Volume 92 1983 > Volume 92, No. 3 > Te toi matauranga Maori mo nga ra kei mua: Maori Studies tomorrow, by S. M. Mead, p 333-352
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When university teachers of Maori met in 1978 to discuss the subject of Maori Studies my colleague Professor Bruce Biggs thought that it was important to talk about “what we are actually doing at this university or that” (Biggs 1978:5). From this statement it is reasonable to infer that teachers of Maori have some idea of what Maori Studies is. At every university in which the subject is taught as a major in a Bachelors degree there is a programme of courses which can be divided into two categories. The first is language and Professor Biggs considered this aspect of Maori Studies to be “basic and major” (1978:5). His view is supported by the facts as reflected in teaching programmes from secondary schools to universities. The second category is culture or the cultural aspect. According to our colleagues in other disciplines, we do not have a “civilisation” and so it is that we have culture courses and not “civilisation courses” as in the Indo-European languages taught at New Zealand universities. Thus, as practised in our universities, Maori Studies consists of two types of courses, those which focus on the language (te reo) and those which deal broadly with culture, including such topics as prehistory, traditions, tribal histories, art, oratory and customary concepts (nga tikanga, nga mātauranga Māori i tua atu o te reo).

It is plain from these introductory remarks that it is my intention to discuss the very questions which most of us want to avoid, namely questions about what we select for inclusion in Maori Studies courses, who should teach it, and why. That the enterprise is full of pitfalls and snares is probably to be expected, but one should not surrender without an attempt.

At the outset I shall try to set out a broad framework for the discussion that follows. In doing so I borrow extensively from Bullivant (1981), who published in Canadian Ethnic Studies an article entitled “Multiculturalism — Pluralist Orthodoxy or Ethnic Hegemony.” According to him, university teachers, along with teaching associations and the Pro- - 334 fessorial Board, are “knowledge managers.” These managers of knowledge are “the formal agents appointed by the group to ensure that its culture is transmitted” (Bullivant 1981:3). They devise a curriculum which Bullivant defines “as a selection from the socio-cultural group's stock of valued traditional and current public knowledge, conceptions, and experiences, usually purposefully organized in programmatic sequence” (1981:3).

The selection involves “a rational process based on value judgements (i) about the type, quantity and purposes of the knowledge and conceptions; (ii) about the present and anticipated future demographic, social, economic and cultural features of the society and the relationships of the individuals that comprise it”. This seems like a straightforward task but it isn't. Firstly, the judgments are influenced “by the prevailing ideologies and counter ideologies about education and society” that are held by the agents or the knowledge managers. They are apt to select features of the knowledge and conceptions of the group which are compatible with their respective ideologies. The definition of ideology accepted by Bullivant is that of A Dictionary of the Social Sciences (1964), in which Gould referred to it as “a pattern of beliefs both factual and normative which purport to explain complex social phenomena with a view to directing and simplifying socio-political choices facing individuals and groups” (Bullivant 1981:4).

The knowledge managers are in turn influenced by a variety of other groups such as “political bodies, interest and pressure groups and other power-holding individuals or organizations” which Bullivant regards as a “hidden curriculum of curriculum decision making”. An example is the “hidden” decision made by Dr Beeby (personal communication), on the advice of Sir Apirana Ngata, about not introducing the teaching of Maori language into Maori schools in the 1930s. Few people knew that a decisive discussion between two important knowledge managers had occurred and that they had agreed on a course of action that proved to be ill-advised and plainly wrong.

Had this discussion been open to all knowledge managers it is more than likely that “counter ideologies” which challenged the status quo would have been heard. As visualised by Bullivant, counter ideologies are proposed by persons who challenge “the basis for allocating knowledge/power, who envisage emerging trends in the society that might conceivably generate a new socio-historical context, or who try to bring about an ideal-type, future society based on philosophical speculations”.

In many countries, ideologies and counter ideologies are talked about in shorthand form. For example, in New Zealand we are hearing in- - 335 creasingly about bicultural education. These labels were rarely mentioned when I began teaching: rather the emphasis was on assimilation and integration and we tried hard in the wake of the Hunn Report (1961) to propose that integration meant something other than fitting Maori society into the mould of the dominant Pakeha society and that it was more acceptable than the other ideology.

