• Tahuhu Korero

Still Reacting to the Past!!!


Dr Sara Buttsworth

In 2020 our experiment of “transliterating” the history of Te Tiriti using the RTTP pedagogy continued but our journey took a series of unforeseen permutations as we rapidly had to move the game online. My four C’s – Change, Continuity, Context and Contingency still remain crucial. However, having to adapt these interacting from “bubbles” and the different environments and issues many students faced just to be able to participate all mean we have added a few more (other than COVID obviously). I think a further three would be Challenge, Connection and Community. In the recent Tahuhu Korero podcast Associate Professor Malcolm Campbell interviewed Michaela Selway and Bryony Ammonds-Smith about why students study history and why it is important, many connections were drawn between our current situation and parallels in the past and the importance of communication and community were two themes that were really apparent – as was the importance of empathy, for those who have lived their lives in different historical contexts, AND for each other in the present. The RTTP pedagogy encourages an understanding of community, and relationships, and the importance of context in thinking about why things happen the way that they do. And all of these were writ large on our discussion boards where Queen Victoria metaphorically stamped her foot, Lord Bunbury threatened to “clickety clack” anyone who wasted his time and a secret plot unfolded forcing young Vicky to retreat from tantrum when the original Treaty mysteriously caught fire. In the absence of the original documents (as they were now a pile of ashes) my class drew up an entirely new Treaty reinforcing the primacy of Tangata Whenua and in an example of history repeats (how wrong were Split Enz eh?) once again (as in 2019 when we played this game for the first time) the French got a free trade agreement.

Here we have examples both of posts from the discussion board and responses to the experience of playing the game. Special thanks to my wonderful students – you rose to the occasion magnificently and obviously I do not have the space to mention all of you here, but you were my community when we barely had a chance to become a class before we had to retreat to our bubbles – and you reinforced for me a couple more C’s as you rose to the Challenge – commitment, and above all compassion.

In-Game Speeches

Milomilo Nanai

Tenā koutou

Tenā koutou

Tenā koutou katoa

Nga mihi tino nui ki a koutou e hoa ma

Ko Hori Kingi Te Wharerahi toku ingoa, engari kei Te rongonui au a 'Te Wharerahi'

Ko Nga Puhi tōku iwi

Ko Ngai Tawake raua ko Ngati Tautahi oku hapu

E huihui ana tatou i konei e korero I te kaupapa o Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Tihei Mauri Ora!

Greetings my brothers, my sisters, greetings to Governor Hobson, greetings to you all. My name is Hori Kingi Te Wharerahi or better known as Te Wharerahi. My iwi is Ngapuhi and I derive from the Hapu Tawake raua and Ngati Tautahi.

We are gathered here today, to discuss this matter of the treaty. It is obvious and unfortunately true; that nowadays, our land is walked and owned by not just our people anymore.

