Affirming and Advancing Te Tiriti o Waitangi

PPTA Te Wehengarua began in 1952 as a monocultural organisation. Seventy plus years on, and thanks to our honouring of Te Tiriti, we are not that kind of organisation anymore.

In 2024 we are a union which represents 22,000 secondary and area school kaiako and Tumuaki who are diverse in their culture, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliations and political views, but united in their desire to do the best for the rangatahi of our nation. 

A Constitutional Objective   

Affirming and advancing Te Tiriti o Waitangi is one of our key constitutional objectives. These objectives are our purpose for existing and are at the heart of everything PPTA Te Wehengarua stands for and everything we do. 

Our vision is for schools to reflect a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, through which staff and students are supported to be bilingual and at home in Te Ao Māori.  

PPTA Te Wehengarua is committed to embedding and affirming Te Tiriti through a partnership approach. Our actions over many years have demonstrated this commitment through sharing power, resources and decision-making; building relationships that uphold rangatiratanga; and decision-making that values both tāngata whenua and tāngata Tiriti world views. 

Our History   

He whakatauki: 

Titiro whakamuri, kokiri whakamua.

Look back and reflect so we can move forward.  

Fifty years ago, the then PPTA national executive approved a recommendation from the Māori Language Panel to support the principle that the course of every pupil in New Zealand should contain elements of Māori culture, and courses in Māori language should be available to all pupils. 

 In 2024 PPTA Te Wehengarua remains committed to this, and we continue to advocate for the positive changes promised in the curriculum refresh, the NCEA change package, common practice, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, me ēra atu mea e pā ana ki ngā kaupapa mātauranga. 

 In 1984 the executive called for Māori to be an official language and part of the core curriculum. They called for teachers to receive training in Taha Māori and for more Māori teachers to be recruited.  

Since the late 1980s we have used Māori protocol and tikanga that are appropriate for our events and hui. The late 1980s also saw the establishment of Te Huarahi Mana Motuhake, our Māori executive; an integral part of PPTA Te Wehengarua. 

PPTA Te Wehengarua has been active in partnering and supporting Ngā Manu Kōrero for most of its 50 years, providing an important forum for Māori teachers in the annual Māori Teachers’ conference as well as providing professional guidance in the form of publications on various topics including advice to teachers on effective ways of working with akonga Māori. 

In the last twenty years, PPTA Te Wehengarua has won changes to the collective agreements in advancement of Te Tiriti, for example the Māori Immersion Teaching Allowance, and teacher relief days for kapa haka. We continue to seek more provisions in collective agreement negotiations and were disappointed that our claim to recognise kaiako matatau ki te reo Māori me ōna tikanga was not fully accepted in 2023.  

However, we look forward to kaiako who hold cultural knowledge and expertise benefitting from the trial community liaison roles and the cultural leadership allowance. Both of these are part of the secondary and area school teachers’ collective agreements settled last year. 


Affirming and advancing Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 2024 

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua:  

‘I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.’   

This whakataukī speaks to Māori perspectives of time, where the past, the present and the future are viewed as intertwined. The strength of carrying one’s past into the future is that ancestors are ever present. The origins of the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ first appearing in PPTA Te Wehengarua policy are important. Our members showed great foresight at a time when these ideas were very much outside the ‘norm’. 

Today, we are so fortunate to have the passion and drive of Te Huarahi Māori Motuhake, current Te Hapai ō (Māori Vice president) Te Aomihia Taua- Glassie, Whāea Gazala, Kaumatua Moeke, two Kaihautū Māori and a committed executive as well as you, our members who affirm and advance Te Tiriti in your classrooms every day. 

The future includes continuing to be an honourable Te Tiriti partner.  We are encouraging members and branches this term to think about how we can continue to affirm and advance Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a union through a national survey, conversations with members at PPTA hui and regional PUMs in Term 2 this year.  

PPTA Te Wehengarua has been proud of its commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The approach of PPTA Te Wehengarua to affirming and advancing Te Tiriti o Waitangi has been positive and proactive, with strong and visible leadership and incremental steps taken over time. We need to continue this forward momentum in 2024.  

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 10:14