“The new history curriculum leaves huge gaps in our true history, excluding science, technology and the women’s movement – it’s all about colonisation,” says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“The curriculum divides history into villains and victims, contains significant gaps, and pushes a narrow set of highly political stories from our past.

“We want children to be empowered and equipped with knowledge of the world they live in, not a narrow fragment of it promoted by the Ministry of Education.

“The great promise of New Zealand is that everyone’s equal. For generations people have travelled long distances to give their children a better tomorrow in this little country where everyone gets an equal chance.

“Today, Labour is trying to make New Zealand an unequal society on purpose. It believes there are two types of New Zealanders. Tangata Whenua, who are here by right, and Tangata Tiriti who are lucky to be here. We should be learning the history of our multi-ethnic society.

“Jacinda Ardern promised a history curriculum that would promote a ‘better New Zealand that we can all be proud of, and which recognises the value of every New Zealander’.

“The first ‘big idea’, that Māori history is the ‘continuous history’ of New Zealand, excludes the many people who have travelled from the furthest points of the globe, brought their histories and cultures with them and worked to give themselves, their families and this county and better future.

“The second, that colonisation ‘continue[s] to influence all aspects of New Zealand society’, is depressing and wrong and neglects the elements of our society that are untouched by colonisation.

“The final big idea, that power has been the primary driver of our history, creates a narrative of oppressors and oppressed, and leaves out the many forces that have propelled our past, including scientific discoveries, technological innovations, business, and artistic creativity.

“The curriculum pushes a number of left-wing narratives, including about the welfare state, ‘cultural appropriation’, and a partnership between the Crown and Māori.

“It leaves out or brushes over growing civil rights and liberties, technological and scientific innovation, and our citizens’ participation in two World Wars.

“If students are to be taught New Zealand history, they deserve an honest account of who we are as a nation.”

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Chris Baillie