I am very old now, and also well respected. When I was younger, not only was my tribe and I involved in trade and interactions with outsiders, but we were also heavily involved in wars and battles. Before we were tangled in outsider’s affairs; I was involved in battles of our own people against other hapu. Our people have walked these lands for many centuries, and we have had our fair share of battles against each other. But that was just our way of life and never did it ever result in many of deaths or catastrophise. However, things have changed. More and more outsiders have entered our lands. Bringing with them their beliefs and their knowledge. I have witnessed many things throughout my life, especially the way our Maori people have been living the past 10 or so years. I have witnessed and been a part of trade with people from overseas. I have seen our women sold and used as bartering items with outsider, I have seen our people be persuaded and lured with rum and wine, but I have been most effected by the wars and battles our people have participated in, using Muskets as weapons. These battles were ruthless and wicked resulting in many of our people slaughtered and murdered, hence the name of these musket battles as the bloody musket wars. Only those that have participated in these wars and battles know the devastation it has brought to our people. And who else would know better and have the most experience in war than my Ngapuhi Rangatira brothers Eruera Patuone and of course Hongi Hika. Ngapuhi have been involved in wars for several of years, many tribes and Rangatira know this. But now there is more to worry about. More and more settlers from other nations are entering our lands without any of our control over their actions. I have heard stories that a French man might have possibly bought some of the North Island? And others have claimed parts of our land also, with their trade agreements with other Maori Rangatira. If this is the case, then what is left of ours? We cannot just turn around and tell this Governor to go, or not even take a thought about what this treaty can help us with? Yes, I have inquired help before from the British. About 10 years ago, I started to see the chaos that was happening here on our lands. The more outsiders that have arrived, the more troubles they brought also, and our people are getting too involved. So that year of 1831, after everything that I have witnessed and been a part of, I along with 12 other Rangatira wrote to the British King William the 4th. We asked him for his help. Not only to control the activities his British people were involved in with us Maori, but mostly to protect us from outsiders taking advantage and influencing our Maori people, and those that would possibly be a major threat to our Maori society in the future. Of these groups that were involved were the ‘Tribe of Marion’ or those Oui Oui people. They too have ominous motives like the traders and other Europeans. The only people that I have witnessed try to help the situation by bringing some sort of order or clarification between parties are Missionaries from Britain’s Anglican and Methodist commission. This letter we wrote along with the help of some Missionaries; resulted in the Declaration or ‘He Wakaputanga O Te Rangatiratanga O Nu Tirene’. A document that was created in 1835 with the help of Mr Busby himself, the guy that complains all the time, but rightfully so I believe. Even though nothing came out of that Declaration, and the promises and agreements that were made from it; I was informed that Mr. Busby was sent alone with no extra help from the British or our neighbouring allies from Australia. I believe it was because the King himself and the British did not believe the severity of disorder that is present here on our Land. However, this time around, the Crown has sent a colonial officer, William Hobson, and troops to reinforce their message that they are serious this time. They have sent us invitations and invited us here for a hui? They are the only party of ousiders that have stepped up during this time of need to enforce some sort of authority. Why turn them away now? When the traders, rum sellers and other Europeans came the first time, influencing you all to purchase wine, encourage the trading of our women and land, did we turn them away? If you did not tell them to go away in the beginning; then you have no right to tell Governor Hobson to leave now. Governor Hobson will assist in the creation of peace between our tribes. We will gain what is ours, without any more blood on our hands. Let us all work as one to ensure a better life for our people.



haere mai Te toki,

haumi e

hui e,


Game Discussion Board Posts

Kia ora koutou, ko Tamati Waka Nene tōku ingoa. (hello, my name is Tamati Waka Nene).

Kia ora George. Ngā mihi nui kia koe!! Thank you for the acknowledgment that YES, Te Tiriti has been mistranslated and that ‘Kawanatanga’ is not a proper māori word! Yes, Mr. Henry Williams, I am calling your stupid translations out once again, as I’ve not yet seen or heard you or Mr Hobson attempt to rewrite the treaty alongside Māori yet, as Māori will gladly help in translations because this treaty is for both parties, so, both parties should be included in the making of it. And George, I will happily support you and this kaupapa to rewrite the treaties alongside pākehā. Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated.. Unlike some other Pākehā who play a huge role in the makings of this treaty.

- Antonia Tangatakino-McIntyre, Caitlin Barlow and Paris Foskin.

Kia ora koutou, ko Tamati Waka Nene tōku ingoa. (hello, my name is Tamati Waka Nene)

To my friend, Mr Williams… No, kawanatanga is not a sufficient or acceptable word that can be translated to sovereignty. Yes, you have taken it from our word ‘kawana’ meaning governor but you mustn’t fully understand Te Reo Māori as much as you think you do. By adding the Māori suffix ‘tanga’ to ‘kawana’ will only translate to government, not sovereignty. If anything, sovereignty would be translated to ‘Kuinitanga’ as ‘Kuini’ means Queen and in the context of what you are saying, you want your Queen to have power over my people and my land, which is not acceptable. And, Mr Willams, you must not just assume or “feel” that this word “conveys the right sense of authority that will be understandable by all”, E kāo! (no way). He koretake koe ki ou matauranga o te reo māori me te ao māori hoki. (you are useless in your knowledge of our language and our world). You as pākehā can NOT create your own Māori word to translate to a pākehā word. You do not understand where and why our words are the way they are. Māori words have whakapapa, which you would know if you understood our language. Why was Te tiriti written by you and not a Māori? It would have been more fair that way and translated correctly to make sure that both parties are accepting and signing the exact same treaty. I will not agree to a treaty that results in Māori ceding sovereignty to a woman I do NOT know.

