Exercises for pupils

Section 1

Exercise 1: Wahi Tapu

Cartoon by Tom Scott

  • Use the Tom Scott cartoon to explore the meaning of wahi tapu. Is it a concept common to all cultures?
  • What places are wahi tapu to non-Māori people in Aotearoa? What is their significance to those people?
  • Do people always understand the importance of other peoples’ sacred sites? If not, what prevents them from understanding?

Exercise 2: Mapping

  • Trace an outline map of Te Roroa's lands (use the map to the right). Then trace an outline map of the North Island and indicate the correct location of Te Roroa’s lands.
  • As you go through this kit, mark on your map areas and places of significance, such as the main blocks of land sold, wahi tapu, the key settlements, and so forth.

Section 2

Exercise 1: Māori and European Maps

Map of Te Roroa reserves [GIF, 155 KB]

  • Why were the wahi tapu not reserved when Te Roroa's land was sold? How did the Te Roroa people describe the boundaries and the key features of their tribal lands? How did Europeans record the boundaries and the key features of land?
  • Discuss the impact of European mapping traditions on Māori ‘oral map’ traditions.
  • Design an oral map of your community (this may be an individual or a class exercise).

Exercise 2: How Conflict Arises

The Waitangi Tribunal was asked to sort out a very confused situation. Look at each case study in turn and discuss:

  • the main issue around the sale of the land;
  • how and when the confusion arose; and
  • whether the maps and surveys clarified or confused the issues.

Exercise 3: Line Graph

Draw a line graph to show the loss of much of Waipoua 2 native reserve land from 1860 to 1973. One axis of the graph should show years, the other acres. On the years axis, mark key dates, such as the start and end of the two World Wars and when the land was sold or alienated.

Once the graph is drawn, students may like to add different shades or colours above and below the line to show the direct relationship between the loss of land by one party and the gain made by another.

Extension Exercise: The Native Land Court

Read pages 99 to 107 of the Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Roroa Report 1992 for details of the Waipoua 2 sale, which was facilitated by the Native Land Court. Pages 151 to 154 outline injustices in the Native Land Court system.

Using the resources available in your school and public library and on the internet, conduct a research exercise into the history of the Native Land Court. The court still exists and is now called the Māori Land Court(external link)

How many of the following questions can you find answers to?

  • When and why was the Native Land Court established?
  • How did the court operate? Who were the judges? Were they trained lawyers?
  • Who represented the Crown? Who represented the Māori landowners?
  • Where did the court sit? What did this mean for Māori landowners?
  • How were the 10 named owners on land titles determined?
  • What language(s) were used in court proceedings? Has this changed? If so, what does it indicate about changes in New Zealand society?
  • What role did the Native Land Court play in the loss of Te Roroa land?

Section 3

Exercise 1: Role Play

After reading this resource kit, think about the views and feelings of the different groups of people discussed.

  1. Match the views below with the people you think they belong to:
    Views People
    1. ‘I bought this land at a fair price; what happened in the past is dead and buried.’ A. A claimant before the Waitangi Tribunal
    2. ‘Some of the sacred objects are of great interest and value and should be kept safe for study.’ B. A kaumatua of Te Roroa
    3. ‘Let me show you the places our ancestor Tohe named and I will tell you the story of…’ C. A museum researcher
    4. ‘We were promised that our sacred places would be reserved from the land sales.’ D. A private landowner
  2. Taking each of the people above, explain why they hold their views. For example, ‘A museum researcher thinks that…because…’
  3. In pairs, imagine that one of you is the speaker who has said something from the ‘views’ column. The other is the person you are speaking to. Create a conversation together, in writing or aloud.
  4. Imagine that the speakers of views 1 and 4 get together and write down what they might say to each other.

Exercise 2: Class Discussion

Hold a class discussion. Use these questions and answers as a starting point.

Q. How do you think the lack of roading affected the people of Waipoua?
A. Te Roroa people were unable to sell their goods outside the valley or get goods and services in easily. The value of their land was low because it was not linked to the main roading network. They had to pay to maintain their own road in and out of the settlement, and they had to ask permission from the Forest Service to get access to their homes.

Q. What do you think the effect of the lack of services was?
A. It was very inconvenient, and potentially dangerous, especially in emergencies such as a medical crisis or a fire. Use of the telephone depended on the goodwill of the Forest Service. The people had to rely on rainwater supplies.

Q. How do you think the children of Waipoua got their schooling? What options did they have?
A. When the small schools were closed down, many of the children could not get to school without travelling up to 10 kilometres by horse or on foot. The school day for some chil-dren was 10 or 11 hours long. Many had to leave home and board in Dargaville or Whangarei, or take lessons through the Correspondence School. (Taking lessons by correspondence was difficult because the pupil needed a telephone and postal services. The Correspondence School unit serving the Waipoua settlement was closed in 1990.)

Q. How did the lack of services affect the Te Roroa people over the years? What were their lives like at the time they made their claim compared with earlier times?
A. Te Roroa had no economic base because they lost their land, their settlement was isolated, and they had no services to enable them to participate in the market economy. Many Te Roroa people were unemployed and on benefits. It was even difficult for them to manage a subsistence economy because they were denied access to their traditional mahinga kai and, in addition, much environmental damage had been done to those areas since the land was sold and Te Roroa lost control of its management.

Next: Teacher’s Notes

This page was last updated: