Should We Be Afraid of Co-governance?

By Susan Healy This reflection is based on an article published in the April 2023 issue of Tui Motu Interislands: Independent Catholic Magazine . Susan Healy is a Pākehā woman of Irish, English and Cornish descent. She is co-author of Ngāpuhi Speaks: He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Independent Report on the Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu Claim , 2012. Fears can be learned When we were growing up, our neighbours across the road had a couple of bull dogs. The dogs had a roaming area in front of the house but were well fenced in. We older kids in our family liked to go over and talk with the dogs and reach across and stroke their heads. We would take my two-year-old sister with us, and she loved the dogs as much as we did. We were astonished when, at age four, my sister suddenly developed a real fear of the dogs and wouldn’t go near them. Where did this come from? We soon realised that she was now spending time with friends her own age; they would cringe with fear whenever they saw the do

Deepening our understanding of the Treaty relationship

A reflection from listening to the Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu claim to the Waitangi Tribunal Susan Healy (Pākehā) My ideas about the Treaty relationship were expanded when, in 2010 and 2011, I attended the hearing of the Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu claim to the Waitangi Tribunal ‒ which focussed on what their tūpuna intended in committing to He Whakputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (1835) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840). We heard there a view of this country’s history that is radically different from commonly-available writing, which is heavily dependent on settler interpretations. The Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu scholars started with their hapū’s history in the land ‒ a history informed by a profound philosophy, spirituality and the tikanga underlying traditional political and economic arrangements. We gained a real insight into what the hapū expected from the Treaty relationship. As a contributor to Ngāpuhi Speaks , the independent report on the Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu hearing, I had to assess what the evidence mean

Looking back, looking forward: Parihaka

And tips on how to teach it , by Wendy Fowler Go, put your hands to the plough. Look not back. If any come with guns, be not afraid. If they smite you, smite not in return. If they rend you, be not discouraged. Another will take up the good work.’ Te Whiti o Rongomai, Parihaka November 5, 2021 marks 140 years since Parihaka was invaded and destroyed. As we anticipate the commemoration of events that occurred at Parihaka on that day, let us stand alongside tāngata whenua as they remember this historic event. On November 5 in 1881, 1,600 volunteers and soldiers of the Armed Constabulary invaded the peaceful and thriving settlement of Parihaka, established by Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai. The attack was spearheaded by Native Minister John Bryce, who had long touted the settlement as a hive of fanaticism. Parihaka is nestled close to Mt Taranaki on the west coast of Aotearoa, an area of rich soil and abundant rain. As a result of illegal Crown confiscation of land since the early 18

The violence in colonial naming

The Māori Party is asking us to sign a petition that our country’s official name be Aotearoa , and that there be a return to Māori place names throughout the land. Last year, I wrote an article on “Symbols of Injustice” which dealt with the naming of places in this country. It seems a good time to revisit some extracts. When testifying to the Waitangi Tribunal about pre-1840 acts of violence to his people, Nuki Aldridge, Ngāpuhi kaumātua, noted the renaming of land as the first violence. Often the renaming was based in ignorance as when Cook gave the name Poverty Bay to a large, rich bay on the East Coast, quite simply because he had been unable to obtain food there. Cook reached this conclusion, said Aldridge, without making contact with the people who actually lived there. “By what right did Cook ignore the original names and overlay them with his own,” asked Aldridge. “And by what right did those who followed him make Cook’s names the official ones?” “This,” said Aldridge, “was the

Playing fast and loose with New Zealand history

Letter to the New Zealand Listener, February 7, 2021 I want to draw attention to several revealing flaws in John Robinson’s carefully crafted argument that all persons living in New Zealand should be treated as if they were the same (Becoming One People, Listener, February 6). Firstly, he blithely assumes that the nineteenth century model of ‘nation’ that underpinned European nationalism then and into recent times, works universally. With others who espouse such homogenisation, he promotes that specific cultural model as the only possibility. And, like those others, displays the colonising mindset that considered it proper to superimpose foreign practices and institutions while pushing indigenous peoples aside. History’s judgement will be that this model has routinely fostered rancour and division in Europe and wherever it has been imposed. In Aotearoa New Zealand we should all be looking for new possibilities that do not require peoples to surrender their cultural identity just to be