- Antonia Tangatakino-McIntyre, Caitlin Barlow and Paris Foskin.

Kia ora koutou, I am Te Rangihaeata descendant of Toa Rangatira and Rangatira of the Ngāti Toa.

After listening to the words of my brothers and sisters on the first day of the signing, I have decided it is too dangerous to trust my lands to the word of the ti Tiriti o Waitangi and the Pākehā settlers who have in recent years begun to abuse both my lands and my laws as Rangitara of Ngāti Toa.

Over the years my Uncle Te Rauparaha established good trade on both sides of cook strait by inviting whalers and traders to live among our iwi. Whalers and settlers have brought wealth throughout my iwi and an abundance of muskets. This trade relationship has been great for my community and we have become powerful and prosperous.

However the Pākehā do not respect me. The whaling communities that I have allowed to settle on my lands wreak havoc. They drink and ravage my women and fight my men. They have come to buy the land of Ngāti Toa against my laws and they have no respect for my leadership and authority. They pose an underlying threat to my sovereign rule of Ngāti Toa. I did originally consider that signing the treaty may have taken the responsibility of controlling the Pākehā communities off my hands, but I see now that the risk of losing control of my lands is too great.

I am older and I must admit I do not understand much of the treaty as my brothers and sisters do. I have had a life of war and conflict, and now I wish to see my people at peace and my lands secured. I have fought countless battles for my land and for my people and could not bear to see them undermined and lost under Pākehā rule.

Chief Hone Tuhawaiki (Bloody Jack) has also expressed to me his concern about issues of sovereignty over our land that may arise if we go ahead with signing the treaty. If we were to sign we would still require full sovereign reign over our lands and people. From what I have been informed by Tāraia Ngākuti Te Tumuhuia and Te Whiwhi the translation of the treaty is not to be trusted, especially the use of the new word ‘Kawatanatanga’ which is both confusing and manipulative and does not translate to what my idea of what governing should be. This does not sit well with my way of ruling over the Pākehā settlers.

I trust the words of my own people and Rangatira over those of the Pākehā.

I propose that we take matters into our own hands and have discussed an alliance with myself alongside my nephew Matene Te Whiwhi and the great chief Tāraia Ngākuti Te Tumuhuia as a measure of controlling the settlers. With a chiefly alliance we can enforce our authority over the settlers and gain back control of Ngāti Toa land without signing away our chieftainship to the misleading and treacherous words of the ti Tiriti o Waitangi.

- Indiarose Thomas, Max Kingsley Smith

I am Te Rangihaeata.

Tēnā koe Te Raupahara,

I am disappointed to hear this from you. As my Uncle, my brother, my mentor and someone I have fought alongside, I would have thought that you would see the false claims the Pakeha and the Queen are making in order to take our lands from us that we have fought so hard for.

I thought you of all people would understand why we should not sign the treaty and risk losing our Rangatiratanga and our Whenua.

Do not get me wrong, I understand that the battles will not end between the Maori tribes. They grow tiresome and peace is a mutual goal for our people, but if we sign away our chieftainship to the Pakeha (who already misbehave and disrespect our land, our customs and our people) and to the crown that already claims to be "our Queen", there will be NOTHING but battles and fighting for what is rightfully ours. Is that what you want?

It is you who is the naive one who cannot see the deceit behind the ambiguous wording of the treaty and the true motives of the settlers and the crown. Yes, we have had success in trading with the Pakeha and this has been beneficial to our tribe, but we have seen the way they act and the ugly behaviour that has surfaced over time within their communities. Nothing is sacred to them; Everything is sacred to us.

How can you trust the words of these Pakeha over the words of your own people, your family? How can they claim to know what is best for us when we are the true custodians of this land and they are merely visitors. Our rangatiratanga may not be perfect but it is our history and we are proud and strong.

My Uncle, I urge you to reconsider your decision to sign the treaty of Waitangi and to stop spreading this message of surrender and submission to the Crown.

