By now many people know something of the story of the small-town petition from which big things grew. In December 2015 students from Otorohanga College and their supporters presented a petition signed by over 12,000 people to Parliament.
eight months later the government announced that a national day of
commemoration for the New Zealand Wars would be established. Rā Maumahara was born.
well-known is that the Otorohanga College students had a second
objective. They wanted the history of these conflicts to be taught in
all schools. We are still waiting on that one.
The Ministry of
Education strongly opposed this aspect of the petition in a 2016
submission to the Māori Affairs Committee, while admitting it had no idea how many students studied the New Zealand Wars.
many people have told me they learned nothing of these wars. But I was
curious to know more. So I took to social media. Last week I put up a
Twitter poll with a simple question: Did you learn about the New Zealand
Wars at school?
The response was phenomenal. 1484 people of all ages responded in the
three days the poll was running, many leaving comments about their
experiences of learning (or not learning) about the New Zealand Wars at
school. They were thoughtful, frank, sometimes heart-warming and at
others outright depressing.
Read more at The Spinoff