6 Feb 2019

Māori, colonial history should be compulsory - National Party leader Simon Bridges

1:59 pm on 6 February 2019

The National Party thinks schools should have a compulsory course that teaches students about Māori and colonial history.

Simon Bridges speaks at Waitangi

Simon Bridges speaks at Waitangi Photo: RNZ/ Dan Cook

This comes after the History Teachers' Association called for a compulsory New Zealand history curriculum, labelling current teaching and general knowledge of the subject "shameful".

National Party leader Simon Bridges told RNZ's Waitangi Day programme he supports a compulsory programme - as long as what is taught is impartial.

"I think we should have as part of our own New Zealand history course, a compulsory part that is there that all young New Zealanders learn. I think it's incredibly important, children should know their history," said Mr Bridges.

Yesterday, former National leader Don Brash said he was open to making New Zealand history compulsory in schools but he was worried it would be taught in a biased way and teachers would ignore pre-1840 history.

"More people were killed pre-1840 in inter-tribal warfare than were killed post-1840 in wars between the Queen's forces and tribes," said Dr Brash.