Do not forget your people,

Do not forget your past,

Do not forget your self.

Kia ora koutou, ko Tamati Waka Nene tōku ingoa. (hello, my name is Tamati Waka Nene).

Kia ora koutou kātoa, ko wai au? Ko Tamati Waka Nene. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou ka huihui mai ki ou kainga ki tenei hui. Tenā koe me tenei ahuatanga ou, i roto i ngā taimahatanga o te ao. Ka nui te hari kua tae mai koutou mo tenei huihuinga whaitikanga. (Greetings to you all, who am I? I am Tamati Waka Nene. Many thanks to you all for coming from your homes to this meeting. Thank you for what you are doing, despite the difficulties around us. There is much joy that you have arrived for this important meeting.)

On this day we will be deciding how the interactions between tangata whenua and the pākehā settlers will continue.

Now, I believe that it is too late for us to change our perspective on Pākehā as we have already drunk their rum, eaten their food, worn their clothes, used their weapons and lived alongside them. I find it completely hohā (nuisance) that some tangata whenua are here for only one kaupapa (reason) - to fight the treaty, especially when pākehā have already introduced us to things from their world. My brother, Eruera Patuone, and I were close friends to Hongi Hika, who has been to England and seen the pākehā world; he would have agreed to sign the treaty too. And as Māori, all we know is Te Ao māori (the māori world), so, how are we going to continue our trade deals and alliances with our pākehā friends if we do not work together? Being in alliance with the pākehā can be beneficial to us, however I do believe that some alterations to both treaties need to be made for it to have my support, my supporters support and for it to hold my name and signature on it.

Under no circumstances will I agree to a treaty that does not leave total cession of sovereignty to Māori. I do not want a Queen of a different country, who does NOT know my people, who has NOT travelled to meet my people and who has NOT learnt our language, to have the power to control Māori and what we do on our whenua (land). I am fine with having he kawana me te kawanatanga hoki (governor and government), heoi ano, e te iwi, whakarongo mai ki a au (however everyone, listen to me). Right now, this treaty is not what we will agree to. We will fight and argue and be as stubborn as we can be and not sign it until we are given what we want. If listening to a lady on a throne who we do not know and who does not know us, is what you want… think about tou tamariki, tou mokopuna - mo nga rangatira mo apopo! (your children, your grandchildren - the leaders of the future!) Do not base your decision on your personal grievances with pākehā, think about the future. If we cease our sovereignty over to te karauna (the crown), our people will suffer over time and we will lose our taukiri (identity), our whakapapa (genealogy), our māoritanga (culture) and more. They still call us savages, even when wanting us to sign a treaty, they do not deserve authority over us and our whenua. E te iwi (everyone), we need to communicate, we need to listen, we need to negotiate and we need to sign. Māori mā, (to all māori) please keep in mind that our sovereignty is our mana and if we sign that away to te karauna (the crown), what good will it bring to us?

So, Mr. Kawana (governor) Hobson, Mr. Williams (Henry Williams), sit down with us, talk to us and help us change this treaty, or me and my supporters will happily leave… along with some of your women, your food, your clothes and your weapons. Nga mihi kia koutou katoa (thank you all).

- Antonia Tangatakino-McIntyre, Caitlin Barlow and Paris Foskin.


Indiarose Thomas

I found the whole experience of the game quite a fun and interactive way to understand the multitude of factors, perspectives and complexities that influenced the signing of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

I enjoyed the task of being assigned characters to play and thinking as they would, based on the character biographies we were given and our own extensive research. There was a clear correlation between the ability of individuals to present an accurate representation of their characters and the amount of effort devoted to in-depth research.

The use of Te Reo in speeches and informed comments added an element of authenticity and connection to Rangatira and Maori that were re-enacted in the game. I really enjoy learning Te Reo and hope I can continue to pick up more as History and University learning unfolds.

I found translating the game to an online platform due to the current epidemic both challenging and equally more effective than I would imagine a physical/vocal version of the game could be. I think it may have been easier to walk straight up to the person you had in-game relationships with and simply discuss any questions or ideas you had. On the other hand, I think that having everything online gave more accountability and a proper platform to make sure all ideas and exchanges were logged via email, social media platforms and then finally the discussion board.

