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Maori Development

In: Social Issues

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Kaysha Whakarau
179.330: Maori development and the social sevices
Paper Coordinator: Paul’e Ruwhiu
Assignment 1: Essay
‘My identityt and relationship with tangata whenua’.

Kia ora koutou katoa.
Ko Ngati Raukawa raua ko Ngati Tuwharetoa te iwi
Ko Parereukawa raua ko Ngararu te hapu
Ko Ngatokuwaru raua ko Waioturi te marae
Ko Hokio raua ko Patea te awa
Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Aotea te waka
Ko Corina Whakarau toku mama
Ko Sonny Whakarau toku papa
Ko Ryan Twigge Toku tane
Ko Kaysha Whakarau-Twigge toku ingoa

Describing one’s identity is not an easy task. Having an opinion or position towards a culture and worldview is part of human nature (Ministry of Justice, 2001). As we develop, these views and positions we thought we were once in, can change and alter. In other words, as people adapt and learn, so too does their views (Houhamau, & Sibley, 2014). In this essay I will be describing my worldview and cultural positioning of when I was growing up and contrasting this to how I feel now. I will also discuss this in relation to things Māori and who changed or influenced these views. I will finally critically analyse my relationship of tangata whenua.

My mihimihi does not just describe who I am and here I come from. It describes my identity, my own conception and expression of myself and my affiliations both culturally and physically. My mihimihi establishes the links I share and have. As a Māori, sharing my whakapapa it is about knowing yourself and knowing one’s identity (Korero Maori, n.d.). By knowing my identity it shows the links to where my cultural positioning and worldview might stand (Ministry of Justice, 2001: Tawhai, & Sharp, 2011).

My positioning of the world and where I place my culture in terms of who I am as a person has ultimately influenced my worldviews around things Māori. As a child I grew up thinking that New Zealand was huge. Being Māori my parents emphasized the need to work hard if I want to succeed. With cultural values and different world views affecting the quality of some workplaces, causing inter-racial conflicts, it was made clear to me from an early age that tangata whenua – indigenous people of the land, were treated unequal towards the English (Tawhai, & Sharp, 2011). One illustration is that statistics from 2003 show 12.9 percent of Māori population being unemployed compared to the 4.9 percent of English (NZ Statistics ,n.d.). As a child I was naïve and did not understand why this was normality. Conversely, I did see the mistreatment and unequal opportunities affecting my parents. Due to dark skin, lack of education and in the low income bracket, it resulted my parents being excluded or made unwelcome from certain shops as they were seen as untrustworthy. To support this example in Schwimmer, 1996, talks about the English viewing tangata whenua as misfits of society. With society reading and hearing these stereotypes it has resulted in them becoming a part of societal view (Sharples, 2011). With Māori offenders being arrested at three times the rate of non-Māori for the same crimes, it is sad to see that this is due to stereotypes created from misled stories (Schwimmer, 1996 : Te Ara, n.d. : Sharples, 2011).
As of this, I grew up guarded and conscious of how I came across to others. I was at a cross road. I loved that I am Māori, but with the stereotypes and labels I was also embarrassed. With Māori worldview being defined as incorporating spiritual, whanau and hauora elements, as a child I do not think I completely conformed to this view (Tawhai, & Sharp, 2011). I was naïve and let the stories cloud my personal judgement. Hearing stories about tangata whenua being lazy, unkempt, inefficient and unable to meet demands of a consumer world, it influenced me against this culture even more (Ministry of Justice, 2001: & Eruera, 2007). It was not until I was older that I realised the stupidity of it all. If we look at the Whare tapa wha concept, I realise now that taha wairua- spiritual elements, was missing in my life. With the spiritual essence of a person being their life force, it determines us as individuals and as a collective. It tells us who and what we are as people, as well as where we come from and where we are going. Finally realising I had little connection to this component, I had to develop and learn so that it could rebuild (Kenny, 2006). My parents saw this withdrawal and started to encourage me to take part in kapahaka and waka ama. From this it led me to be more active and involved with the Māori culture. I am naturally competitive, so activities like these brought that side of me to surface. With competitions and challenges like my two examples, I was excited to participate.
Growing up I see that I had mixed views around things Māori. Although I liked the ideas, concepts and theoretical perceptions Māori placed on whanau and hauora, I also had conflicting opinions stemming from society, which made me uncertain on who I was and where my views lay (Kenny, 2006). I let this cloud my judgement which in turn influenced my cultural positioning and worldview. Furthermore, social media, gossip, hearsay and the mistreatment of cultures; New Zealand society as a collective has influenced how I thought and saw tangata whenua to be. With this in mind, I continue to grow and learn. I am finding that my judgements carry on changing and developing through experience.

