Final content released for teaching NZ history

Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti.

Every young person in school and kura will soon start learning about how New Zealand’s histories have shaped our lives, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

The final curriculum content for New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā has been released and is now available to all New Zealand schools and kura.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Ministers Kelvin Davis, Jan Tinetti, and Aupito William Sio are launching the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum at Sylia Park School in Auckland. Tune into the livesteream above for more.

The new curriculum was officially announced last February, following up on a pledge in September 2019 that history would be compulsory in all New Zealand schools.

Hipkins says it means they can start planning now to teach it from the beginning of next year.

However, ACT believes the new curriculum "threatens to indoctrinate students in left-wing ideas and it requires an overhaul".

The Ministry of Education has been working with history and curriculum experts, iwi and mana whenua, Pacific communities, students and ākonga, parents and whānau, and other groups with a strong interest in shaping how New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā could be taught.

The resulting draft curriculum content was tested in 2021 in schools and kura staffrooms, classrooms, and with the public through a survey and general submission process, says Hipkins.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

"The feedback the Ministry received was wide-ranging, clear, and at times confronting. New Zealanders have a lot to say about how our nation’s histories should be examined and discussed, and that is a good thing.

“Testing of the content with kura, schools, kaiako, and teachers has been very positive. We are confident the final curriculum incorporates the feedback and ideas that were provided."

While some parts of it the curriculum will be taught right throughout the country, schools and kura can decide on what histories to include from their local area, in partnership with whānau, iwi, mana whenua and local communities.

Hipkins says this will ensure their local curriculum or marau ā-kura is reflective of the people, places and events that are important within their communities.”

The Ministry of Education will provide support and resources for schools and kura to ensure they can keep parents, whānau and the wider community, including iwi and hapū, informed and involved.

"This is the first step in a five-year refresh that will make the whole national curriculum clearer and easier to use, and better able to deliver more inclusive and equitable learning experiences for all young New Zealanders," says Hipkins.

"This exciting development in our education system means generations to come will better understand our place in the world and what has made us the nation we are."

Despite Hipkins' positivity, ACT feels the "new history curriculum is taking us backwards".

"The new history curriculum leaves huge gaps in our true history, excluding science, technology and the women’s movement," says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

Chris Baillie.

“The curriculum divides history into villains and victims, contains significant gaps, and pushes a narrow set of highly political stories from our past.

“We want children to be empowered and equipped with knowledge of the world they live in, not a narrow fragment of it promoted by the Ministry of Education.

“It leaves out or brushes over growing civil rights and liberties, technological and scientific innovation, and our citizens’ participation in two World Wars.

ACT says the New Zealand history curriculum should be radically redrafted to give an honest and inclusive account of who the New Zealand people are. Read more here.

More information including the final content is available at:

Te Takanga o Te Wā –

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories –

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Posted on 19-03-2022 13:33 | By morepork

In the same way as combining Church and State leads to disaster and the fall of nations, so does combining Politics and History. Allowing a school History syllabus to be set by vested Political interests, is just stupid. I remember being chastised for writing in a History essay that the Pope’s "Doctrine of Papal Infallibility" was "ridiculous". I was indignant at being pulled up for it, but the teacher was right. History should not contain personal opinions. It is about facts, and the presentation of them should be even-handed. Chronicles for any nation should be sterile, clear, and, above all, factual.

Facts opinions, judgements, revisions

Posted on 18-03-2022 21:46 | By Kancho

History has a basis of fact and often written up from a perspective of the writer at any given time. So looking at history from a different set of moral judgements changes and distorts perspective. What is perfectly normal encouraged behaviour fifty years , a hundred years or a thousand years can be considered quite different against modern morality. The longer the history the more opinion creeps and revisions , judgements even omissions . Difficult to be balanced or neutral as facts should be which is a worry . It really is academic as to relevance as our society moves so quickly with a multicultural world where 26 percent of New Zealanders were born elsewhere many more on their way and growing fast. So many cultures to be embraced their culture their understanding .

@ R Bell

Posted on 18-03-2022 14:38 | By Mein Fuhrer

quite a laugh how the lot on the far left spectrum of politics, preach tolerance, inclusiveness and diversity, but cannot tolerate including any diverse opinions from any other source that might challenge there agenda.


Posted on 17-03-2022 22:19 | By Let's get real

We all know who the villains and who the heroes of the story will be and some know of the horrors and atrocious committed by both sides in each and every conflict around the globe. But the narrative that will be set will probably be as contentious as other curriculum subjects encouraged by a politically influenced academic fraternity.

Long overdue

Posted on 17-03-2022 17:36 | By R. Bell

and desperately needed honest history at last. The far right Act party are bound to oppose the truth they have long denied, their support group will continue to push their elitist narrative and denial of institutional racism that has distorted New Zealand history from day one. Our children deserve the truth and hopefully will get it. Denialism is corrosive, truth is the building block of a better more inclusive future, Good luck to the enlightened.


Posted on 17-03-2022 15:35 | By dumbkof2

i have nothing against learning about nz history as long as both sides are presented. should not be compulsory but by choice.

The only thing we learn from history...

Posted on 17-03-2022 14:02 | By morepork

... is that we learn nothing from history. This tunnel-visioned view of Settlement and wars does absolutely nothing to show where we fit on a World stage, or the achievements of Kiwis in the World during the last 2 centuries. Conveniently write off two World Wars and the trade and cultural effects of the World on our developing markets. Local history IS important but so is how we got to where we are, and that was not contingent ONLY on the New Zealand Wars and festering tribal injustices. Thousands of years of European history are not to be dismissed so lightly. 1066 AD is just as important in MY culture as 1840 AD. History needs to be taught without bias and in the spirit of learning. It is not an excuse to impose guilt trips on people alive today, who cannot be responsible for events before their birth.

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