A summary of the Bullivant framework

In Figure 1, the shaded area in the diagram represents the curriculum of Maori Studies as taught in our universities. What the model suggests is that the material selected for inclusion has resulted from extensive discussions among many groups of people including representatives from the ethnic group, whose knowledge, experience, and conceptions are to be transmitted to later generations. One might be forgiven for thinking that there had been a lot of talking (1) since Maori was included as a University Entrance subject as far back as 1929 (Royal 1975:35); (2) the teaching of Maori as a university subject did not begin at Auckland until 1952; and (3) graduate programmes did not begin until 1978 at Victoria and Waikato. Auckland followed in 1979 and Canterbury begins next year (1984). I suspect, however, that there were not really many open discussions held about this emerging subject. The trouble was that Maori Studies as a subject was not seen to be separable from anthropology nor worthy of a place in its own right. It was out of sight and out of mind. Furthermore, from the 1920s onwards, two of our influential Maori thinkers, Sir Apirana Ngata and Te Rangi Hiroa, were both thoroughly preoccupied with anthropology (Sorrenson 1982:17).

In fact, rather than push for the establishment of Maori (or Maoritanga or Maori Studies) at university level they were both concerned with attempts to introduce anthropology. If Te Rangi Hiroa had his way, Raymond Firth would have had a lectureship in anthropology in - 336 1931, and if Sir Apirana Ngata could have done it, anthropology would have been introduced probably in the 1930s, and Te Rangi Hiroa would have been its first director (Sorrenson 1981:17). But nothing came of these early discussions most of which occurred in the zone Bullivant described as a “hidden curriculum of curriculum decision making”. As far as most of the thinkers of the prewar era were concerned, Maori did not exist as a subject. It was an adhering child of anthropology, and if not of anthropology, then it would be given to some other Western university subject such as German, for example. 1

In the 1950s there were many Pakeha scholars who had great difficulty in accepting Maori as a proper university subject. Professor Biggs would be very familiar with such ethnocentric knowledge managers because he had to overcome their prejudices in the years when Maori was introduced into Auckland University. But if one analysed their attitudes it would very likely be found that they believed in the ideology of total assimilation and probably also believed, as fact, the evolutionary three-step ladder which put Pakeha culture at the top and that of the Maori some distance down. Therefore, since universities were concerned with Western subjects such as Classical Studies (for Greece and Rome are acceptable), history, geography, Latin, and geology, there was no room for this non-Western, non-European and non-Pakeha subject called Maori. Lacking the honourable suffixes of academia such as in Maorigraphy or Maoriology the subject stayed out in the quadrangle until Professor Biggs added the word, “Studies”.

The history of the rise of Maori Studies as a subject in its own right is a fascinating topic of research and somebody should do work on it. Many difficulties have hindered its progress. Professor Biggs would have touched on some of the barriers which had to be cleared away in order that Maori Studies could emerge out of the coffin which earlier knowledge managers, and some still living, prepared for it. Thus, it is necessary to add more elements to the Bullivant model in order to better reflect the reality in New Zealand. The tangata whenua (people of the land) ethnic group does not exist as an entity or clearly identifiable enclave within New Zealand society. Rather it is a fractured Humpty Dumpty that is scattered all over New Zealand and all the King's men and all the King's horses cannot put the pieces together again very easily. As a dispersed group of 385,000 people it is surrounded and feels hemmed in and oppressed by the larger Pakeha population of about 2,500,000. Even though, in 1840, we signed the Treaty of Waitangi and became partners with Britain, Maori people cannot seek help from the Queen, or from the Parliament of Great Britain, but must turn to the local Pakeha people who are the cause of nearly all of our problems. - 337 This, too, is part of the reality Maori society has to face.

The deliberate fracturing of Maori society made it easier to domesticate the pieces and integrate them into the various parts of Pakeha society. In terms of curricula what this means is that every subject area or discipline within, say, a university has its slice of the Maori cake. Thus, anthropology often has Maori within it, history has a strong interest in Maori land and Maori leaders, education in the pedagogy of the Maori minority, medicine in Maori health and so on.

Many knowledge managers would argue that this is proper because it does reflect a reality on the ground. From this vantage point Maori people are scattered and widely dispersed over the institutions of the land. Some argue that the structures of our society should become aware of the ‘bicultural imperative” 2 and should reflect it both in the personnel who work there and in the manner in which the institution operates. In fact, these very issues are presently under discussion, in the State Services Commission, and the ideological positions of those who believe in integration, multiculturalism or in biculturalism are voiced.

This kind of thinking is, in my view, ethnocentric. It is an argument of the sort that, since the word Pakeha was spelt in Busby's 1835 Declaration of Independence with a lower case “p” and since a host of Pakeha editors to this day spell it with a small “p” and on the good authority of a now retired Pakeha Professor of English the word should continue to be spelt with the lower case. The ideology behind the thinking is not acceptable because it is clouded by racism. Many Pakehas reject the label which the Maori people put upon them because they want to be called by the more pretentious term European. They claim that, in usage, the term “a bloody Pakeha,” is different from “a bloody Maori,” and sounds worse! Most of us would surely argue that the intention of the speaker is the same and that the status of the victim is also similar in each case.

