It took 7 days to write, 7 months to sign, 171 years to debate … and counting. TREATY 2 U brings the story of the nation’s founding document to New Zealanders through a unique travelling exhibition on display at the North Otago Museum from May 29 to July 25.
The exhibition provides people with the opportunity to experience the Treaty through text, images, sound, video, cartoons, and animated graphics, using the latest technology to find out more - and to have their say. The exhibition also presents replicas of the original nine Treaty documents.
TREATY 2 U covers the events that led up to the Treaty, from first contact between Māori and Pākehā, to lengthy debate the night before signing. It explains what is written in the documents and the crucial differences between the Māori and English versions. The exhibition follows the various documents’ journeys during 1840 as more signatures were sought. And it looks at the varying expectations held by Māori and Pākehā groups.
Visitors can discover which expectations were met and which were not as time went on. They can also begin to understand the growing unrest among both Māori and Pākehā that led to a settlement process and how that process works.
TREATY 2 U aims to show that, despite controversy over the years, the Treaty of Waitangi continues to help New Zealanders understand the past, make sense of the present, and build for the future.
The exhibition is presented by three organisations with leading roles to play in looking after this country's treasures – Te Papa, Archives New Zealand, and the National Library.