Sunday, October 10, 2010

out of sight

Local body elections - all over with some close calls still coming - did you notice the invisibility of Maori? I noticed it and the results will tell the story, once they are analysed we will see how few maori have been elected - does this seem right to you?

I've been reading a good book, The politics of Indigeneity by Roger Maaka and Augie Fleras. As they say, "Failure to move beyond a mono-constitutional discourse has had the unintended yet controlling effect of reinforcing a colonial social contract." And isn't that what the local body elections have produced - they have reinforced a colonial social contract but, “Indigenous peoples claim a state as culturally distinct and territorial-based nations whose rights were suppressed because of forced incorporation into society.” The colonial social contract just doesn't cut it anymore, the change hasn't come yet but it will come, it is coming.

The key is that the indigenous peoples had societies before colonisation and the process of colonisation systematically stripped those societies. To right this wrong requires a reinstatement of that society, obviously modified for today, and that reinstatement is really vesting the decisions with the people; tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake. We cannot escape this conclusion and we need to consider why some feel so threatened by this. What would be lost if we vest authority to maori and the maori world view? How much of our answer to that question is based on falsehoods and racism and how much is based upon the advantage we receive from our current society?

It is good that the left have taken something out of these elections but there is something or someone missing...


Anonymous said...

nomulExcellent comments Marty. Yes some of us have noticed. I've also found it interesting over the years how Maori Incorporations and various kinds of committee structures which are not dependant on public funding, still run their meetings and committees and Incorporations along the accepted Pakeha dictates for how meetings should be run!They appoint chairperson, secretary, treasurer, have very Pakehacentric strategic goals etc. You have to comply with cetain criteria if you're using public funding, then the funders will insist on the right systems being in place, but when it's Maori/Iwi money and we're accountable only to our own people, why do we do things the Pakeha way?

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really interesting. Would it be in public libraries?

It is obvious why pakeha don't see it but maori need to get a bigger vision. We don't hear much about theory or experiences of other indigenous people around the world so autonomy seems impossible. succeeding in the pakeha system is 1 thing, but IMO we need to create a new system. I really think iwi need to co-operate to build national infrastructure education, health, employment etc and use this as a base to lead to sovereignty. pakeha aren't going to grant us permission, we have to just do it ourselves. I really think we can achieve sovereignty without government help. :)

Evelyn Cook said...

īmēra, if your library doesn't have it, they should be able to get it on interloan.

Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and ngā Wānanga were all flaxroot initiatives but, because they are dependent on state funding, as is our right as taxpayers, they also have mainstream accountabilities.

I am unsure whether iwi, even collectively, could afford to replicate mainstream systems and then there would be those iwi members who would see providing those services as a waste of 'their share'.

It is a conundrum because even the best of us are colonised to one degree or another.

Good luck with your reading and knowledge seeking. I am greatly in favour of expanding one's view of the world, challenging one's perceptions and sharing the knowledge with others.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora koutou

Thanks for the great comments - to anon yes I agree we must keep pushing against the forces against us and colonisation - time for a new/old way.

īmēra kia ora and welcome - your comments are perceptive and I agree we have to achieve what we can, for us and by us. The book, as Evelyn says is available - but let me know how you get on.

Kia ora Evelyn - thank you so much for your contribution to increasing the knowledge and understanding for us all by commenting on this blog. You add so much value - if you want to do a guestpost - you would be most welcome.

Evelyn Cook said...

Thanks for your kind words, Marty. I am unsure what you might like me to blog about. Perhaps you might contact me off screen so that we can nut something out. In the meantime, keep up the good work