It can be shown that the “pepper potting,” “domesticate-in-small-portions,” “spread them out” thinking, is similarly ethnocentric and self-serving. Maori people are being asked to accept the social reality the categories and vision of truth of the dominant society. They are also expected to accept that imposed reality as scientific truth.

Given the sorts of ideologies which have dominated New Zealand life for so long, it is easy to see why developments in Maori Studies have been so disappointingly slow. In becoming gradually more acceptable as a subject, several landmark events have occurred, and all of them recently!

1952 Maori Studies first taught as a university subject at Auckland.
1967 Maori Studies introduced as part of anthropology at Victoria University by Joan Metge and Koro Dewes.
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1974 Big increase in number of secondary schools teaching Maori, from 25 in 1960 to 117 involving 10,482 students (Royal 1975:36).
1974 15 lecturers in Maori language and Maori Studies had been appointed to teachers colleges (Royal 1975:37).
1975 Victoria University advertised a chair in Maori.
1978 M.A. programmes introduced at Victoria and Waikato.
1979 M.A. programme introduced at Auckland.
1982 Te Wananga o Raukawa established with emphasis on Iwi and Hapu Studies on the one hand and administrative studies on the other and culminating in the award by the Wananga of a Bachelors of Maori and Administration (B.M.A.) degree.
1983 Maori Studies included in subjects discussed at XV Pacific Science Congress held in Dunedin in February.

The name of the subject still presents some problems for some of the knowledge managers. Teachers at the secondary level tend to separate the two aspects of Maori Studies. Thus, they speak of Maori language which they teach for the School Certificate and University Entrance examinations. Maori culture includes all of the non-language activities which they teach and is apt to be dominated by song and dance. More recently, Anne Salmond (1980:249) has focused our attention upon mātauranga Māori, as a term to include a body of knowledge which contrasts with Pakeha or Western knowledge.

Mātauranga Māori can be seen as constituting the knowledge base which Maori people must have if they are to be comfortable with their Maoritanga and competent in their dealings with other Maori people. It represents the heritage of the Maori, the knowledge which the elders are said to pass on to their mokopuna (grandchildren), the wāhi ngaro (the lost portion), which our youth long for, and the tikitiki mo to mahunga (the topknot for your head), which Sir Apirana Ngata talked about. This concept of mātauranga Māori helps bring back together into a united whole the shattered pieces of Humpty Dumpty that I spoke of earlier. Moreover, it helps us to understand the nature of our subject and hence provide some guidance as to what our responsibilities are to the Maori people.

I assume that by being responsive to the survival needs of the Maori society we will thereby make a contribution to the nation as a whole and thus to the wider community. Mātauranga Māori is like a stand of native trees that must be saved from the sawmills of the timber merchants or like the kōkako, a rare native bird, that enhances the landscape and enriches the life of the nation. Like a native forest full of tall trees or a beautiful native bird, mātauranga Māori is to be regarded as an impor- - 339 tant part of the national heritage.

A reality we must face is that after some 140 years of a very grim struggle by Maori society to survive as a group we face cultural defeat. We managed to survive biologically and now there are 385,000 persons of Maori descent in New Zealand to prove it and several hundred more in Australia. We have learnt how to survive as biological, sort of culturally-neutral, inoffensive, silent beings. By and large we keep our complaints to ourselves and we tend to express our frustrations with Pakeha society by often violent actions against ourselves and expecially against our women. We reflect the behaviour and the contradictions of an oppressed people somewhat like the peasants of Brazil described by Paulo Freire (1971) in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

We have been less successful at cultural survival. To begin with, as Professor Biggs (1981:ix) and Dr Richard Benton (1978:11-12) pointed out, the Maori language is in rapid decline. Massive migration from rural to urban communities where no facilities were provided to support the continued use of the language was a major factor. Another was that the school system was slow to accommodate the cultural needs of Maori children. The widespread adoption of television and radio played their part also in assimilating the urban Maori into city life. The result is that we now face the prospect of the death of our language and this threat to the traditional vehicle of mātauranga Māori threatens much of the culture. Many art forms that are based on the use of language, such as waiata, karanga, whakapapa and whaikōrero, are “endangered species”.

Our conceptions of the universe, our ideas about the nature of man, the myths and legends that have become part of New Zealand literature were given to us through our language. But what is most important, as has been proved over and over again in recent times, is the fact that for Maori people mātauranga Māori, the experiences of our people, the conceptions mentioned by Bullivant, are part and parcel of our reality. They comprise an important component of the material which gives us a grip on life, which enables us to be human, and which gives us dignity in this land.

