Wānanga Symposium


We would like to invite you to join us for this Wānanga Symposium, where we will explore Christianity, the Māori world and Colonialism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This symposium, featuring leading international and New Zealand scholars, will consider the interactions between Christianity, te ao Māori and colonization in Aotearoa New Zealand. Current public conversations on the nature of our history, the Treaty of Waitangi, and issues of Crown governance and Māori authority, call for fresh research and perspectives on multi-faceted relationships and processes.

The wānanga-symposium will canvass such questions as: how can this ‘national history’ be reframed in terms of local and global interconnections? What was the indigenous response to Christianity by Māori leaders and communities? How should we understand te Tiriti o Waitangi in light of the local context and the wider picture of European empires? What do these entangled histories of beliefs and practices, of ideas and institutions, and of texts and state power, mean for our identities and common life in these islands called New Zealand or Aotearoa?

The wānanga-symposium will be hosted in the beautiful Bay of Islands, at Te Tii marae and Copthorne Hotel (Waitangi). The registration fee covers the three day conference plus all of your meals. Accommodation will need to be arranged separately - please scroll down to see many suggestions including how to book the conference hotel.

Brought to you by Te Tii Marae, Te Pihopatanga o te Tai Tokerau, Karuwhā Trust, Ngā Wai Hōhonu, New Zealand Church Missionary Society, St John’s Theological College, and Laidlaw College.

Where Bay of Islands
When 3:30pm - 3:00pm
Cost $295
RSVP Register below

Download or view a detailed programme here. Including speaker bios and paper abstracts.

Brian Stanley, Zoe Laidlaw, and Dominic O’Sullivan are leaders in their fields, which cover Christian missions and empire, humanitarianism and race, te Tiriti o Waitangi and indigenous policy in postcolonial states. We look forward to their contributions and keynote addresses, and their interactions with leading scholars in Aotearoa New Zealand. Prof. Tony Ballantyne is a prominent scholar of colonialism and the British empire, while Dr Monty Soutar and Bradford Haami are leading New Zealand historians who both draw on a deep knowledge of their own tribal traditions in engaging with big themes in our history, including Christianity, culture, and colonialism.

Click the button below to read more about our key speakers and see the full list of papers to be presented.

Here is a list of Motels/Hotels in the area and a few on Airbnb. You can also of course look into booking a house or apartment through BookabachBooking.com or Holiday Houses if you wish.

To book at the conference hotel - Copthorne, Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands - use the instructions below. We have put some rooms on hold.  


  • Go to Millenium Hotels website
  • Click on ‘Book now’ – upper right side
  • For ‘where do you want to go’ type Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
  • Enter dates – 16th to 18th November
  • Adjust to 1 adult (or leave if 2 of you have registered)
  • Select ‘Advanced search’
  • Enter group code – WANANGA23
  • Click ‘book now’

You will require a credit card to book the room, although nothing is held on the card until your arrival at the hotel. You can cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival. A cancellation within 24 hours will incur a penalty of 1 nights accommodation.

We also have 27 rooms on hold at Kingsgate Hotel in Paihia who provide complimentary shuttles back and forth. To book with Kingsgate, please use this form.


For all logistical pātai, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as we can.