New Zealand history. Waitangi Treaty groups educational trip with Learning Journeys.
Waitangi Treaty grounds curriculum linked NZ student history trip.
Paihia_student trip for history field study
NZ student history field trip.
NZ student history field trip. Ruapekapeka Pa
History of Ruapekapeka. DOC image
Museum at Treaty of Waitangi grounds
Russell, Bay of Islands. History field trip with Learning Journeys.

History of a Nation

New Zealand’s human history is relatively short. Recent research confirms that the first settlers, the Maori, probably arrived from Polynesia between 1200 and 1300 AD. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to discover New Zealand, in 1642. The English navigator James Cook mapped the country in 1769–70. After this, sealers, whalers and traders arrived then, beginning in 1814, missionaries who tried to convert Māori to Christianity.
In 1840, Māori signed the Treaty of Waitangi with representatives of the British Queen, who sought sovereignty over the country. In return the Queen’s representatives promised Māori ownership of their land, and the rights of British citizens. Māori came under increasing pressure from European settlers to sell their land for settlement. This led to conflict and, in the 1860s, war broke out in the North Island. A lot of Māori land was taken or bought by the government during or after 20 years of war.
Meanwhile, in the South Island, settlers set up sheep farms on the extensive grasslands and Canterbury became the country’s wealthiest province. Gold was discovered in Otago in 1861 and then on the West Coast, In the 1870s, the government helped thousands of British people start a new life in New Zealand. Railways were built and towns sprang up or expanded.
In 1882, the first shipment of frozen meat from New Zealand made it successfully to England, proving that exporting chilled meat, butter and cheese was possible. New Zealand became a key supplier to Britain. With an economy based on agriculture, much of the forest that originally covered New Zealand was cleared for farmland.
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant all women the right to vote. Not long after, New Zealand was the first country to offer state pensions and, in the late 1930s, state housing for workers.
In the late 1890s, New Zealand turned down the chance to join the Australian Federation and instead became an independent Dominion in 1907. Keen to show its loyalty to the British Empire, New Zealand sent troops to fight for Britain in the South African War in 1899. Subsequently, thousands of New Zealanders served and died overseas in the First and Second World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.
New Zealand lost an important market for our farm products when Britain joined the EU in 1973 Luckily, New Zealand had already begun diversifying its export trade. It has since become a culturally diverse country and a wide range of ethnic groups have been encouraged to settle here

Choice of Activities

  • Visit the Otuataua Stonefields, one of the last volcanic areas of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) where you can see large scale stonework and earthwork remains and understand how people once lived and worked. 
  • Walk to the summit of Mt. Eden volcano OR take a lift up the SkyTower for an overview of the Maori and European history of the area.
  • Visit Auckland War Memorial Museum for stories of the Pacific, New Zealand’s people and the flora and fauna and landforms of our unique islands.
    In pre-European times Mount Eden was used as a fortified hill pa by various Māori tribes. Its occupation ended in 1700 A.D when the Waiohua defeated the Tamaki people. The earth ramparts and terraces from this period contribute to the distinctive outline of the hill today. When Europeans came to the area, the land was initially used for farms, but from quite early on the area hosted country residences of professionals and business people from Auckland.
  • Explore Ruapekapeka Pa, remarkable for modifications to provide defense against the new “sticks that flashed fire” and the site of the decisive battle which ended war in the North.
  • Tour highlights of Kerikeri and the surrounding area:  Waimate Mission House, Stone House, Kororipo Pa ...The Kerikeri Basin is where Maori welcomed missionaries in 1819 to establish a Church Mission Settlement.
  • Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to understand There is a large Maori meeting house on site, the colonial mission house, an historic flagstaff, as well as a very long waka taua (Maori war canoe). 
  • Take a walk around Russell and visit its museum, the Pompalier Mission House and the Flagstaff
  • Take a ferry trip to Kawau Island, former home of Governor George Grey, and tour the historic Mansion Reserve.

New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement

Social Studies
  • AS91039 1.1 Describe how cultures change
  • AS91279 2.1 Demonstrate understanding of conflict(s) arising from different cultural beliefs and ideas
  • AS91596 3.1 Demonstrate understanding of ideological responses to an issue(s)

  • AS91002 1.2 Demonstrate understanding of an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders.
  • AS91230 2.2 Examine an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders.
  • AS91435 3.2 Analyse an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders
  • AS91005 1.5 Describe the causes and consequences of an historical event.
  • AS91233 2.5 Examine causes and consequences of a significant historical event.
  • AS91438 3.5 Analyse the causes and consequences of a significant historical event.


Q1. Why do teachers choose to tour with Learning Journeys?

Using an outside provider like Learning Journeys allows you to avoid stress and save time to focus on the core demands of teaching and have more time with your family and friends.
  • Trips are well tried and tested and our local knowledge, New Zealand-wide, is extensive. • We’ll facilitate your trip as well as planning, recce-ing AND booking it (including transport, food and accommodation). Have as much or as little input as you want.
  • Our facilitators are secondary geography or science teachers with years of classroom as well as EOTC experience.
  • Trips are curriculum linked and can include NCEA assessment tasks.
  • RAMS forms, parents letters, gear lists and worksheets developed and provided for you.
  • We’re Qualmarked (Tourism New Zealand has checked us out as a safe, professional, company) and Dept. of Conservation approved.

Q2. Does it cost more for Learning Journeys to organise and run my school's science and geography trips?

Yes it does cost a little more per student. However, you need to factor in the time you'll save by using Learning Journeys. You will also save the cost of relief for staff who would otherwise have come from your school, since Learning Journeys will provide one or more facilitators who will contribute to staff-student ratios.

Q3. What about risk management?

Safety is always paramount in our trip planning and delivery. We are acutely aware of the responsibility of being entrusted with other people’s children. We will provide you with RAMS forms for all activities included in your programme.

Our Health and Safety Plan deals with every aspect of our operations and training. Hazard identification is carried out for every new activity and a RAMS (Risk Analysis and Management System) form is prepared. This process has been audited both by a Department of Conservation approved Safety Auditor and as part of our Qualmark® accreditation

Our teacher-facilitators are trained in safe practice and all have First Aid qualifications. The suppliers we use are fully qualified and experienced in their specialist areas and where available we choose to work with Qualmarked® operators. Their sound safety records are further guaranteed by the Qualmark®, accreditation process.
Qualmark® is New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality. All accommodation and tourism businesses carrying the Qualmark® have been independently assessed as professional and trustworthy, so you can book and buy with confidence.

Q4. Who are your facilitators?

Our trips are managed and facilitated by qualified science or social science secondary teachers with classroom experience as well as many years’ experience in the field.

Q5. How long have you been running field trips for New Zealand secondary students?

Since 2001. Our oldest client did 12 consecutive yearly 3 day trips to Goat Island and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Most other schools repeat trips year after year.
Request a quote Contact us
Tour Length
3 days
Years 7 - 13
Auckland, Bay of Islands, Kawau Island
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
From $359 incl. GST
Valid until 
Request a Quote Contact us