The struggle of the Maori people to survive biologically and culturally has been a long, lonely and often bitter one. In the hundred years just passed there has not been too much evidence of genuine Pakeha aroha and understanding. In my view, the university cannot be an institution that stands back and records every poignant moment of the death of Maoritanga, like geologists watching the eruption of a dying mountain, and catching everything on video and on a variety of other recording machines. I know that our colleagues are capable of doing a good job of - 340 observing and recording. Nor should we be an institution that accepts the demise of Maori culture fatalistically and regards it as an inevitable consequence of Pakeha dominance. Academics can do nothing about it except to prepare the bed and put the dying pillow in place. Personally, I reject that position and I cannot commend it to anyone in Maori Studies and in Anthropology.

The counter ideology affirms that there is only one honourable and dignified pathway that we can follow. There is no real option but for the knowledge managers of our universities and departments of Maori Studies to become involved in the struggle of the Maori people to survive culturally. We must work with the people in the sense described by Paulo Freire (1971:52). He said: “Critical and liberating dialogue, which presupposes action, must be carried on with the oppressed at whatever stage of their struggles for liberation.” Liberation is the opposite of cultural death. Liberation from the present reality of a culture under threat and bound tightly under the machinery of Pakeha government and its institutions helps all who participate become more human. To become more human is a worthwhile reward because we can live more easily with ourselves.

Alarmists are bound to say that it is dangerous to become so involved. However, most of us who are trained in anthropology cannot really say that with conviction. None the less, some colleagues are bound to worry about the nature of our involvement and it is right that we should clarify our contribution. A useful background paper to this issue is that of Raymond Firth (1981), who deals with the problems of engagement or detachment of social anthropologists in social affairs. The tradition of anthropologists becoming advocates for the indigenous people they study goes back to Malinowski, who was clear about our duties. According to him, what we should do is “present facts, develop concepts, destroy fictions and empty phrases and so reveal relevant, active forces” (Firth 1981:195). For knowledge managers who are Maori I see no conceptual problems: all of us are bound to participate in plans to free our people's minds, make them more aware of our reality and as well to help develop and maintain the institutions of Maoritanga. Most of us play a part already, in the affairs of our tribal groups, especially when we are reasonably close to the heartlands. Those who are removed some considerable distance from the tribal headquarters find other ways of contributing. For most of us the problem is how much time to give to one's iwi (tribe). There are limits which need to be recognised and new rules, perhaps, which need to be negotiated. Otherwise, the students we teach may not get a fair deal. Only a few of us are in the happy position of working simultaneously for the university and for the tribe. I can - 341 imagine no greater pleasure in life than being able to fuse my role as university teacher and researcher with a similar role in my own tribal region. I sometimes feel that if my students were all members of my tribe we could achieve great results and take greater pleasure in the tasks of teaching and learning.

These issues aside, I do feel that the university has much to offer in ways that are part of its traditional role. Most students coming to us now want to learn Maori in order to speak it. As Professor Biggs (1981:ix) put it: “More and more Maoris will use the language as an identity card, shown for a moment to establish one's Maoritanga, then returned to an inner pocket.” While it is true that some who identify as Maori do that, I happen to view the need to learn to communicate in Maori quite seriously, and I believe we have an obligation to train speakers of Maori as quickly and as economically as possible.

The challenge to the universities is to discover new and more effective ways of teaching Maori and to make these new ways available to every group that requests it. We should find out how best to teach children to be native speakers of Maori and explore new structures for dealing with the new demands of our students. We ought to be able to find ways of transforming the pain of language learning into a joy because this has a bearing on the survival of Maori. We need to explore new techniques of teaching that perhaps make greater use of the marae, so as to reduce as dramatically as we can the time taken to teach a student to become a reasonably competent speaker of Maori. Can we do it in the three years that it takes a student to obtain a Bachelors degree? Should we design a new degree? Or should we set up a new kind of university that best meets our cultural needs? 3

With regard to culture courses, we need to discover what the new, educated and bicultural person needs to know, so as to be able to make a contribution to marae-based activities. This person is likely to replace knowledgeable elders who have died out either by natural causes or being assimilated and thereby suffering a cultural death. We need, therefore, to produce students who have a good grasp of these portions of mātauranga Māori which we offer at our universities.

The questions we need to ask ourselves have to do with what we should be selecting for the curriculum, what part of mātauranga Māori our people need. Should we decide that we really do need a course called whakapapa (and not kinship) then we have to find out how to teach whakapapa (genealogies) as effectively as possible. There is no doubt in my mind that few people have been able to masterwhakapapa to the point of being able to use it creatively in Maori ceremonial life. There is also little doubt that whakapapa experts are given great respect in Maori - 342 communities because of the knowledge (mātauranga) they exhibit during moments of great social importance to the people. Maori people look upon whakapapa as being a very intellectual and highly difficult art and that is why I think we should try to offer courses on this topic.