As I enter adult hood, I acknowledge I have grown and learnt a lot about the world. More specifically, New Zealand’s societal views around things Māori as well as my on cultural positioning and worldview. I realise now to not judge a book by its cover (Eruera, 2007). Despite statistics saying Māori are more likely to be arrested as well as coming from high unemployment and low economic backgrounds, does not determine the outcome for all. It I not just important to dream, but also putting these dreams into realistic practice (Te Ara, n.d.). For instance, I aim to create initiatives that focus on Māori mental health. To become reality I have taken steps such as completing a bachelor in Social Work so that eventually my degree can benefit Māori who are in need. Culture encompasses the values, beliefs and behaviours shared by a group of people (Tawhai, & Sharp, 2011). This means I can choose the culture I agree with. As I continue with my study I have learnt the importance of having an open mind. I have learnt and developed a multicultural worldview. Furthermore, I am open to hearing other peoples’ perspectives, similarities and differences that they have with their cultural positions and worldviews. Accepting peoples’ choices would enable me to reach out to clients and for them to feel safe and heard. Linking this to my worldview, a multicultural perspective also allows room for education (Ministry of Justice, 2001). I am open to different cultures and willing to listen to different perspectives. Having a multicultural worldview still allows me to have my own beliefs and values, however, it also places importance on showing understanding and freedom of choice (Eruera, 2007).
Describing my cultural positioning now and how things have changed, I am very much for Māori. With aims to utilise my degree I have the idealist world view that I can apply my cultural position within Māori development initiatives, both in and within Māori communities. With a multicultural world view I understand that the need for open mindedness and to help where helped is needed is significant (Durie, 2005). Elaborating further on negative statistics, if we continue to allow them to cloud and influence our judgement, we are essentially missing out on opportunities (Orange, 2004). An example is; understanding the meaning and background of Māori culture, their values and beliefs. To the point, I feel that my worldview has changed from when I was younger. With life experiences and no longer being as naïve as I once was, when I hear incorrect telling’s of Māori I now ignore them. Considering my worldview as it is now, it illustrates how society has influenced me to make my own decisions. In an ideal world I would not have to hear and be surrounded by labels, stereotypes and negative statistics, however this is not the case. Instead I listen and try to accept that people believe and say what they want. It is up to yourself as an individual to choose the path you wish to travel down. Furthermore, besides from society it is the education system too that has opened my eyes to a whole new world of what it means to have multicultural ideas and values (Kowharu, 2003). My worldview and cultural position continue to have influence on things Māori and more specifically the relationship I have with tangata whenua.

Breaking down the term tangata whenua we have already established that it refers to the indigenous people of the land – being Māori. However developing this further it refers to Māori people of a particular area of New Zealand or as a whole country (Tawhai, & Sharp, 2011). Because I am tangata whenua the relationship that I have is strong. Nevertheless, when understanding the term tangata whenua I view it in two different contexts. Durie, 2005, talks about how tangata whenua have learnt to survive and adapt and that in an essence we are warriors. Over years of colonisation tangata whenua have become residual to the modernity of society. Māori have always had set beliefs, tikanga and other values. These have still remained (Core, Corey, & Corey, 2014: Durie, 2005). For example, as I have grown I have had to deal with racism, stereotypes and labels. Because I am tangata whenua I have learnt to adapt and the beliefs of my Māori culture have shone through. Adding to my knowledge of tangata whenua, stories of unfair treatment, especially when it comes to land ownership has been told throughout the generations. Greensill, 2005, discusses the hikoi to Wellington to confront the 2004 labour government of racist foreshore and seabed policies. She then goes on to discuss how tangata whenua were extremely upset with this, therefor leading to the protest. When I consider tangata whenua from this perspective I do not feel as if this connects with me. Yes I am tangata whenua, but I feel that if we keep fighting a battle that happened years ago we as Māori and as a nation are not focussing on the more important issues, such as child poverty and crime rates. Although just my opinion, I agree that tangata whenua are collectivists rather than individualists but conversely, I think it is unfair to say that tangata whenua in general are fighting this cause, when some are not (Eruera, 2007: Durie, 2005).
Relating this to my cultural positioning and worldview I understand that tangata whenua is also used to describe the relationship between Māori and their land as very strong and a part of their value systems. For example, my family have many shares in Māori land. Despite land being densely populated or derelict it is about the idea of collective identity – where individuals like myself belong to a group. For my family, it reinforces whanau and iwi unity. With land having great importance within the tangata whenua concept, it is important to recognise this element when associating with Māori clients (Kowharu, 2003). As I have recognised earlier, I am still learning and growing as an individual. With this in mind, despite my cultural position being Māori I am still developing my worldview as time goes on.

