A colleague of mine reports that she is pleasantly surprised at how many changes were made between draft and final version, and how many of our concerns were addressed. I can't say that I've studied the new curriculum in enough detail to know, but there was one hugely obvious change which was nice to see.
The draft did not once mention the Treaty of Waitangi. It was entirely omitted from the document. There was a single sentence about NZ's bicultural heritage and multicultural society, and that was it.
The new curriculum not only mentions the treaty, it places quite a lot of emphasis on it in the Purpose and Scope section (at the start of the curriculum document):
"...give effect to the partnership that is at the core of our nation's founding document, Te Tiriri o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi."
The section on Principles has also been modified. The draft had the following areas as the foundations of curriculum decision making:
Excellence, Learning to Learn, Cultural Heritage, Equity, Connections, Coherence
This was where the reference to NZ's makeup came in:
All students experience a curriculum that reflects New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and its multicultural society. Students who identify as Màori have the opportunity to experience a curriculum that reflects and values te ao Màori.
The final document has slightly different principles:
High Expectations (replaces Excellence, but still talks about personal excellence in the explanation), Learning to Learn, Treaty of Waitangi, Community Engagement, Cultural Diversity, Coherence, Inclusion, Future Focus.
It's been really interesting to be part of the criticism, and see the changes in the final document. It's quite a difference, separating the Treaty and Multiculturalism, rather than lumping them together under Cultural Heritage. I'm not convinced that I wouldn't have had a knee-jerk reaction to such a change when I was a racist teenager, but as a (somewhat) more grown up individual, I am now very pleased that one of the things that makes NZ special, part of our unique character of having a founding document that recognises the importance of indigenous culture, is recognised in the document which underpins our education system.