Recent events arising out of the Waitangi Tribunal's report to the Government regarding the sea food resources of Taranaki suggest very strongly that we should be teaching courses on Maori land and sea tenure. And, indeed, Victoria University is introducing such a course in 1984. Another obvious gap is a course on Maori organisations such as the Waitangi Tribunal, Maori land incorporations, trust boards and soon, for the resourceful and knowledgeable graduate should know about them. Where else should students find such a course but in Maori Studies?

Not forgetting Bullivant's inclusion of experience as part of the material for the curriculum, we should bring into the programmes of Maori Studies courses such as Cultural Survival, The History of Maori Survival, Maori-Pakeha Relations, The Treaty of Waitangi, Unsung and Forgotten Heroes of Maoritanga, and The Effects of Pakeha Government on Maori Culture. As people who have felt the effects of oppression and who are vitally concerned with what Pakehatanga is up to almost every day of the year we ought to have something to say to our students about our experiences — the bitter, the poignant, the tragic, the triumphant and the happy.

Beyond explorations into new courses and into developing an appropriate pedagogy for Maori Studies, I believe we should assist through our writings and publication, such as Paanui, 4 in engaging the Maori people in the critical and liberating dialogue which is necessary for us to understand our social reality. Paulo Freire (1971) offers a theory about how we, as a people, might free ourselves intellectually from the bonds of being a minority group within our own country. I notice that the Canadians have not been afraid to deal with self-determination and “the right to exist as distinct peoples and to prosper in their own cultures and traditions” (Jackson, McCaskill and Hall 1982:1). In fact, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies published a special issue on “Learning for Self Determination: Community Based Options for Native Training and Research” in which most of the articles were written by activists rather than scholars. The editors of the issue noted that: “It seems as if the use of Native Studies as a means of reflecting on political and social action taken by the native movement has declined in recent years” (Jackson, McCaskill and Hall 1982:2). What they hoped for was that the special issue would “encourage others to reflect on the activities of the native movement and to feed this analysis back into the movement in a - 343 spirit of solidarity, mutual support and dialogue” (Jackson, McCaskill and Hall 1982:2).

I do not think Maori Studies people as a group consider seriously that we might have an obligation to support with our skills various projects which the Maori people are required to do in dealing with the institutions of the Pakeha. Rather we have been content to let a few of us, such as Rangi Walker 5 and Pat Hohepa, 6 operate in the disapproved arena of politics. Some of us made brief forays into politics and then retreated into the relative safety of academia. Yet others of us appear not to be associated or identified with the people whom we, as knowledge managers, are supposed to represent. I sometimes wonder why.

It should be pointed out very strongly to knowledge managers everywhere that we are going through a very difficult period in the life of our nation. It is a time when one has to scream in order to attract attention and fight hard for a share in the resources of our institutions. Maori people are facing many crises. Never before has the Maori community needed its educated and skilled people more desperately. But there are too few educated Maori men and women, too few with M.A.s and too few with Ph.D.s. The consequences are many. But the one which concerns Maori Studies immediately is that there is a strong community pressure being exerted on our staff for help. Many of us are involved in various tribal initiatives of community projects, thus reducing the time that one can give to writing papers and books. The few who serve are overworked. Moreover, some able Maori students are responding to the call of the communities and are “going home” to live and work. A few are becoming like monks in that they are renouncing affluence and city life for the opportunity to serve their own people and teach their children to become native speakers of Maori. One of my students has three children who are native speakers and it is now very difficult to pursuade him to come back to university.

I come now to the question of who should become knowledge managers of Maori Studies. A few years ago a student of mine complained that he came to university to seek and find his heritage. He regarded his Maoritanga as very sacred and precious. When he found that some of the transmitters of the heritage were Pakeha, he protested. He found that he could not accept his heritage from a Pakeha teacher: it seemed quite wrong to him. This had nothing to do with the quality or expertise of the teacher. Rather it was a matter of ethics as far as he was concerned. The appropriation of the heritage of the Maori by the knowledge managers of all the other disciplines is what worried him. He resented it and in telling me about his personal difficulty he alerted me to a problem I was not aware of until then.

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All of us are now aware of the sensitivities of the modern Maori. These resentments and sensitivities are, in my view, a direct consequence of feeling and being oppressed. How can a victim of oppression take from the hand of the oppressor the very substance of his identity? That was the problem of my student and it is a general issue that we must face. In our New Zealand context the university has favoured the Pakeha student. Even in a subject such as Maori the organisation of courses, the writing of essays, the lecturing in English have all conspired to favour Pakeha students. No wonder that some Maori students, who might be no less bright, resent the institution, the department and those who teach Maori Studies as a university subject.

