Treaty of Waitangi

Page 2 – Thinking hats and exploring values - Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi and what it means to New Zealand society is a topic of intense debate. Some people believe it should be scrapped and that it reflects New Zealand as it was, not as it is, and that it basically divides New Zealanders. Others say it is an important document that creates a unique partnership between Maori as the indigenous settlers of New Zealand and others who have settled here since. These people believe it is the Treaty that makes New Zealand unique and that you can't erase the past.


Six thinking hats

Edward de Bono's six thinking hats is a good technique to use when considering different points of view.

  • Wearing your white hat – look at the statement and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge. Are there things you need to know or find out to help you make sense of this statement?  If so try to fill them or take account of them.
  • Wearing your red hat – consider your feelings. What is wrong with this statement? How does it make you feel?
  • Wearing your black hat – look at all the bad points of this statement. What are the weak points in this statement? 
  • Wearing your yellow hat – consider the good points of this statement and all of the possible benefits and values.
  • Wearing your green hat – think creatively and develop creative responses to this statement. There is no real right or wrong, and there is little criticism of your ideas.
  • Wearing your blue hat – what other thinking is needed here about this statement? 

Newspaper editorial

Use the material on The Treaty of Waitangi and the ideas about the six thinking hats to help you complete this activity.

Imagine you are currently the editor of a New Zealand newspaper. It is Waitangi Day and your newspaper is presenting a feature looking back at the history of the Treaty and Waitangi Day's place in our calendar. Write an editorial, of no more than 200 words, expressing your views on whether or not the Treaty of Waitangi has been a helpful part of the history of our nation and whether it is now time to develop something new to move New Zealand through the 21st century.

Have a look at some examples of editorials to get a sense of the style of writing.

How to cite this page

'Thinking hats and exploring values - Treaty of Waitangi', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-May-2016