Series three is the only series for which the stories are already partly-known by teachers and some of the public. This makes it’s sale easier – because it’s credibility isn’t questioned (which some of the other stories are – because the stories haven’t been told, and many are unaware of the powerful dynamics they contain in our early pre-Treaty history, and modern prejudices can preclude an ability to accept or understand the history).
However, the Waitangi series also has a significant strength in the way the narrative is ‘carried’. It firstly provides a narrative with a broader picture of what was happening in the lead up to the Treaty 1840 than most tellings of the history reveal. It also reveals a more robust range of the differing perspectives of those involved – including Maori, whalers/sealers/traders, missionaries, settlers and the colonial office. (Contrast this with the common over-amplification of the story as ‘Maori = victim and Pakeha = perpetrator’, which is all too-oft communicated, even if inadvertently). The way a story is told is important!
With a range of views in mind, this series also deliberately works to draw the non-Maori reader into the story (because Maori usually have a positive view to the Treaty anyway). As a result it leaves the reader with a level of empathy they may not have gained from other tellings of the story (at least, this is our hope). The narrative hopefully also leaves the reader with a feeling pride at who we are as a nation – because positive dynamics within the wider story are revealed which have too-often remained hidden or not been brought together well. For reasons like these we believe this series will be increasingly valued.
For awareness: A ‘teachers resources’ was created and trailed early in 2017 and released late in 2017 – with different material for upper primary, intermediate and lower secondary teachers. This will helps teachers to more-easily teach and engage with the series, thus discovering the great educational resource that it is.