It is interesting to me to find that a few Pakeha students also want to be taught by a Maori. They want an “authentic” source: a person who has experience in the difficulties of being Maori. Some of them are worried about the integrity of Maori culture and are no less concerned about whose hand it is that feeds mātauranga Māori to them. Many members of our Maori public accuse us of “selling out” to the Pakehas and of giving to them jobs which Maori teachers should have. They point to the scarcity of Maori teachers on any university campus and to the fact that in many cases the only Maori lecturers on the university staff are those in Maori Studies. These are not matters which we can ignore for it is a fact that there are too few Maori teachers at our universities.

Our greatest difficulty is that the universities were slow to respond to the need to train people for the various Maori Studies jobs throughout the land and particularly short-sighted in not training people in mātauranga Māori and in Maori language so that qualified people would have been available. So we have to be staffed the way we are at present and we must live through our present difficulties. We must have access to the branches of knowledge that we require and at this present time there are a surplus of Pakeha academics and a desperate shortage in all disciplines of Maori Ph.D.s. The shortage is so critical that it is possible that, in the immediate years ahead, Pakeha professors will be appointed to take charge of Maori Studies departments. I would regard that as a backward step; some would call it a backlash step! The important question remains: Where are our successors?

In the paper I referred to earlier, Firth (1981:198) described anthropology as “the uncomfortable science” following the line of thinking which resulted in economics being called “the dismal science”. Firth pointed out that anthropologists tend, through their researchers, to identify human problems which policy makers find awkward. Moreover, they tend to offer no practical solutions to problems but, more typically, reveal other elements to the issue than had been known at the time. As a - 345 daughter science of anthropology, Maori Studies qualifies very definitely to be described as “the uncomfortable science”. A lot of people, including many Maoris outside the university, are somewhat suspicious of it and knowledge managers in other subjects do not regard it as a science and question its right to exist as an independent discipline in a university. Teachers within Maori Studies also feel insecure. Pakeha scholars feel threatened by the changes occurring in Maori society today and within the subject itself. On the other hand, Maori scholars feel threatened by the university and are often intimidated by it. Our students come to us often afraid of their own heritage. So for these and many other reasons we are going through an uncomfortable period in our development.

Among knowledge managers at all levels of education are people who still question the mana (status), of Maori Studies. They see the subject as being too narrow, too limited, not part of an international network and not academic. While such accusations tend to reflect more the attitudes of the accusers than anything else, there are, none the less, some problems to discuss. But in dealing with this matter I find it useful to follow the model of Tāne, who turned himself upside down in order to bring māramatanga (light and understanding) into the world.

Ideally Maori Studies is Polynesian Studies because Polynesia is the region against which we can understand our situation. The Maori case is but one example of events in Polynesia of which we are an integral part.

If we want a broader perspective for our understanding we must traverse the world. Thus, in a geographical sense, it is not Maori Studies that builds limiting fences around itself, but rather the other disciplines such as history, political science, sociology, geography and anthropology.

In terms of colleagues in other parts of the world there is a network to which we belong because we are not the only country that has developed ethnic studies. Others are Australia, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Norway. That the network is not properly developed is a function of ethnic studies being a relatively new development worldwide.

In regard to the world of ideas, I recognise no boundaries for Maori Studies. In fact, it is easy for me to visualise anthropology, sociology, history, geography, linguistics, art history and economics as working for Maori Studies. They have very valuable contributions to make towards our subject. Anthropology is part of the legacy of Maori Studies and we claim it without apology. The world of ideas has always been open to us and we must travel that world and learn from it.

It is obvious that I see Maori Studies as being organised more like a school than a department. I can visualise the anthropology department in Auckland becoming the first School of Maori Studies. Education and - 346 geography might well be included in the school. In this sort of arrangement it is possible to put Humpty Dumpty together again and it also becomes possible to repossess our heritage, hold on to it, and exercise a measure of control over it.

I should be quite happy to see Maori Studies move towards a Maori university which could exist side by side with, say, the Auckland campus. This sort of arrangement has been adopted in at least one campus in Canada. In such a university I would see Maori topics being taught entirely in Maori. A marae would be a central physical feature of the campus. Its students would be able to share the same basic facilities as the other students, have access to subjects that we could not otherwise offer, be funded by the State, and offer degrees in its own name, say as the University of Aotearoa. People to fill the teaching posts that are necessary — people who are bicultural and bilingual — would need to be trained for such a university.

