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  • Writer's pictureFiona Deehan

Case Study: Meitheal Ōtautahi - Understanding the Treaty in 2023

On 28th October, Network Waitangi Ōtautahi (NWŌ) facilitated a workshop at Christchurch Irish Club’s where eight people from the Irish community learned about the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how it impacts life in Aotearoa New Zealand today. 

Those who attended learned together, drank tea together, laughed together and had some moments of deep connection and empathy as they explored Aotearoa New Zealand’s history together. The group was made up of a mixture of Irish and NZ-born community members and all spoke highly of the experience and why others should come along the next time the opportunity comes up.

“Treaty workshop was amazing, it blew me away, it opened my mind.”

“Really informative, great way to begin the education on Te Tiriti o Waitangi”

“An opportunity to learn and be curious in a safe space. An opportunity to reflect on your own culture and ancestors. Enlightening”

“Very good and good open conversation. Relatable to my own Irish culture.”

“To come along and get informed especially as new people to Aotearoa. Come and learn and understand about the history of The Declaration of Independence and how and why Te Tiriti came to be and is still a living document today. Come and learn in a calming and relaxing environment alongside other like minded people. Get to know each other and build

relationships with one another.”

“So great learning with other Irish people. Felt safe to question ourselves and learn from others.”

“I feel I am starting to bridge the gap from what I have grown up, known and learnt.”

Network Waitangi Ōtautahi (NWŌ) supports the development of a Treaty-based, multicultural and Strongly Sustainable future for all in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NWŌ's approach is to start where people are at. It is non-confrontational. This opportunity is not only introductory; it is designed to refresh your understanding and clarify what the Treaty means today. It will explore: ancestry, cultural difference and cultural safety; pre-Treaty and post-Treaty history; colonisation and social statistics, and new ways of thinking, living and working. Models and possible actions in 2023 for moving towards a Treaty-based society will also be considered. 

This workshop was funded by the Meitheal Ōtautahi project. More information about this here.

When Meitheal Ōtautahi Project Lead was asked “Why is this relevant for us? Why is an Irish community project supporting and organising this opportunity?”, she said:

There are a number of reasons.

  • As immigrants to Aotearoa New Zealand, we have an obligation to understand the history and context of the country we now call home.

  • Our Irish community includes all people of Irish heritage, European New Zealanders, Pākehā and Māori Irish, therefore to be truly inclusive and welcoming to all those who are Irish, we need to understand matters that impact them.

  • As a group who has a colonial history, learning about the history here can help us reflect on where we're from and the impact our history has had on our homeland.

Some resources you might find interesting:

E-Tangata | A Māori and Pasifika Sunday magazine lots of great articles here, search ‘Irish’ 

For more information, contact Fi Deehan, Project Lead

022 676 8858



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