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Treaty Debates 2011 at Te Papa - New Challenges going forward

18 January 2011

Returning for its seventh consecutive year to Te Papa, this highly anticipated series of debates will explore the Treaty of Waitangi in the light of proposed changes to the foreshore and seabed legislation, and power sharing in the 21st century. This year’s Treaty Debates will run on Thursday 27 January and Thursday 3 February. They are free to the public, and start at 6.30pm each night in Soundings Theatre, Level 2, Te Papa. 

Dr Claudia Orange, Te Papa’s Collections and Research Group Director and leading Treaty of Waitangi scholar, will chair these thought-provoking debates, the theme of which this year is ‘New challenges going forward’.

‘Each year we have selected topics that have been in the news, and which are of concern to New Zealanders, especially in terms of relationships between Māori and the State,’ said Dr Orange.

On 27 January, Matanuku Mahuika and Tom Bennion will discuss the proposed changes to the foreshore and seabed legislation. In 2004, this legislation caused great disquiet in Māori communities, as well as across the nation. On 3 February,Joris de Bres, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner, and Whaimutu Dewes will discuss the issues of power-sharing in the 21st century. The speakers will draw on their own experiences, bringing a unique and engaging perspective to current Treaty issues.

The Treaty Debates are organised by Te Papa in partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington. They will be recorded by Radio New Zealand, so latecomers will not be admitted to the theatre. 

As well as being broadcast by Radio New Zealand, Te Papa will also post video recordings of the debates on its website on the Monday following each debate. 

The Treaty Debates 2011
27 January and 3 February
6.30pm–7.45pm (Due to recording, no admittance after 6.30pm)
Soundings Theatre, Level 2
Te Papa
Free entry 

For further information, contact:  

Anna Wilson, Manager Marketing and Communications
Tel. (04) 381 7295,
Mob. 029 601 0150
annaw@tepapa.govt.nz