19 Oct 2011

Treaty of Waitangi document may be moved

11:17 pm on 19 October 2011

Archives New Zealand is considering boosting the profile of the original 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

The founding document currently on display at its building in Wellington's Mulgrave Street could be moved to the re-furbished National Library, which is due for completion next year.

The Minister responsible for Archives New Zealand says the $52 million library upgrade provides a great opportunity to showcase many treasures and important documents, including the Treaty, to more New Zealanders and overseas visitors.

Nathan Guy says about 27,000 people visit Archives New Zealand each year, compared with more than 200,000 expected to visit the new National Library.

The Archives New Zealand building sits on land which falls under the tribal authority of Taranaki's Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, a collective of Maori whose ancestors in 1840 occupied what was known as the Port Nicholson block.

Their spokesperson, Sir Ngatata Love, welcomes the proposed relocation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

He says the current location of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is not well known, and many people believe it is held either somewhere in Northland or at Te Papa.

Sir Ngatata says providing increased access and awareness to the Treaty will give it more mana as well as a higher profile.