19 May 2017

New home for NZ's most important documents opens

5:53 pm on 19 May 2017

The new home of the Treaty of Waitangi was unveiled at the National Library in Wellington today.

Along with the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition, the Treaty will now permanently be on display at the He Tohu exhibition inside the National Library.

The three documents were moved from Archives New Zealand to the National Library amid tight security last month.

The He Tohu exhibition was developed and created by Crown and Māori leaders.

The exhibition was officially opened by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.

Raniera Tau from Ngāpuhi and Rahui Papa from Tainui were part of the Crown-Māori partnership that set up He Tohu.

Mr Tau said it was time the country's most important documents were brought out of the cabinet.

"I'm bold as to say that they've been deliberately obfuscated, and it's about time they came out and the truth was known about our history," he said. "We need to take this from here, we don't sit on this here, and we teach it in our schools."

All three documents allowed people to sit on the shoulders of giants said Rahui Papa.

"In other countries, they song and verse about the constitutions and things like that," he said. "These are our constitutions and the principles of our constitutional documents that reside here in this exhibition."

He Tohu will be open six days of the week and entry is free.

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