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Boys' School Re-enact the Treaty Signing

February 18, 2015 at 12:45 PM

‘He iwi tahi tatou’  - ‘We are one people’

Following on from the success of last year’s outing to little-known Karaka Bay on Glendowie’s waterfront, this year’s Year 5 cohort followed suit, leaving school dressed in period costume to stage a re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

With some taking on the role of the British, while others dressed as Maori chiefs, the boys made their way down the long, winding path to a quiet stretch of beach that marks the spot where the Ngati Paoa tribe signed the Treaty in the months following the Waitangi signing. Leading up to the trip, the boys had written and prepared a short play to perform on the beach.

Karaka Bay has a small community of ten households on the shoreline that can only be reached by the long, winding path. There is no street access; everything has to be walked in. Once again, resident, Mr Tony Watkins kindly offered his time to talk to the boys. Mr Watkins is Te Rarawa; his relatives signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Mangungu in the Hokainga and he now lives on the spot at Karaka Bay where the Treaty was signed in Auckland. He talked to the boys about just what a treaty means and how it came to mean different things to different people at the time of the signing.

Once the boys had eaten their lunch in the shade of an enormous pohutukawa, a table was laid out with the red ensign, re-creating the scene on the day of the signing in Waitangi. Teacher, Mr Anton Lorenzon took on the role of Captain William Hobson and those who had been assigned roles  - the narrators, the missionary, William Colenso, James Busby and the chiefs, Tareha, Tamati Waka Nene and Hone Heke - came forward and delivered their lines with confidence. After each chief signed, they shook hands with Hobson who said, ‘He iwi tahi tatou’  - ‘We are one people.’

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