Mana Wahine and Decolonization

Mana wahine is often incorrectly thought of as Māori feminism. To truly understand mana wahine, however, one must define it through a Māori worldview. Simmonds identifies one of the struggles of understanding mana wahine comes as result of the dominance of Western paradigms overshadowing the significance of kaupapa Māori (Māori centered) theory (Simmonds 13). Māori,... Continue Reading →


Appropriation and Exploitation in Aotearoa

Engles Schwarzpaul states “Identity relies on difference as much as it does on sameness.” Here she is pointing out the method of realization through recognition of differences between self and Other. In defining and reaffirming the European identity, the West has often looked to “primitive” cultures thus projecting their inner conflict between nature and culture,... Continue Reading →

Hybridity and Identity

Bhabha states that “although there is always an entertainment and encouragement of cultural diversity there is always also a corresponding containment of it”(Rutherford 208). Bhabha is meaning that, within Modernist and Conservative ideology, the amalgamation of diverse cultures is fine as long as it aligns with the principles of the dominant culture. To be otherwise... Continue Reading →

Māori Stereotypes in Mainstream Media

Wall identifies four dominant stereotypes within contemporary media which help to reinforce colonial perceptions of Maori. One of these stereotypes is the caricature of “the comic Other” which, while seemingly good natured holds malignant implications (Wall 42). The NZ Anti-Drink Driving commercial Ghost Chips plays on this stereotype, featuring a  young Māori man considering the effects... Continue Reading →

Pacific Identities

One of Hau’ofa’s main considerations regarding Pacific identity is the need for a regional identity. Hau’ofa states that previous and current regional identity has often been determined by external influences, resulting in an inability for peoples of the Pacific to define themselves and the world in which they live (Hau’ofa 397). Considering the diversity of... Continue Reading →

Contesting Colonial Constructs: Contemporary Maori Art in the Decolonizing Process

The creation, circulation, and consumerism of colonial art has helped the reinforcement of Māori stereotypes, maintaining the dominant ideologies held by 19th century European settlers. This misrepresentation, whether conscious or not, confirms the subordinate position of Maori in relation to European. I will look at how these visual representations continue to produce meaning today, enforcing... Continue Reading →

Understanding The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi has often been a subject of debate between Māori and the Crown. Walker considers the incomplete Māori translation of the Treaty to be reason for such debate. It is important to note that while sharing conceptual similarities, words used in the English version of the Treaty do not hold the same... Continue Reading →

Kaupapa Māori and Matauranga Māori

The terms kaupapa Maori and matauranga Maori are often thought of as synonymous. Royal, however, makes clear that, while being related, they do not lie solely in the same realm. Royal distinguishes kaupapa Maori as meaning either the values and plans of action decided by Maori; or the values and plans suggested by traditional knowledge... Continue Reading →

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