May 19, 2016

JOINING IN AS RADIO NZ DISCUSSES RACISM

I’d actually agree with people who say “I’m not racist”. I think racism is essentially the characteristic of the society we live in and all of us are caught up in it. Most of us are well adapted to living in a racist society. Of course, there are a few bigots who are enthusiastic and consciously participate rejoicing. Then there are lots of us who are uncritically accepting of how things are, or who have the luxury of putting it in the too hard basket. A growing number are trying to live in a resistant way.
 
It is good to have had a discussion on radio. If media would stop reinforcing the settler-coloniser mindset, I think the pace would pick up. However Jenny Rankine is doing a thesis about racism on social media, and at present that is a nightmare of prejudice where bigots romp and evangelise!
 
After focusing our energies on institutional racism, we haven’t had much impact on personal prejudice as yet.  However there is some evidence that attitudes follow change rather than initiate it, and again that takes a change of generations to show up.
Remember that anti-racism theory says that if nothing changes, whether the dominant group are glad or sad about it doesn’t really matter.  It is changing what happens that counts.
April 29, 2016

Modernism and the colonisation of New Zealand

Colonisation of NZ falls within the era of modernist project(s) and also at a late stage of British imperialism, when both the techniques and justifications were well-established. This accounts for a lot of settler attitudes and actions. For example, assumptions about their own superiority and entitlements were not thought of as questionable, but as knowledge. Somewhat garbled Darwinism was rife. The English were the fittest, and therefore destined for survival, at the expense of ‘inferior’ humans and all other species. Self-appointed scientists, all over Europe and North America, pursued the study of extinction as an interesting and inevitable phenomenon.

Buller and his ilk sent thousands of the skins and skeletons of birds back to the Natural History Museums of Europe, in Buller’s case this included the shooting of the last Huia. Read the rest of this entry »

April 25, 2016

Oops! Nasty!

ONE TREATY, ONE NATION, ROLLING THUNDER

booms the leaflet in front of me advertising a “new” book. It may be recently published, but it sounds like recycled Pakeha prejudice and colonization crap to me. Nothing new there! The leaflet features old favourites like:

reversed racism
Maori privilege
no full-blooded Maori(s) left
Maori ceded sovereignty
Maori violence
benefits of colonisation for stone-age people Read the rest of this entry »

January 22, 2016

This land is your land

FILE - This undated file photo shows folk singer Woody Guthrie playing his guitar and singing. Guthrie's writings, recordings and artwork will land in his native state after an Oklahoma foundation bought the collection, with plans for a display that concentrates on his artistry rather than the populist politics that divided local opinion over the years. Guthrie, known for the anthem, "This Land is Your Land" and his songs about the poor and downtrodden, is remembered mostly as a musician, composer and singer, but was also a literary figure and an artist, said Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.   (AP Photo/File)

Woody Guthrie (undated)

Early in the US depression (1929-1939) Guthrie abandoned his family and joined the migration of Oklahoma farmers (Okies) off the land they had impoverished (made into a Dust Bowl) and on to California looking for work, any work. He learned their blues and other songs creating a strong foundation for his own song writing. But it was not until February 1940, while the US was sitting on the sidelines of World War II, that he penned what may be his most well known song: This land is your land.  You have probably joined in singing the first two verses at least once in your life. Just in case they have slipped your memory here they are. These verses have been covered by numerous performers since the 1960s: most recently in a full-length performance at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 by Pete Seeger and others.

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California to the New York island;
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

Read the rest of this entry »

January 13, 2016

An Open Letter to Tourism New Zealand and Qualmark

My  partner and I opted to become domestic tourists this summer and undertook an epic road trip from Auckland in the North to Nugget Point in the South. We stayed with friends, family and at holiday parks on the way, engaging with a number of tourist operators, going on boat trips, to art galleries etc. As part of this journey, we encountered many international tourists curious about our country.

As domestic tourists, we came with a base-line understanding of the history of Aotearoa, Te Reo and tikanga Māori. We were disappointed that many of the tourist operators we encountered, including those with Qualmark endorsements, did not seem to share this basic understanding. We note the following concerns from our travels:

Read the rest of this entry »

November 20, 2015

Conversations Around a Flag: Getting our history straight about the 1834 Te Whakaminenga Flag.

