There is the chance to find out more about a 'historical mystery' at an upcoming talk.

Friends of Rotorua Museum are presenting a talk about the 'lost' final English language draft of the Treaty of Waitangi on Sunday August 26, 2pm, at Te Rūnanga Tea House.

Carol Smyth was instantly hooked when she discovered there was a mismatch between the 'official' English version of the Treaty of Waitangi and the original Te Tiriti in te reo.

Carol will discuss her journey pulling together the diverse range of clues that make up the story of the 'Littlewood Treaty'.


Friends of Rotorua Museum co-president Janette Irvine says the talk will be of interest because it discusses the background to one of the important New Zealand founding documents.

"There are differences between the official English version and the Māori language Te Tiriti, which remained a mystery for many years.

The Littlewood Treaty is thought to be the 'lost' final English language draft, found by the Littlewood family in 1989.

"There has been much debate about the authenticity of this, and Carol has been researching the clues to solve this mystery. It is not intended to raise political issues."

She says Carol has been a resident of Rotorua for many years, and her interest in Māori culture and music led to her passion for New Zealand history.

"Carol has done extensive research on this topic and is very enthusiastic to share it."

Janette says our history is important as it helps to define us as a nation.

"There is often new evidence discovered about the past which causes us to study, reflect and alter the historical 'facts' as they have previously been presented to us."


Carol spent 20 years as a music specialist at Kaitao Intermediate before retiring in 2017.

She has studied aspects of Māori culture, attending several workshops on taonga puoro (traditional Māori musical instruments).

This has since expanded to include a passion for New Zealand history, which has led to her interest in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Tickets are $10 for members of Friends of Rotorua Museum and $15 for non-members.

Tickets are available to buy from Rotorua Lakes Council Reception, 1061 Haupapa St. Numbers are limited.

The talk begins at 2pm.

For more information contact Janette Irvine, by emailing or call (027) 294 2870.