Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi

I have spent over three weeks at the Bay of Islands – and thanks to many occasions and persons – my schedule became more busy than I have expected. Yet, given that I wanted to do the most of my limited time, I could not have wished for more! I am very happy and grateful to have come in touch with so many people here. I am afraid, I could write surely ten more blog entries about the persons, occasions and places I have seen here.

Private Picture, 2.10.2022

In this blogpost however, I will put the lights on a visit of one of the most important museums of Aotearoa New Zealand. I am talking of the Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds at the Bay of Islands. The Museum is located north of Paihia and consists of several buildings and a little forest. The Museum has been established on the place, in which the representatives of the British Crown and Maori Rangatira came together to discuss and to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in early Februrary 1840.

Map of Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, in: Waitangi Treaty Grounds, https://www.waitangi.org.nz/visit/map, [Last Access: 18.10.2022].

Different buildings provide the visitors insight into different exhibitions and apart from permanent, the museum offers temporary exhibitions too. On their website, the museum informs that “Ko Waitangi Tēnei tells the story of Te Tiriti o Waitangi | Treaty of Waitangi from multiple perspectives to achieve an authentic and accurate representation of events.”1

Waitangi Treaty Room – Private Picture, 2.10.2022.

The exhibition leads the visitor through many chapters of Aotearoa’s New Zealand’s history, with a decent focus on crucial topics such as the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi but also the first and second World War.

In Addition to the fascinating exhibition, the Waitangi Museum maintains also two different blogs in order to inform the public about ongoing developments and by introducing historic topics. You can find the Waitangi Blog here under the following link. The second Education Blog Hauhiko mātauranga can be read under this link.

  1. Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, in: Waitangi Treaty Grounds, https://www.waitangi.org.nz/visit/museum-of-waitangi#w-tabs-0-data-w-pane-7, [Last Access: 18.10.2022]. []

“He Whenua Rangatira. A Māori land”

This short Youtube clip is part of the exhibition of “He Tohu”. He Tohu has been presented by two leading institutions in Aotearoa/ New Zealand – Archives News Zealand /Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga as well as the National Library of New Zealand / Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.1

Comprising the time period between 1200 and 1300 and 1839, the video illustrates the first recorded initial Māori settlements on both Islands and both the first European visitors bus also the first Maori travellers outside of Aoetearoa. The brief clip is separted in several ‘chapters’:

1200-1300: Māori arrivals

1300-1500: Pā Sites

1500-1700: Iwi Migrations

1500-1800: Trade routes

1600-1840: European arrivals: Explorers

1600-1840: European arrivals: Missionaries

1600-1840: European arrivals: Whalers

1769-1840: Māori explore the world

1835-183: Signing off He Whakaputanga

He Tohu is a permanent exhibition of three documents, that sustainably changed and formed Aotearoa’s history.2 In 1835, several years after his appointment, and afraid of a potential French annexation, James Busby gathered 34 Māori Rangatira together in order to organize them under the He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, which is also known as the “Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand”.3

The second document, which the exhibition consists of, is the “Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi” of 1840.4

And the “Women’s Suffrage Petition – Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine” in 1893.5

  1. He Tohu, in: National Library of New Zealand, https://natlib.govt.nz/he-tohu, [last Access: 15.07.2022]. []
  2. See Aotearoa’s founding documents at He Tohu, in: Wellington NZ, https://www.wellingtonnz.com/experience/see-and-do/he-tohu/, [last Access: 15.07.2022]. []
  3. He Whakaputanga, in: National Library of New Zealand, https://natlib.govt.nz/he-tohu/about/he-whakaputanga, [last Access: 15.07.2022]. []
  4. Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi, in: National Library of New Zealand, https://natlib.govt.nz/he-tohu/about/te-tiriti-o-waitangi, [last Access: 15.07.2022]. []
  5. Women’s Suffrage Petition – Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine, in: National Library of New Zealand, https://natlib.govt.nz/he-tohu/about/womens-suffrage-petition, [last Access: 15.07.2022]. []
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