He Tohu official opening date set

February 1, 2017

The official opening date for He Tohu has been set for Friday 19 May 2017 at the National Library of New Zealand. The exhibition will be open to the public the following day, Saturday 20 May 2017.

The new exhibition will be housed at the National Library of New Zealand, opposite Parliament Buildings. The documents will remain under the guardianship and care of Archives New Zealand.

He Tohu will be opened by the Governor-General, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy and attended by invited guests in an event the former Prime Minister, John Key has designated as “an event of national significance.”

He Tohu has been developed in partnership between the Crown and Māori since mid-2014. Iwi Māori from throughout the country, also women’s groups, will be represented at the official opening.

He Tohu is a new permanent exhibition of three constitutional documents that help shape our nation:

  • 1835 He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni - Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand
  • 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi
  • 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition – Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine

The taonga are currently at Archives New Zealand, Wellington, in a display opened in 1990 by the then Governor-General, Sir Paul Reeves, which is now at the end of its life.

The new exhibition will be located in the National Library of New Zealand building opposite Parliament, although the documents remain under the statutory care of Archives New Zealand.

State of the art technology will be used in the new exhibition to help preserve the taonga for future generations. The new exhibition site also improves access for all New Zealanders with a larger space that will be open six days a week, with on-site interactive and online learning opportunities with a focus on 10 to 15 year olds.