Draft NZ History Curriculum submission

Dear Ministry 

By way of background I studied “NZ History” at Victoria University of Wellington in the 1960s and have read other historians since including; James Belich, Michael King, Claudia Orange and specialised books by Ron Crosby and Vincent O’Malley.

History is about facts and context.   If we think about the last 1000 years, much history is about war, slavery, domination of the masses by elites, food production and survival.  

In the last six hundred years events were influenced by technology and industrial development.  This allowed European countries to become colonisers of South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and no doubt also contributed to their sense of cultural superiority.    

History is also contestable as the Ministry is finding with the reaction to the draft.   
Having failed to teach NZ history properly in the last 50 years, it is important that the curriculum presents the most relevant facts and context, in order that our children can reach a balanced and informed view.   It appears however those involved in drafting the curriculum, have decided to skip that stage and go straight to themes.  This is a terrible mistake.

Key elements of a draft curriculum should include:

1.  The polynesian migration to NZ about year 1200.   
2.  How the Maori lived and interacted with each other up to the arrival of Captain Cook in 1769.
3.  How Maori and British people lived and interacted with each other up until 1840.  This would have to include the Musket wars which were resulted in tens of thousands of Maori deaths and was a factor in the signing of the Treaty.  
4.  The arrival of mainly British people (also some Chinese) in the period up to 1900, and the pressure from them to acquire land, by one means or the other, including the land wars and unjustified confiscations.  
5.  The development of infrastructure (roads, ports and rail) and pastoral farming.   
6.  The improvements in life expectancy of all citizens up until 1900.     
7.  Constitutional developments and how NZ moved away from colonial status until it adopted the Statute of Westminister, and became a high quality democracy.
8.  From the 1960s how Maori became more assertive and demanded and honouring of the Treaty.   Explain the Treaty process.    

If our children had a good grasp of the big picture, they would be better equipped to understand any post colonial themes developed by academics or others.   


2 thoughts on “Draft NZ History Curriculum submission

  1. This has been circulating, or someone emailed it to me. I am unsure of its veracity, but if any of it is true, it is a little more than worrying. Lenin lives:


    A recent article by activist Byron Clark claims that “conspiracy theorists appear to be trying to build a movement in rural New Zealand.”

    The claim, published on Newsroom.co.nz, was based on a conversation between Agricultural Action Group’s Heather Meri Pennycook and Counterspin host Kelvyn Alp about the possibility of a farmers’ revolt that referred to firearms and resistance.

    Counterspin host Kelvyn Alp stated today that he was referring to the Bolsheviks during the Communist revolution in Russia, and that it’s true some grassroots, independent organisations who say they represent local communities may not be what they seem.

    “I was referring to the murderous communists who targeted and massacred Russian farmers in the millions, who are best represented in New Zealand by Byron Clark and his comrades today.”

    Alp said Clark had recently gained mainstream attention as an anti-racist activist in the wake of the March 15, 2019 terrorist attack on Christchurch by Australian psychopath Brenton Tarrant in which 51 Muslims were murdered. But the public needed to be made aware of Clark’s background, which called his motivations into question. Clark was connected to violent revolutionary extremists, including terrorist groups for whom he had actively raised money.

    Clark stood for the Christchurch City Council and the mayoralty under the banner of the Communist Workers’ Party in 2007. He was heavily involved in organising Occupy Christchurch, a group of communists and conspiracy theorists who occupied Hagley Park for 160 days from 2011, who called for the overthrow of the government and remodelling of society.

    The November 2011, edition of the Spark magazine, the Communist Workers’ Party’s mouthpiece until its breakup in 2013 and edited by Clark, promoted a fundraising drive for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 2011 the PFLP carried out terrorist attacks that led to the death or injury of dozens of Israelis. The PFLP was designated a terrorist organization by the US Department of State on the 10th of August 1997.

    Clark’s magazine was named after Vladamir Lenin’s first newspaper Iskra, or the Spark.

    Former members of Clark’s party can be seen leading most of the revolutionary socialist actions by groups often and erroneously described as “grassroots” and “anti-racist” and “environmentalist” by newsreaders today, groups which have proliferated and expanded after securing significant foreign grants and being organised under the control of ActionStation and related groups over the past decade.

    Those members include Simon Oosterman of Extinction Rebellion and School Strike 4 Climate, and Kassie Hartendorp, the current director of ActionStation. Hartendorp arranged financing and logistics for both the Ihumātao and the more recent “Protect Pūtiki” land occupations on Waihiki Island, in both cases under the gaze of her American handler Lev Woolf, although other local activists were presented as occupation leaders in both cases in the news. Hartendorp, like Clark, was also directly involved in fundraising for the PFLP.

    Self-described anti-racist organisation Paparoa, which is often associated with Clark and reported on uncritically in the press, was set up by known Cold War-era agent of Moscow, Peter Hall-Jones. Hall-Jones joined the Soviet-backed Unity Party in the mid-80s. He was directly sponsored by them on trips to Moscow. Throughout the 80s and 90s, he spent much of his spare time recruiting delegates for communist youth festivals in Pyongyang, North Korea.

    A tech wizard, Hall-Jones also heads the extremely influential but little-known New Unionism Network, a covert channel for socialist organizers that claims as members many prominent politicians around the world including New Zealand’s Minister for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), Andrew Little.


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