TTW letter to the NZ Listener July 2021

This Listener chose not to print this letter. July 27, 2021 The Editor, New Zealand Listener As scientists ourselves we disagree with the attack on mātauranga Māori effected under the cloak provided by a claim to be writing ‘In defence of science’ (July 31, 2021). Central to the practice of the science, that the writers claim is universal, is the strict separation of the scientist from the object, topic or reality being studied. That disjunction between practitioners and what they studied contributed to an explosion of technological advances across Western Europe and those advances aided the exploitation and colonization of other countries and peoples. As if buoyed by those triumphs, the separation of the (would-be) knowers from what they sought to know about became the hallmark of a science expected to deliver universal truths about the natural world, its peoples and societies. Coupled with a readiness to constantly subdivide and isolate elements of the complex systems being studied t

Notes on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care

By Mitzi Nairn     I attended the opening day and the third day of the inquiry session in Auckland, along with several members of the Auckland Committee on Racism and Discrimination (ACORD), a group from the 1970-80s. We attended to support Oliver Sutherland, who was giving evidence based on ACORD’s work and his ongoing research.  At this stage the inquiry was developing the context so the commissioners would be better able to understand what survivors would be telling them. The inquiry is a response to repeated calls to make these experiences public, and ensure that such things never happen again. The first witness, Judge Carolyn Henwood, presented a summary based on her long experience of inquiring into state care, hearing from previous inmates and people in prison telling about their lives and the effects of their time in the care of the state. Children, especially Māori children, going into state care have entered a ‘pipeline’ leading to prison. I felt unutterably sad because it is


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 ini

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.

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

This land is your land

[caption id="attachment_589" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Woody Guthrie (undated)[/caption] 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

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:

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.

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.

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. The 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 p

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. 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

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.  

Gospel and Te Tiriti conversation...

When:  Friday evening, 9 October and Saturday morning and afternoon, 10 October 2015 What:    Key Note speakers and workshop speakers with time for group discussion Where:  Laidlaw College Wānanga Te Amorangi - 80 Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland Who:     Christians of all denominations This seminar is an opportunity for people of faith to consider the links between the Gospel and the Treaty, and the conversations of respect and mutual enrichment this invites us into. Christians were closely involved in the signing of the Treaty and have, therefore, a special role of guardianship for the Treaty relationship. This gathering follows last year’s hui on the Gospel and the Treaty, which recognised the bicentenary of the Gospel coming to Aotearoa New Zealand and the fact that 2015 is the 175 year anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Any further inquiries to:   OR  

Treaty conference in Tāmaki Makaurau

      He honore he kororia ki te Atua, he maungarongo ki te whenua, he whakaaro pai ki ngā tangata katoa. E ngā mana e ngā reo e ngā karangaranga maha, he mihi rangatira tēnei ki a koutou e whai whakaaro mō te kaupapa nei “I te Tiriti ki te Whenua”. Ma tēnei kaupapa, ka whakamārama i ngā take me ngā huarahi e tukuna iho ai e te takitahi me ngā rōpū, ō rātou ahurea, ō rātou tuku ihotanga, kia mau pūmau. Nā reira e manu taki, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. As Treaty settlements now realign the relationship between Māori and the Crown, the 175th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi provides an opportunity to reflect on its place in Aotearoa/New Zealand.This conference focuses on changing understandings of the Treaty since the Second World War and how these have influenced New Zealand policy making, institutions and communities. It assesses the impact of these developments on the current position of the Treaty and its role in the future. This conference will benefit those wor

Right of first refusal: Calling the Crown to act with honour

In 1840, Ngāti Whātua invited Governor Hobson to establish his seat of government on their land adjacent to the WaitemataHarbour. Their intention was a flourishing centre, bringing advantage to Ngāti Whātua and new settlers. Sadly, the Governors and the Government soon lost sight of working in partnership with Ngāti Whatua. Decisions were made and legislation passed that caused Ngāti Whātua huge losses of land. The injustice of what happened is well recorded in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Orakei Report . Similar processes by the Crown meant that Waikato-Tainui wrongfully lost land in South Auckland. As part of the Crown’s recompense to these iwi, they were granted right of first refusal on Crown properties in their respective territories. What is the “right of first refusal” and what lies behind it? Put simply, a group with right of first refusal on a property has the first option to buy the property when it becomes available for sale. If they turn down that option, then the property can g