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Treaty home details revealed, eventually

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/08/2016

Details have been revealed of the long-delayed new home for the Treaty of Waitangi, with an unveiling hitch also holding things up on the day.

A ceremony on Wednesday divulged the name He Tohu for the permanent exhibition within Wellington's National Library, which house three significant documents from New Zealand's history.

He Tohu has a number of meanings - signs, signatures, marks and symbols.

With the project running nearly four years behind schedule, the unveiling was delayed by several minutes when the string meant to pull back the curtain broke.

"It all goes to show that nothing worthwhile is achieved without struggle, and that is a metaphor for the development of this exhibition, but also for our country," Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne quipped afterwards.

The exhibition, which opens early next year, will feature the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition.

The documents are being moved 200m down the road from their current home at Archives New Zealand, and the government has been forced to defend costs and delays in the $6.7 million project, which was meant to happen in 2013.

The documents will be housed in environmentally controlled display cases to protect them and there will be an interpretive space.

It would enhance learning opportunities, especially for students between 10 and 15 years old about the history of the documents, Mr Dunne said.

"I am confident it will promote conversation and understanding about nationhood and who we are."

More details are available at: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Archive-Exhibition-Project

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