Overall, my world view and cultural positioning has changed over the years. I began my childhood as a naïve girl who was embarrassed to stand up for her culture. Highly influenced by social media and gossip, taha wairua needed to be rebuilt. As life happened so too did its experiences, who I thought I once was had since changed. I realised I had a multicultural world views and that my culture is and always will be Māori. Through education I realised there is still a lot to learn about the way society works. I also understand that there are cultural and worldviews that I may or may not agree with. Finally, by describing my own identity I am able to articulate my position from the past and present and my relationship towards tangata whenua. Because I am tangata whenua it means that I have strong links that make my cultural positioning more reinforced.

Corey, M. S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2014). Groups: Processes and Practices. (9th ed.).
New York, USA: Cengage Learning.

Durie, M. (2005). Nga Tai Matatu: Tides of Maori Endurance. Sydney, Australia: Oxford
University Press.

Eruera, M. (2007). He Korero Korari. Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson Education. Pp. 141-

Greensill, A. (2005). Foreshore and Seabed Policy: A Maori Perspective. New Zealand
Geographer, 61(2), 158-160

Houhamau, C. A., & Sibley, G. (2014). The Revised Multidimensional Model of Maori
Identity and Cultural engagement. Wellington, New Zealand.

Kenny, S. (2006). Developing Communities for the future. (4th ed.). Albany, New Zealand:
Cengage Learning.

Korero Maori. (n.d.). Mihimihi. Retrieved from www.korero.maori.NZ/f orlear ners/ pro toc ols/mihimihi.html Kowharu, H. (2003). Conflict and Compromise: Essays on the Maori Since Colonisation.
Wellington, New Zealand: Reed Publishing

Ministry of Justice, (2001), He Hinatore Ki Te Ao Maori: A Glimpse into the Maori World.
Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 10-11.

NZ Statistics. (n.d.). NZ Social Indicators: Unemployment. Retrieved from http://www.stats market/u nemploym ent.aspx

Orange, C. (2004). An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi. Wellington, New
Zealand: Bridget Williams Books.

Schwimmer, E. (1996). The World of the Maori. Wellington, New Zealand: Reed Publishing.

Sharples, P. (2011). Maori Unfairly Treated by Police. Retrieved from http://www.nzh erald. Tawhai, V., & Gray-Sharp, K. (2011). ‘Always Speaking’: The Treaty of Waitangi and Public
Policy. Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers.

Te Ara. (n.d.). European ideas about Maori: Modern Racial Stereotypes. Retrieved from

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World View

... | | Word count 603 | Te Ao Māori For Māori, the sun rising in the east, moving slowly across the sky and setting in the west, signifies the birth and growth of mana or power, throughout the world. For many, it is a symbol of birth, life and death, resurrected daily, as a reminder of our existence. Māori believe that everything is interrelated, be it people, fish, animals, birds, trees, even the mountains and the weather. These relationships were told in various kōrero tawhito, or stories of the past and are referred to as whakapapa, meaning to lay one thing upon another (Barlow, 1994). Everything has a whakapapa, a genealogical descent of all living things, from the atua, the gods to the present time (Barlow, 1994). These relationships helped Māori to act accordingly and to understand the world they lived in. For Māori, their world view changed when they first arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand, and had to adapt to life in a new world. Their diet changed dramatically as their normal diet relied heavily on plants and vegetables. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand there was an abundance of meat and fish. The crops they normally grew, were not used to the climate. They had to learn what plants they could eat and grow. The Māori world view changed even more with the arrival of whalers, their first contact with European people. The introduction of disease had a dramatic effect on Māori causing many deaths. Europeans partnering with Māori women, leading to intermarriage, and......

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