An idea such as this offers a challenge to Maori academics to come forward and be trained. It also presents an opportunity for far more Maori knowledge managers to be employed by the university system in New Zealand than is the case now. At the moment all of our universities are bastions of Pakehatanga and are dominated by Pakeha teachers, technicians, administrators, typists, carpenters and gardeners.

Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa and Te Ati Awa have made a move towards establishing their own university and they are now into their second year. They chose to move outside the structures of the present university system, finding little sympathy in those quarters for their enterprise. We could well find other tribal universities being established in the next few years. I am very keen on setting up a Mataatua Whare Wananga at Whakatane but I know that there are enormous difficulties ahead. The largest difficulties have to do with funding.

To bring this discussion to a conclusion I now focus upon some tasks that must be addressed in the years ahead. A start has already been made on some of them.

1. Te Wahi Ngaro (The Lost Portion of the Heritage)

There is an urgent need for research which focuses upon discovery, rediscovery, and reconstructions of the heritage. The people want this information and are hungry for it. Our national aim should be to record the heritage for every iwi and whanau in the country. This is an immense task which needs to be shared out among Maori Studies departments and undertaken purposefully in the full knowledge of what we are trying to achieve.

Such research illustrates a sensitivity to the needs of the Maori people - 347 and emphasises the point that the university can supply the need without compromising its scholarly and research aims.

2. Te Reo Tuku Iho (The Language Heritage)

Some necessary resource materials have already been produced by both the universities and New Zealand Council for Educational Research. But a tremendous amount of effort needs to be placed in producing good teaching programmes which are aimed at achieving communicative ability in the language as a first priority. Other aspects such as reading, writing and translating come next.

I believe we need to direct some of our effort into putting the new technology of computers and word processors into the hands of our students. If by using this sophisticated technology Maori can be learnt more systematically and faster, we must encourage it.

But there is a less spectacular revolution that we are quite unprepared for, that is, the availability of tape-decks in motorcars. Hundreds of our young people have such equipment. We ought to make available to them programmes of language instruction suitable to their needs and necessary for going to a hui — instructions on how to behave at a tangi, waiata that they can learn as they travel and so on. However, we might need to find ways of making such resources available. One way of dealing with it is to encourage the establishment of a company which specialises in selling resources of this sort. Such a company would become a commercial arm of all Maori Studies departments everywhere and, if set up properly, could be controlled by us and made to work for the people. It would handle sophisticated word processor programmes and distribute materials which we cannot handle easily ourselves.

3. Nga Tupuna Rongo Nui (Famous Ancestors)

I have already mentioned the need to bring out into te ao mārama (the world of light) outstanding men and women of the Maori world. These are the heroes and heroines of our people who must be seen as Maori leaders who crossed the stage of life and made important contributions to our life, our struggle to survive and our efforts to contain and domesticate Pakehatanga. More recently there are people who are already making a name in the struggle to reassert our right to a place of prominence in our country.

I refer to leaders such as Te Ua Haumene, 7 the first Maori leader ever to be exhibited like a monkey and publicly humiliated and ridiculed and this with State funding and full Government approval. Titokowaru, 8 an outstanding military tactician in the Pakeha sense, is another unsung hero who needs to be brought forward so his achievements can be viewed again.

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The important exercise is to free our heroes and heroines from the smothering blanket of Government propaganda and of news media smear campaigns. Recently I was told that some descendants and relatives of Te Kooti did not want to talk about their ancestor because he was a “rebel” and they are ashamed of him. This is the sort of nonsense that must be overcome.

4. Te Tangata Whakaiti (The Humble Person)

It is most essential that in all that we do at university we keep certain values before us. Our students must not think that they know everything and, worse, know more than any other Maori. Mātauranga Māori learnt at university must be accepted with humility as a very good foundation upon which to build. Our graduates should be made to spend at least a month among members of their tribe in order to learn that ahead of them lies the task of winning the confidence of their people. Our Pakeha graduates should spend their month doing community service among Maori people but, most importantly, they must realise that they face a more difficult task of gaining acceptability in the Maori world than do Maori students. That is a fact of life although life is often full of surprises and contradictions! All of our students also must learn (and probably the hard way) that humility is an important tāonga (prized possession) to possess not only soon after graduation but always.

University education often alienates and just as often teaches values which encourage some of our people to become arrogant knowledge managers. Mātauranga, according to our late kaumatua Eruera Stirling, “is a blessing on your mind, it makes everything clear and guides you to do things in the right way . . . and not a word will be thrown at you by the people” (Eruera Stirling and Anne Salmond 1980:247).

One of Te Kooti's prophetic sayings reminds the Maori people that it is all right to receive Pakeha education and learn to read and write but he and the Ringatu church had mātauranga too. Though he did not amplify his statement, it is clear that Te Kooti recognised the danger of Pakeha education and what it can do to our people if it is not tempered by a humility towards our own mātauranga and towards our people. University education must work with us and for us and not against us.

