TODAY |

Cut-off piece of Treaty of Waitangi could improve preservation techniques

A piece of parchment which was once considered unimportant is now helping researchers learn how to preserve New Zealand's most important document - the Treaty of Waitangi.

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DNA testing shows the parchment was cut off the original – now it could help to preserve the original. Source: 1 NEWS

DNA testing has discovered the parchment was cut off the original Treaty document - now researchers are looking at why and how it is in better shape than the treaty.

The original treaty was badly damaged by water and rodents in the early 20th century and early conservation attempts may have cause even more damage.

The piece of parchment, discovered in 1929, was considered significant and sat in archives until researchers recently teamed up with Te Papa to conduct DNA tests on it.

Researchers are now thankful is wasn't simply thrown away.

The condition of the two pieces of parchment are now being compared to see whether anything can be learned which could lead to improved preservation of the Treaty.