New display for Treaty of Waitangi under consideration

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Archives New Zealand is considering displaying the original 1840 Treaty of Waitangi in a new and improved public space at the refurbished National Library building, the Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand, Nathan Guy, has announced today.New display for Treaty of Waitangi under consideration

Archives New Zealand is considering displaying the original 1840 Treaty of Waitangi in a new and improved public space at the refurbished National Library building, the Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand, Nathan Guy, has announced today.

“The Treaty is currently on display at the Archives New Zealand building on Mulgrave Street in Wellington. However, the National Library’s newly refurbished building on Molesworth Street is due for completion later next year and we want to maximise the use of this fantastic new facility.

“We want to boost the profile of the Treaty so that more people will be able to see and engage with it. The $52 million refurbishment of the Molesworth Street site could give us an opportunity to create a single shared site, with reading rooms, research material and public exhibitions of the many treasures held by these organisations.

“This could include some of the resources held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, and important documents such as the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition.

“A purpose-built centre with extended weekend hours would give more New Zealanders, and overseas visitors, the chance to learn more about our nation’s heritage. Currently around 27,000 people visit the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand each year, and we expect the new National Library building will attract around 200,000 visitors.

“We have consulted with mana whenua, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika iwi who are supportive. The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document and any physical move, safekeeping and preservation would be carefully managed. The ongoing care and responsibility for the Treaty would remain with Archives New Zealand.

“The Chief Archivist and National Librarian have been working together and a detailed business case around a proposed integrated service will be complete in November, with a final decision made soon after.

“Earlier this year the National Library, Archives New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs were integrated together. This new shared space will be a great example of the benefits of working together, combining back office costs while delivering better frontline services for the public,” says Mr Guy.

*A timeline of the history of the Treaty of Waitangi, including its various locations, is available here: http://archives.govt.nz/exhibitions/treaty

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