This blog reflects concerns about how our history is being told, especially with regard to our country’s first flag, the 1834 Te Whakaminenga Flag. Set out below are emails on this subject, sent to the Treaty Worker movement and New Zealand’s Flag Consideration Panel.

united tribes variation
Read the rest of this entry »

October 26, 2015

The Rugby Haka Debate

Attacks on Māori tikanga and taonga routinely place Pākehā who wish and work for a Tiriti-based future for this country in an invidious position. The targets of the assault are not ours and we rarely have the knowledge and spiritual connection to them that would support a direct defence. At the same time we know that there must be a vocal opposition to the attack because, as our Pākehā lore has it, silence means consent. An example of such attacks was provided by a Listener editorial that questioned the rightness of All Blacks performing a haka before international matches. The following was my attempt to challenge the thinking and claims behind the editorial.

Read the rest of this entry »

September 10, 2015

New Support for School Boards Around Te Tiriti o Waitangi Application

School boards are accountable for the performance of their school and student achievement. This includes making decisions that support Māori learners to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori. Congratulations to the New Zealand School Trustees Association for their new publication and resources to support trustees in their efforts to implement Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The resources include i) Te Tiriti and school governance information booklet, ii) board activities and inquiry scenarios and iii) video clips offering inspirational stories of school and community change.

school boardstiriti postThe governance booklet focusses on supporting boards moving from rhetoric to practices which are evidence-based and culturally responsive. It provides support to embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi into strategic planning, explores honourable kāwanatanga (governance) and provides up-to-date evidence on Māori students’ achievement. For the busy board member, the clips share powerful stories of how different schools have been proactive in this key area of school life – affirming Māori language, identity and culture in order to benefit the whole school.

September 8, 2015

Critical Curriculum Guide to Māori and Pākehā Histories: From Primary to Secondary

If our future is one where Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured, it makes sense to teach our children a critical history of Aotearoa New Zealand. In order to do this we need curriculum and resources for teachers to embed this thinking throughout our primary, intermediate and secondary education system.

Tasmin Hanly, a senior Pākehā educationalist who has twenty-five years teaching experience, is currently developing a robust curriculum to support anti-racism education. Tasmin works part-time lecturing at the Auckland University Education Department and has been part-time writing the curriculum. In order to fund this project she has mortgaged her house, but needs us to give a little to make her dream come true. Tāmaki Tiriti Workers have meet with her and reviewed the draft documents and fully support this undertaking.

give a little post pic2

The curriculum consists of six unit booklets that make a box-set for education centres to purchase, copy, do professional development, read, plan and teach from. The content chronologically covers Te Ao Māori o Nehera, British Isles, Two Worlds Meet, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Pākehā Responses, Māori Responses. Optional junior and senior activities and integrated curriculum term-overviews are included. It is a single programme to help educators plan and teach their approach to New Zealand’s Māori and Pākehā cultures and histories cohesively.

This curriculum can practically support New Zealand Curriculum goals which require New Zealanders to be knowledgeable about Māori and Pākehā, to understand histories of their relationship and enact Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It can effectively enact Ministry and other related educational policies that expect educators to do this. It has been written in response to research findings that teachers have outdated knowledge about Māori and Pākehā histories and a lack of accurate history, Te Tiriti and Māori knowledge. Teachers also avoid controversial content and believe younger students cannot manage this content.

The curriculum initial target audience is primary schools, principals and practitioners but it can also be professional development for all educational levels such as secondary and ECE, including school Boards of Trustees. It has been written for both mainstream and Māori pathways, and practitioners of all ethnicities to teach students of all ethnicities.

Contact Tasmin through her give a little page.

July 3, 2015

New Zealand has a New National Human Rights Plan

This week the Human Rights Commission launched their new human rights plan.

Its current focus is:

  • how human rights issues are managed within the policy and law making processes
  • New Zealand’s growing diversity and its impacts on our society and race relations
  • issues raised in respect of inequalities and discrimination in New Zealand
  • tackling violence and abuse in New Zealand.

Oops… we seemed to have missed the consultation process! We wish HRC well in co-ordinating government, business and civil society to implement their plan.