Wellington Scoop

Treaty change: Campaigners want English translation of Te Tiriti at Te Papa


There was a security alert at Te Papa this afternoon when there was a demonstration inside the national museum by the Extinction Rebellion group.

The campaigners’ message was: Draw the line on colonisation. They said the English language version of the Treaty of Waitangi which is on display at Te Papa should be replaced by the English translation of Te Tiriti O Waitangi.

Te Wehi Ratana​, spokesman for Extinction Rebellion and Te Waka Hourua, said Te Tiriti and the Treaty were two different documents and the national museum was misrepresenting history.

The DomPost quotes Te Papa spokeswoman Kate Camp​ as saying the organisation respected the protestors’ right to be heard and aimed to be as “calm and respectful” in its interactions with them as possible “while taking care of our visitors and the taonga entrusted in our care”.

“The safety of our visitors, staff and everyone in our whare is our number one priority. Decisions around security are made by our team based on the standard protocols we have in place.”

She said the demonstration had been peaceful, and the museum was able to stay open. Te Papa management had not had formal discussions with the organisers, but protestors were giving staff a one-page document outlining their reasons for being at Te Papa.

Extinction Rebellion are planning more demonstrations in Wellington this week, with a march to Parliament tomorrow to deliver an open letter on climate change for the Prime Minister. The demonstrations are in support of the climate change conference that begins in Glasgow at the end of the month.