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About the project

This project accepts the premiss that the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document of the nation commonly referred to as Aotearoa New Zealand. However, the treaty is still a source of deep controversy and disagreement and continues to challenge our understanding in a variety of ways.

In November 2021, two Tauranga kaumatua and I launched a petition which aims to have an oral agreement between Governor Hobson and assembled rangatira accepted as an integral article alongside articles, one, two and three. This article acknowledges the known “faiths” of the time, Anglicanism, Methodism, Roman Catholicism and indigenous Māori beliefs. Further the article commits the Crown to “protect” these “faiths”.

If ultimately the Crown accepts the validity of the Oral Article, this could shift the narrative with regard to New Zealand's status as a secular nation and provide opportunity for faith perspectives to sit more naturally within the public square.


Waitangi: An oral covenant
Alistair Reese
E-Tangata, 6 February 2022

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