Peace Education New Zealand

(*Reports prepared by graduate students of the American University’s International Peace and Conflict Studies Program.  Please see November 2010 issue of the Global Campaign for Peace Education newsletter for more information:

Peace Education New Zealand by Kim Ketchoyian


I was really blown away by how detailed and informational this website is. It has a very concise list of principles and pedagogies that they hold to be very valuable within the educational system.

The New Zealand Curriculum: Design

The curriculum is designed and implemented through a three stage process:

  • national curriculum
  • school curriculum
  • classroom curriculum

These provide the framework and common direction for schools, gives schools flexibility and authority needed to design and shape their own curriculum so that teaching is meaningful to the particular communities. Teachers are allowed to make interpretations in response to the particular needs and interests of individuals and groups of students in their classes. The NZC is set up as a framework rather than a detailed plan. Schools have flexibility in determining the detail.

Effective Pedagogy:

  • create a supportive learning environment
  • encourage reflective thought and action
  • enhance the relevance of new learning
  • facilitate shared learning
  • make connections to prior learning and experience
  • provide sufficient opportunities to learn
  • inquire into the teaching–learning relationship.


Treaty of Waitangi – the treaty was made between the Maori chiefs and the British Crown in 1840. It was a political contract to found a nation state and build a government in New Zealand. This treaty was important because it meant that the British government officially recognized Maori ownership over lands and properties and gave them the same rights as British subjects. While the intentions of the treaty seemed to be amicable enough, it is still a subject of controversy because until the 1970s it was supposedly not honored in full by the New Zealand government at the misfortune of many Maori tribes whose land was unlawfully seized by Europeans.

  • Cultural diversity
  • High expectations
  • Inclusion
  • Learning to learn
  • Community engagement
  • Coherence
  • Future Focus

This is the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. The mission of UNESCOs Education program is to:

  • Promote education as a fundamental right
  • Improve the quality of education
  • Stimulate experimentation, innovation and policy dialogue

The Peace Foundation (Foundation for Peace Studies Aotearoa/NZ)

Helps to establish and maintain peaceful and non-violent relationships by teaching skills that encourage better communication, co-operation and non-violent conflict resolution.

The Wellington Office has been in operation since 2001. The Schools Outreach Programme is run there; an Outreach Educator visits schools in the Wellington region to lead classes in peace studies and assist teachers with peace education resources.

The Schools Outreach Programme: Helping youth to learn tolerance, reject violence and solve conflicts peacefully.  The aim of this program is to help develop values, attitudes and behaviors that respect freedom, democracy, human rights, tolerance, a rejection of violence and the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and negotiation.   For more information on the responsibilities of Outreach educators, lesson elements, and lessons offered go here (

Some lessons the Peace Foundation offers through the Outreach program:

  • Visualizing a peaceful world. Creative visualisation and art on creating a peaceful world. Ages 5-12
  • Conflict resolution (a). Role plays and discussions on solving conflicts in students’ lives. Ages 5-15
  • Conflict resolution (b). Simulated exercise on conflicts between groups. Introduces concepts of identity and conflict, negotiation strategies, what winning means, and equality v equity. Ages 14-18
  • Sadako and the thousand cranes. International children’s response to nuclear weapons. Includes making an origami crane, the Japanese peace bird. Ages 9-13
  • Nuclear weapons and the Pacific. Nuclear testing, nuclear weapons free zones, the World Court cases and the Abolition 2000 campaign. Ages 14-18
  • International approaches to peacemaking, peacebuilding and war prevention. The examples of the United Nations, International Court of Justice, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and others. Ages 15-18

There are so many programs that are run out of the Wellington office! For further descriptions on these programs please go here

  • Peace Cities
  • Ministry for Peace
  • Youth Diversity and Peace Programmes
  • Summer City Programme
  • Nuclear Abolition
  • Disarmament for Development

ENACT is a youth website dedicated to peace issues, in Aotearoa and the in the world as a whole. Its vision is to support youth in the promotion of peace at home, in the community and around the world.  “Enact’s mission is to engage young people in peace issues and activities, promote youth initiatives on non-violence, conflict resolution and cross-cultural understanding, and provide a space for the perspectives of young people on peace issues.”

ENACT runs programs in: (

  • Peer Mediation
  • Team Building
  • BANG (Ban All-Nukes Generation) Aotearoa
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Disarmament

This is just a sampling of general framework of New Zealand’s education system and some interesting programs that are well funded and well received and supported in the country. If you are interested please explore some of the exhibitions provided online.  Some of the exhibitions are also available for pdf download such as the Culture of Peace Exhibition run by Soka Gakki International.