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Wednesday, December 4 • 9:00am - 11:00am
BREAKOUT SESSION TWO: Indigenous Studies

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Session Chair: Lara Greaves 

Lizzie Cook: Unsettled Bliss of Cruelty: Decolonising Aotearoa

I examine White domination in relation to the unextinguished sovereignty of Tangata Whenua - the multiple Indigenous entities of Aotearoa. Exploring justifications for that domination, I raise awareness for generating change towards equal power sharing between Tangata Whenua and Tangata Whai (all non-Indigenous, colonial and more recent Settlers) as a parallel bi-culturalism. Rorty described Nabakov's writing as showing how, `the private pursuit of aesthetic bliss produces cruelty'. Viewing `private pursuit' as solipsism, I apply it to
White domination aspirations in Aotearoa from landfall to present day. Using Hayden White's idea of a dominant consciousness, I site how White domination occupies Aotearoa socially, economically and conceptually. From Shklar's perspective of examining vices, I probe the aesthetic bliss of White domination in banal, daily practices that are unwitting acts of cruelty based on the misconception of its own universality that marginalises Tangata Whenua in their own country. The Protestant informed secular theorised by Weber, continues rationalized, puritanical violence post Te Tiriti, generating the 1860s great civil war described
by O'Malley, that positioned Tangata Whenua as 'rebels' in their own land. I challenge White domination claims of Indigeneity in relation to on-going White privilege and superiority and the marginalisation of other, non-Indigenous New Zealanders. Dissenting within this White domination, I develop a Theory of Cruelty that explores White domination repudiation of Tangata Whenua by Negation, Rationalism, Private Pursuit of Bliss, Defensiveness and White Essentialism. Aotearoa requires decolonisation.

Simon Barber: Māori Mārx: Some provisional materials

I begin by following Marx in his search for the proper starting place for a materialist dialectics. Marx’s search ends up, at the close of his life, with the passionate study of indigenous modes of life. I sketch some of the possible lineaments of a Māori Marxism which takes ‘whakapapa’ as its central concept. Whakapapa describes the way in which the world has its being and becoming through the relational and intergenerational reproduction of all things. From this perspective follows an indigenous form of historical materialism wherein reproduction is foregrounded over and against production. I close by suggesting that we must come to conceive of ourselves as part of the ensemble powers of Papatūānuku if we are to conserve the earth whilst overcoming capital.

Tracey McIntosh: He Waka Roimata: Justice Reform and Listening to Understand

In 1988 John Rangihau and the Māori Perspective Advisory Committee's Te Puao-te-Atu-tu report and Moana Jackson's He Whaipaanga Hou report were released demanding urgent reform of both the social welfare system and the criminal justice system. Each of these reports positioned Māori at the centre of the need for transformational change, power sharing and decision making. In 2019 Whakamana Tangata and He Waka Roimata were released from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group and Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora - Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group respectively. This paper looks at the experiential costs of a generation of an increasingly hostile policy environment and the subsequent increase in our consumption of punishment. Listening to understand privileges lived experience of those that ' have lived it and seen it all'.

Fern Smith and Morgan Tupaea: He Tamariki He Taonga: Disrupting colonial media patterns about taitamariki atawhai and the capacities of whānau Māori

A rising tide of activism, supported by social and conventional media forms, has enabled greater visibility to the longstanding practice of state removal of Māori children from their whānau. On the precipice of, and preceding this social change we analysed a corpus of print media identifying and deconstructing pervasive representations of whānau and taitamariki atawhai (children adopted or born of the heart) affected by the state care system. Drawing on kaupapa Māori methodologies, and thematic analysis methods, we identified dominant representations of a) neoliberal subjectivities reinforcing colonial structures, b) pathologising, undermining and silencing Māori and c) the ongoing effects of colonisation and the marginalisation of Māori worldviews. This work foregrounds patterns of discourse that constrain possibilities for whānau and taitamariki atawhai, seeking to broaden media representations of Māori to attend to the brilliancy, complexity and resiliency of taitamariki Māori atawhai. Following hui with Ngāpuhi Social Services and VOYCE: Whakarongo Mai, about this analysis, we advocate for media to better contextualise representations of Māori with understandings of colonisation in local contexts. Furthermore, the media can move beyond being a tool of colonisation by validating and legitimating mātauranga and tikanga Māori, as espoused by Māori leaders - informing solutions to these issues.

Liana MacDonald: Cultural memory and photographic representation of early settler life in the Waipa District

A rich account of early settler life in New Zealand is captured through photography taken by migrants between 1840 and 1914. Some of these images have been used by scholars to learn more about settler culture and colonial history, however, colonial photography in settler colonial societies do much more than that. In this presentation, I argue that photographic images of everyday colonial life are a technology of cultural memory. Cultural memory both defines a culture and influences how history is understood; consequently, photographic representations of early colonial life reflect early settlers’ claims of belonging to indigenous lands and supports the descendants of settlers today to view these claims as legitimate. I will present six tropes that emerged from the photographic repository of a museum in the Waipa district, to show how cultural memory is evoked through colonial images and sustained over time. This presentation is based on in-progress research that is part of a large national project, He Taonga te Wareware?: Remembering and Forgetting New Zealand’s Colonial Past.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

avatar for Lizzie Cook

Lizzie Cook

PhD Candidate, University of Canterbury
White privilege, racism, negotiating conflict as a normal everyday activity, bee & butterfly gardens, native plants, potagerdesign, colourperforming artist

Morgan Tupaea

Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Tipa

Tracey McIntosh

Professor of Indigenous Studies, University of Auckland

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am NZDT
206-209 - Lecture Theatre 3