accountable. Legislate these three things now.