The Treaty of Waitangi in early childhood education.

Let’s have a look at The Treaty of Waitangi in early childhood education.  Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  I am going to break this down into several parts as it is a huge topic and I just want to try and simplify it for you as an early childhood teacher.  You would have covered this through your teacher training in more depth treat this as a little revision.

What is the Treaty about?

The Treaty of Waitangi is basically an agreement between Māori Chiefs of  New Zealand in 1840 and the the Crown.  The English agreement was that the Crown could take over the sovereignty of New Zealand and that Māori would keep their lands, fisheries and treasures.  This is not so in the Māori treaty that says Māori did not give up sovereignty.  There was an English written Treaty and a Māori written Treaty. So their is a lot of differences that can be and are argued about today The Treaty is understood differently throughout New Zealand

Why do I need to know about it?

The Treaty of Waitangi is an important part of New Zealand’s history and is the founding document of this country.  It should be understood by New Zealanders and teachers need to know as they have to somehow explain this to future generations.  It is a conversational subject and your perspective is yours but the simplicity of it is that English and Māori have good relations with each other and we understand each others cultures and respect each other.  Ensuring the Maori language and the culture is entwined within your practice  is therefore relevant and you understand that relevance.

How do I implement it in my teaching practice?

How do we teach the treaty to young children?  Respecting both cultures is the most important thing to do.   Incorporating biculturalism into your practice meaning teaching both Māori and English cultures to children.  The languages, histories, ways of living, fashion, etiquette/protocols, values, food, games, etc…

It is not only the Māori culture that you should be concentrating on within your teaching but also the other cultures present within your centre.   Today we have a multicultural society thus these cultures should be present in your curriculum too. All cultures are important and children must learn this.

I know a lot of teachers are worried they have not done enough Māori in their practice but look I can tell you that if you have some knowledge of the Māori values you  will be practicing this every day without even knowing it.  For example do you greet your children and family each day, do you encourage family participation in the centre?  Well this is incoporating a Māori value of whanaungatanga – working together for a shared vision, a sense of family connection, kinship.  I will look at Māori values in future posts.


Here are some good reads that may also assist you.

.Waitangi Day: the New Zealand Story     The Treaty of Waitangi Te Mana O Te Tiriti : The Living Treaty 

  •  This is a journal article written by Orlene D’Cunha published in He Kupu a free online journal.
  •   An article about Tuia 250 published in Te Whāriki online.

Dispositions linked to Te Whāriki.

What are Dispositions?

Dispositions are the developing skills and  attitudes and the characteristics of children  and how they are learning.

Within the New Zealand curriculum for early childhood there are five strands.  I  have linked the learning dispositions to the strands.  These are useful for using within your learning stories you write for children.

Mana Atua

Well Being

Learning to have trust

learning to have playfulness

learning to show innovation

learning to participate

learning to be involved

learning to have a go

learning to apply past knowledge

learning to be tolerant

learning to contribute

learning to be kind

learning to share

Mana Whenua


learning to show curiosity

learning to be courageous

learning to be secure

learning to show an interest

learning to devlop friendships

learning to be confident

learning to believe in ones self

learning to value ones own belief

learning to be at peace

learning to have a sense of humour

Manga tangata


Learning to show responsibility

learning to negotiate

learning to be independent

learning to think critically

learning to show empathy

learning to pursue social justice

learning to care

learning to demonstrate flexibility

learning to be respectful

learning to love and be passionate

learning to show mindfulness

learning to manage impulsiveness

learning to strive for accuracy

learning to inspire others

learning to help others

learning to be useful

Mana Reo


learning to show confidence

learning to express ideas

learning to question

learning to consider consequences

learning to listen actively

learning to express and create

learning to be a reader

learning to converse

learning to debate

learning to problem solve

learning to ask questions

learning to be assertive

learning to think and communicate with clarity and precision

learning to display initiative

learning to use technology

Mana Aotūroa


Learning to  take up challenges

learning to show perseverance and persistence

learning to respond to uncertainty

learning to wonder and imagine

learning to develop theories

learning to explore

learning to take risks

learning to problem solve

learning to be resilient

learning to think creatively

learning to research

learning to have determination

learning to gather data through all senses

learning to experiment

learning to be creative

These dispositions are seen within teachers as they work alongside children,  Through my experience i have noticed that in order for children to learn a lot of these dispositions they must also see them within the people that surround them.  Teachers, parents, grand parents, caregivers and siblings engaging with children help these dispositions to develop.  Modelling dispositions through our behaviours is important.







Nga karakia timatanga – Welcome songs/prayers.

In the mornings it is good to have time to meet together with the children and welcome them to the centre for the day.  As part of the daily routine children usually look forward to this group time.  If you have younger children that will not sit still in a group sometimes it is best to do at the table before morning tea.  This is a good chance for you to teach children some welcome songs/prayers – nga karakia timatanga.  Today I will go over a few that you can sing or say with children.

Tēnā koe.

Tēnā Koe hello to one

Tēnā Kōrua hello to two

Tēnā Koutou hello to all

Haere mai everyone

Welcome everyone.

E te atua tenei matou

e inoi ana ki a koe

mo ngā mahi o tēnei ra



He Karakia Timatanga

He Hōnore he korōia ki te Atua

He maungārongo ki te whenua

Whakāro pai ki  ngā tāngata katoa

Hanga e te Atua he ngākau hou

ki roto ki tēna, ki tēna o mātou

Whakatōngia tōu wairua tapu

Hei awhina  hei tohu tohu i a mātou

hei ako hoki i ngā kupu

I roto i tēnei Atarangi

Ake ake ake Amine


Mōrena ki a koe

Mōrena ki a koe

Mōrena ki a   ……………………….(child’s name)

Kia pai to ra

(tune of happy birthday)

I hope these are of use to you this week.   The more you repeat them the more the children will start repeating them with you.  After a while you can change to a different one to learn.


Eco friendly products -help save our earth!

Today we are all aware that being eco friendly and using eco friendly products is something that is becoming the norm.  Children are learning about how to reuse, recycle and learning how to look after their world with the assistance from you.  You are the biggest role model when it comes to helping to save our earth.  Your actions will be followed by children and adults that you are connected with each day.

plastic So let’s start promoting products that are going to break down in the environment.  Did you know that it takes 50 years for a margarine container to break down and a plastic bag takes 40 years and we use them once.  Newspaper but will break down in 3 months and brown paper bag will take 2 months to break down.  STOP BUYING PLASTIC!

I want to look at alternative products that you can buy and use over and over and if you need to they will compost.  The eco warehouse provides environmentally friendly and sustainable products.  These are some of the products that I think would be great to buy.

    • compostible zip lock bags
    • sandwich paper bags
    • honey wraps
    • wooden toys
    • eco friendly face paint
    • beeswax crayons
    • recycled pens and pencils
    • seed bombs
    • compostible bin liners
    • kids bamboo toothbrushes
    • leak proof lunchbox

Go check out what they have to offer here click the box.


What are the learning outcomes for children using sustainable products?

  • allows children to be responsible for their actions
  • develops thriftiness
  • allows children to help create a better future for themselves
  • increase children’s awareness for their environment and what goes into the landfill
  • develop knowledge about composting and gardening
  • develop understanding about kaitiakitanga
  • developing knowledge about papatūānuku
  • developing knowledge about recycling and what can be made from recycled stuff
  • developing knowledge about protecting the environment
  • engaging in recycling of your own rubbish is fun