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Looking for first-hand opinions for a skilled work on Maori!
Hi everybody! I'm writing a work on the Maori situation in NZ, but what is still missing is real first-hand opinions and informations, and which place would be better to ask for help than this one, in the virtual heart of Maoritanga?
If you want to help me and contribute to my efforts of getting the right perspective and deeper meanings of the Maori way of life, please contact me! I've already learned a lot on Maori culture (thanks to this page, too!), but of course I will never learn all of its great varied and deeper nature.
Apart from this, there are some questions which I think are relevant and to which I would love to hear your opinion. For example:
1. How would you describe the present situation of the Maori concerning politics and social life?
2. To what extend do differences in culture, etc. nowadays repress full integration? Do they?
3. What do you think of the growing tourist industry in New Zealand?
I would really appreciate your answers a lot, even if they were very short. Thank you in advance and be sure that your work will not be in vain.
Hoping to hear from you soon
Tena koe Annika
I would like to offer my own opinions to your questions of the situation of Maori today. I would best describe Maori in general in today's political standing as fair. Maori have had a voice for some time, however, with the new Maori Party developed it should only strengthen our voice in parliament. I am unsure of whether you mean the social/economic standing of Maori today, or the lives socially, i.e. acceptance.
I feel that there is no repressing full integration, people must fit into the cultural spectrum of any other, especially; where tangata whenua is involved; where there is tikanga there is no room for flexibility. Personally, I feel lucky to be Maori unlike most of our indigenous cousins.
I embrace the growing tourism industry in Aotearoa. This allows New Zealanders to educate others of what the Maori culture is about, not what they see, e.g. All Blacks, Haka. We are a proud people and beautiful country, let the world come see it, especially if it benefits our economical state.
Edited by - skybreakr on Oct 08 2006 12:41:42 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. Actually, I'm happy to hear that you have such positive opinions on the whole situation, a fact that only raises my own high opinion of New Zealand even higher.
I will of course include your answers into my work, if you are not against it.
Thanks a lot again and ka kite ano!
P.s. I thought of "lives socially" when I wrote "social life" in my first question. Sorry I didn't put this clearly!
P.p.s. I liked what you wrote about tourism, as I feared there might be other reactions. You can't imagine how many people I know that are only too keen on visiting New Zealand and knowing more about it. Unfortunately, it is so far away...
I would also like to offer my personal opinon on the questions you have raised.
I believe our socio/political situation is not good. Athough optimistic about the future, our ability to integrate successfully into modern society has been slow. Researching statistics about Maori social status would give you a much better indication of our current situation than asking individuals about their personal opinons. You would be limited to the experience and or educational position of individuals that decide to reply.
If that is your objective then all good. Here is my opinon.
1) How would you describe the present situation of the Maori concerning politics and social life?
In terms of politics, regardless of the fact that we have a Maori party, we are largely ineffective. As a minority people we have a minority representation. Even if we disagree on an issue that hugely effects us, the majority can rule against us eg. Foreshore and Seabed Legislation.
Socially we are most likely to fail mainstream education leaving school with little or no qualifications. We are on the bottom of the ecconomical ladder. Although 17% of the national population we are 50% of the prison population. Our health stats are the lowest in the country and we live on average 10 years less than non-Maori.
Some may say that it has improved. I would agrue that we once occupied the top levels of all statistics in economics, health, education etc. So in actual fact we went from top, to bottom and now we are slowly..very slowly clawing our way back. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say we are around the 3 mark. Thats 150 years of progress. At this rate we should be competing on equal terms around 2350.
2) To what extent do differences in culture etc, nowadays repress full integration? Do they?
Yes they do. For many years Maori have been governed with the assumption that we could not govern ourselves. This is cultural repression or oppression. There is no modern evidence to support this. Also we as Maori do not want full integration. We are happy in our world, with our beliefs and social structures, however we recognise that this is a modern world and can appreciate that we as a people must adapt. But I will not compromise the very things that define me as a Maori ie. Kaitiaki o te whenua etc. (caretaker of the land)to be accepted in a society that considers us, due mainly to ignorance, second class citizens. There are many examples of intentional legislative oppression of human rights against Maori. A good place to start would be the United Nations report performed by a united nations investigator that was here this time last year. Try typing "United Nations Report on New Zealand indigenous rights' into a google search.
3) What do you think of the growing tourism industry in NZ.
I think its fine if we as Maori are given the oppurtunity to participate, not as just as token performers but as business owners and operators, administration, resource planning etc. There are to many non-maori telling the world through tourism about things Maori. Most times they have details wrong or they cannot express the essence of the legends and history.
Of course not all non-Maori are like that. Some make genuine efforts to learn our ways, but in the end it is a profit driven industry that relys on our culture for its international appeal.
These are my opinions only and most of wwhat i have stated can be checked through readliy avaliable documentation on the internet, libraries and some Maori in the know.
Thank you very much for your answer. It was really very interesting and informative to read and I will doubtlessly include it into my work and find use to the link you gave me.
Of course I am also working with statistics and reports, but apart from this I value personal opinions a lot, as confining myself only to statistics and the like would in my eyes mean to generalise. This is maybe why I appreciate all your answers so much, in spite of (or maybe even because of) being so unequal and independent. Thank you!