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Posts Tagged ‘Maori’

Te Reo Marama

Friday, February 20th, 2009



What do they do?
Since 1998, Te Reo Mārama has been dedicated, on behalf of the Auahi Kore-Tupeka Kore community and the wider Māori community, to tobacco resistance. The main role undertaken is to advocate evidence-based positions on tobacco-related issues at a local, national and international level in order to achieve the vision of a Maori nation free of the deadly toll of tobacco.

How can I get involved?
As of November 2008, the main way to be involved with Te Reo Marama is by donating or simply by taking up their call to action in your local community.
However, in 2009 Te Reo Marama will be holding a training summit for young leaders to take the cause back to their schools and communities. Watch this space!

Partying up at Parihaka

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Rose Lawson

When I first heard about volunteering for the Parihaka festival I had no real idea of what it might entail. It sounded like a good idea — a chance to hear a lot of really good bands in one place — so, with two of my friends from school, we packed our bags and headed up from Wellington to Taranaki.

All I knew about Parihaka was a little of the history, so I was really amazed at the stunning setting of the festival — tucked into a sheltered valley, with Mount Taranaki huge and beautiful in the background.

We were greeted with great friendliness and the cultural experience over the next three days was one none of us had ever experienced before — and one that we really enjoyed. Because there was a much smaller turnout than expected, and because so many people were keen to volunteer, we didn’t end up having to do anything. We kept pestering people and asking them if we could help — but, in the end, we were forced to relax and listen to the music!

The stalls and different organisations there covered an interesting range of viewpoints and issues, and I reckon people were pretty impressed with the Global Education Centre stall! It was really great to see so many different kinds of people helping out and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere. It felt like how New Zealand could be — and should be — if people learned to respect each other and to embrace the unique lessons the Māori culture can teach us all.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the music was the highlight though (!) — especially the 40 hour techno-tent. The roots and reggae were also amazing. It was disappointing that there weren’t more people there, but hopefully next time people will have heard how great it was and there will be better attendance. It’s the kind of festival I can see growing and improving every time.

All three of us thoroughly recommend this festival to everyone — whether you want to go with your friends or family, you won’t regret it.


Visit the Parihaka website and learn about Te Whiti O Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi and their methods of non-violent resistance which have inspired the world. Also find out the latest on the festival.

Read Global Bits - Parihaka: the Gift of Non-violence

Interview with an Aotearoa peacebuilder

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

Pauline Tangiora: Interview with an Aotearoa peacebuilder

Annie Boanas, age 23peace sicker

Pauline Tangiora Q.S.O., Q.S.M. is a Māori elder from the Rongomaiwahine tribe on the East Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has affiliations with many other tribes. She is a Justice of the Peace, a former President and currently Vice President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa), the former Regional Women’s Representative for the World Council for indigenous peoples, an Earth Charter Commissioner and a member of the Earth Council. She is a life member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and a Patron of the Peace Foundation. She has represented Aotearoa at many international fora and was a Consultant to the International Steering Committee of the World Court Project, a legal challenge to nuclear weapons.
She has also been recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

How do you define peace?

I don’t think there is a definite definition of peace. Peace is something that comes from deep within. You can have peace around you; which is by the beauty of what you see, or the feeling you get up in the morning with the birds and the bird calls, you can find peace in the middle of a group of children laughing, you can also find peace in the middle of war, when you see somebody when they are first struck down can still pick themselves up and they have such a tranquility that it is also peaceful.

How do you believe peace can exist in the world?

I am hoping that with respect for one another and allowing other people to see the boundaries that they need to be in or outside of, that we may not agree with that person but that we can respect that that is where they are at.

I feel as a young woman beginning on a journey of peace work that although there are many things to feel positive about I can feel overwhelmed at times with the state of the earth and I find myself getting cynical and depressed.

Don’t lose hope, Annie! That is what being young is all about. Youth is about knowing that there must be peace around the corner. It is not defined what moment peace will come into the world, but you know that by being alive you can participate in that peace work. Hope is something that is a part of that spirit of yours - and young people must always believe it is a spirit. Hope is not something you can see or touch, it is something that comes from deep within; and holding onto that is actually the important issue. Otherwise life would become very depressing. With 40 odd wars going on as we are talking, we have to believe in peace. Otherwise I don’t want to live.
peace sign
You have done much work with indigenous peoples (especially women) internationally; do you think we have a lot of work to do here with the indigenous Māori in Aotearoa?

I believe we do have a lot of work to do. It must come with the unification of Māori working together as Māori because we are a greater force if we go under our Māori nationality rather than as separate tribes. In Aotearoa we have so much, but we expect so much more. Sometimes we are not prepared to move on and to take what is there and use it for better things. I believe that is what colonisation has done to many of our peoples in this country, and they do not call out as easily.

