70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Photo courtesy of He Tohu
He TohuOpened in 2017 as a new addition to New Zealand's National Library, the He Tohu (The Signs) exhibition showcases three of the country's most important historical documents. Each of the three deeds continue to inform contemporary New Zealand society, and they also have relevance beyond the shores of the southern hemisphere nation. Signed in 1835, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of NZ proclaimed the sovereign independence of New Zealand on behalf of the country's indigenous Maori tribes, a charter which subsequently led to the Treaty of Waitangi between Māori and the British Crown in 1840. Also part of the He Tohu exhibition, the Treaty of Waitangi continues to be New Zealand's most important legal document, and still underpins current laws and government legislation. The final constituent of He Tohu is 1893's Women's Suffrage Petition, a groundbreaking document which saw the youthful nation become the first country in the world to grant universal voting rights to women. Interesting multimedia displays provide context on the significance of He Tohu's three documents to modern New Zealand.