Cannington Schools' journey to Waitangi

12 students from Cannington School in Timaru were given the chance to learn more about Māori culture and the history of the Treaty of Waitangi thanks to Airpoints™ for Schools.

Having regularly studied the Treaty of Waitangi in the classroom, students were looking forward to venturing into history and experiencing first-hand the place where important signatories once stood at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. For students, the trip brought to life the realisation that the Treaty is part of their own history, of New Zealand's history, and it emphasised the relevance it has in their lives today.

Visiting historic places around Russell sparked the students' imagination of how events may have unfolded there in the past. When exploring the pā of Ruapekapeka, they visualised how the battle might have occurred and were interested in learning about the clever things the Māori did in their fight against the British. They pictured the conflicts that arose at Flagstaff Hill and planned their escape from the attack at Christ Church in Russell after seeing the musket holes in the wall.

The students were also able to enjoy New Zealand's natural playground on their visits to Rainbow Falls, Ngawaha Springs, Paihia's rock pools, as well as checking out the highly anticipated giant Kauri tree, Tane Mahuta. The trip highlighted for students the Māori culture that surrounds them, the myths, legends, and beliefs, and lunchtime called for traditional wood-smoked seafood!

Students have returned from their journey with a greater appreciation for New Zealand's history and culture, and a desire to learn more about our country's past.

"Our trip to Northland allowed us to venture into our history as a country. From the Treaty grounds, walking through Ruapekapeka, and to wondering where you would hide if the other side stormed in through the Russell church doors during the attack. We learned so much more of our New Zealand history." - Amanda Batt, Year 8 Student at Cannington School.

"I think everything was amazing on this trip and the school and I could not be more grateful to everyone who donated their Airpoints Dollars and to Air New Zealand for making this amazing experience happen." - Molly Smith, Year 6 Student at Cannington School.