I did find that a couple of the crucial contributing factors were overlooked or forgotten about because there were many different elements to the game and that was somewhat difficult to keep track of, especially as the game requirements were all online as well.

As someone that absorbs information best in person and by writing it down, it was a struggle to try to stay on top of all the separate elements of the game.

I enjoyed reading through the discussion board and examining how the character relationships developed based on how conversations and exchanges occurred over the signing period. You could definitely gauge who had gone in-depth with their character research and were fully involved in the process of arguing and channelling the ideas and perspective of their character compared to those who had just overlooked and considered the minimal amount of information required.


In the Treaty of Waitangi roleplay game, my group and I were given the role of Tāmati Wāka Nene. I found it interesting learning and researching about a Māori rangatira from Ngāpuhi, as I personally only know about my own iwi (Ngāti Awa and Tuhoe) rangatira.

Due to Covid-19 and lockdown happening, we were forced to move things online. Instead of the game taking place in Waipapa Marae, we were able to do it from the comfort of our homes (or wherever you were). This game was actually more fun than I anticipated it to be and it was a different ( a good kind of different ) way to look at the treaty. I did enjoy the fact that we were given a character to pretty much embody so we had to think like them, figure out who they had relationships with, their motives and how they would be when it comes to making decisions that are in their favour. The goal of the game for my character was to make sure total sovereignty of New Zealand remained with Māori. I liked this task for my character not only because I am Māori and being where I’m from, my iwi and myself, don’t agree with the treaty for many reasons but mainly because we didn’t sign it, therefore it is irrelevant to us… but I did like it because it gave the opportunity for a different outcome of the treaty itself but also after it. I do believe that being who I am and where I come from did help me during this game however it was very hard for me to not get personal about it as it is just a game.

I really enjoyed playing this game online, at first I thought it would take away the emotion and presentation of it all. My thoughts changed when the game started. Being able to read everyone's speeches and comments as their character was just like “woah”. I am really glad it took place online and I say this because I think that we wouldn’t have gotten to the outcome we did if it were in person. For myself, I was in charge of commenting on the discussion board and boy did I get into it. It was scary at first but I do think that being able to re-read what people have said, the more structure came from commenting back. I did enjoy that I was able to copy and paste peoples quotes when making a comment because I saw it as evidence. I also think that by it being online and the way I was participating, I would have never had the guts to do that in person, so I am thankful it was online.

My favourite part of the game was during session 3 and I must admit, things got a little heated. This could be because I was in a very heated, profanity filled conversation with ‘Queen Victoria’ but it could also be because the original treaty set on fire and I absolutely loved this! So we were then forced to create a new treaty and luckily, we already had one that from my point of view, lots of people wanted. I especially loved this because the game had clearly shown that the slightest change, whether it be in conversation, relationships or characters, could have had the power to change the outcome of the treaty signing. I wouldn't make any changes to how we played the game this year.

Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu.

Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.

- I believe that this whakatauki fits this game perfectly as it did just that.

Estefania Aedo Avila

The Treaty role play game was a new and challenging experience. Although there were some tech issues at times, it was exhilarating to read through the discussions. Working with my partner was an easy process as we both seemed to have been on the same page from the start. I was having to research not only the event itself but what was happening before the treaty, as well as the character, was a new way to research for me. Thinking not how you would react but how your character would react. Thinking of the importance and relevance aspects of the treaty had with your character and allies made the treaty personal.

Having to think and react with the treaty in such a different way made other historical events seem more real. History is not just black and white, but they are full of characters and real people with both good and bad intentions. How we as a class were able to interpret this event is how these historical events happened. Relationships, allies, responsibilities, and the need for progress is spread out through history but without stopping to think of events in this way they overlooked.

Having been to Waitangi multiple times, I cannot wait to go there again with fresh eyes knowing more about what happened in those few days of February, but also getting to know the people and relationships that were there. However, the treaty itself did not get the amendments or correct translation that was needed at the time. The treaty stands for more than just a British Government in New Zealand or Maori rights to their lands it stands it is a document of leadership it is the names of Rangatira that wanted more for their people and hopes for their future.

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