You visited Iraqi communities to be alongside the women, children and families living with the fear of looming war by the United States. How did you and those you were supporting cope with that fear and find the strength to keep on living?

My observation was that they knew there were other people in life that also had hope and that there is another day to be lived. They had a knowing that there were other people who really cared. Each group inspired each other because if you look to the left or to the right there is always somebody holding onto something. This would help the next person along to think, “Well they are not throwing it in, so I’ll hang in there”.

In your prayer for world peace (“Ceremony for the inter-religious prayer for world peace”) one line reads, “peace comes not from contemplation but action!”. In your experience what actions have been valuable in terms of creating peace?

To go to places where there is a lot of fear. When people can actually see that fear doesn’t stop one from trying to bring a peaceful resolution for something.

Annie Boanas has recently started working at the Peace Foundation in the Wellington office. Annie has known Pauline Tangiora since she was a child and is one of the many mokopuna’ that Pauline or Nanny Pauline’ has throughout Aotearoa. Pauline has answered these questions personally, and not on behalf of any organisation. For more by Pauline Tangiora, visit the Disarmament and Security Centre website.

peace sticker

The treaty of Waitangi and Māori-Pākehā relations in Aotearoa New Zealand

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

Nicole Matthewson, age 17, offers her opinion on race relations in New Zealand and National party Don Brash’s controversial Orewa Speech

Race relations have been in need of improvement throughout the history of our country. Since Europeans first began to colonise New Zealand, links between Māori and Pākehā have often been the topic of national debate. National party leader Dr Don Brash asked voters in Feb 2004 — What sort of nation do we want to build’? What we want to build is a society that is fused as one while respecting the unique cultures that it comprises of; a nation with equal responsibilities, rights and opportunities for all. Before we can reach that unity however, we need to explore how we can improve our race relations.

The Treaty of Waitangi
The first step in solving predicaments between Māori and Pākehā is to work out why they have occurred in the first place. One reason for conflict is the Treaty of Waitangi. Two main versions of the Treaty were created in 1840 — a Māori version and an English version (there were a number of Māori versions created all with slight variations). When translated accurately the versions show obvious differences. This creates confusion and conflict to this very day. Confusion reigns over what rights people of both cultures actually have, as both versions are deemed legal in the eyes of the law. However, under International law it is the treaty in the language of the indigenous people that takes precedence (this is called “contra preferentem”).

The Treaty of Waitangi Act of 1975 officially recognised the Treaty in law. The Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate Māori grievances, but some people believe this has created tension in New Zealand. Others believe the root cause of conflict was the fact it took so long before anything was done to try solve the complaints. Yet as the government’s Treaty of Waitangi website (www.treatyofwaitangi.govt.nz) says, “In a small society with many links between Māori and Pākehā, the Treaty debate inevitably reverberates through the entire community.”

While it is possible to live harmoniously in a land where two or more cultures are present, conflict does arise when certain ideas or values clash. Recognising that mistakes have taken place in the past is vital. Identifying mistakes and injustices, and showing remorse, would hopefully begin to close rifts between Māori and Pākehā. It is important to remedy those errors in the best way possible, to help both parties heal their wounds and move on. Historian Michael King said in an article from The Press, A Vision for New Zealand, “the position we must grow towards, if we are to achieve social harmony and national stability, is one of a mutuality of respect between the two major cultures”. Respect for each other’s culture is a must if we are to fix past mistakes and light the way for a brighter future together.

Fixing mistakes that have already occurred is important, but preventing problems that might come about in the future is another issue that should be looked at. We need to prevent mix-ups like the Treaty of Waitangi from happening in later years. If we can do that, our nation will be a peaceful one. Dr Brash said earlier this year that he believes we should create equal rights for all in New Zealand - no special treatment for any one particular race. Things such as scholarships for Māori and Pacific Island students only are the kind of thing Dr Brash meant by “special treatment”. If we want to improve relations in our country then shouldn’t we all be equal?

People will always strive for a peaceful, amicable land. No one wants a nation divided, fighting among each other. We all need to work together to improve our relationships. Not just the relationship between Māori and Pākehā, but between all cultures residing in New Zealand as well. Together we stand, divided we fall.


The Treaty of Waitangi Government Website
A vision for New Zealand, by Michael King, The Press (article)
Don Brash’s Orewa speech transcription 2004 (PDF, 148KB)
Perspectives from Mana Māori
Mason Durie’s response to Don Brash’s Speech
Kim Hill interviews Michael King on Race Relations
Māori Independence site
All things Māori
The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Race Relations Day site


  • What is your opinion of this article?
  • Does treating people equally create equality?
  • If the Treaty of Waitangi is one cause of cultural conflict in New Zealand, what are some others?

This illustration was first published in Tearaway magazine and is reprinted here with their permission

Illustrator: Gavin Mouldey