5. Te Waihanga i Nga Whare Hou (Building New Houses)

I have already talked about building new structures such as a School of Maori Studies or a tribal university or Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa. We must address ourselves to the task of finding the most appropriate structures for teaching our subject. Maori Studies is more than a university subject area. It is closely linked with the identity of Maori and - 349 Pakeha alike although more for the former than the latter. Its knowledge managers must reach beyond the present confines of the university and bring in the buildings that we all know we must have, for example a marae. There are already some 20 teaching institutions throughout the land that have a marae and I understand that the Education Department is already at the point of accepting a marae as a legitimate teaching structure in our secondary schools. It is up to us to ensure that a marae becomes an integral part of departments of Maori Studies at university level.

There are, however, other structures such as a Diploma in Maoritanga which we at Victoria University are trying to establish. This will be a one-year undergraduate diploma which might be very attractive to students who want to study Maori only and nothing else. Such a diploma might be the most effective way of meeting the identity and heritage needs of many of the students who come to us.

New degrees and courses need to be introduced. I would see these as being selected on the principle of community need and offered because the knowledge gained is very important.

6. Te Toi Matauranga Maori (The Knowledge of Maori Knowledge)

Finally, it is our duty to study the nature of our subject. I see mātauranga Māori as being Maori Studies, one being a translation of the other. But what we teach at university is but a selection from the whole. The part that is selected is usually the portion which is seen to be most valued and most central to Maori society as it exists today. One of the tasks before us is to focus upon the meaning of the word toi and so become involved in studying the nature of knowledge or in grander terms the epistemology of mātauranga Māori. My selection of “Te Toi Matauranga Maori” as the title in Maori of my paper was deliberate because I hope that in Maori Studies tomorrow we give our subject the academic mana that it should have. It is up to the knowledge managers to accomplish that goal.


It is impossible in a paper of this nature to cover everything and to say everything. The remarkable thing about our subject is that it is still relatively new so that a whakataukī of my tribe can be applied to it. He manu hou ahau he pī ka rere (I am a new bird, a fledgling that has just learned to fly). The next part of the whakataukī spoke of allowing one to drink deeply of the water from a certain river before one's life was taken away. It is important, I believe, that our subject does have time to develop and that we have time to see and appreciate its good works. - 350 I would not want to see it die for lack of imagination, dedication and funding.

Let me end by saying that Maori Studies has proved so far to be a “blessing on the mind” of the nation. There are exciting developments ahead and I believe there is no time to lose. We must do everything we can to encourage the manu hou (the new bird) to fly, enjoy the freedom of the skies, and adorn the breast of Ranginui (The Sky Father) who stands above us.

  • BELLICH, James, 1979. Titokowaru's War and its place in New Zealand History. M.A. thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.
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  • BIGGS, Bruce, 1978. Te Whakaako i Te Reo Maaori i te Whare Waananga o Akarana. Talk given at Inter-University Maori Studies Conference, Victoria University, August 17-19.
  • —— 1981. The Complete English-Maori Dictionary. Auckland, Auckland University Press and Oxford University Press.
  • BULLIVANT, Brian M., 1981. “Multiculturalism — Pluralist Orthodoxy or Ethnic Hegemony.” Canadian Ethnic Studies, XIII(2):1-22.
  • CLARK, Paul, 1975. ‘Hauhau’: The Pai Marire Search for Maori Identity. Auckland, Auckland University Press.
  • FIRTH, Raymond, 1981. “Engagement and Detachment: Reflections on Applying Social Anthropology to Social Affairs.” Human Organization, 40(3):193-201.
  • FREIRE, Paulo, 1970. Pedogogy of the Oppressed. New York, Harper and Herdes.
  • JACKSON, Ted, Don MCCASKILL, and Budd L. HALL, 1982. “Introduction to Learning for Self-Determination: Community-Based Options for Native Training and Research.” The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, II(1):1-9.
  • ROYAL, Turoa, 1975. Culture Change and Educational Administration in New Zealand. M.Ed.Admin. thesis, University of New England, Australia.
  • SORRENSON, M. P. K., 1982. “Polynesian Corpuscles and Pacific Anthropology: The Home-made Anthropology of Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck.” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 91(1):7-27.
  • STIRLING, Eruera and Anne SALMOND, 1980. Eruera: The Teachings of a Maori Elder. Wellington, Oxford University Press.
  • VICE-PRESIDENT'S REPORT, 1977. Proposals for Increased Response through Teaching, Scholarship and Service to the Expectations of the Native Peoples of Alberta. Calgary, The University of Calgary.

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1   At Canterbury University Maori was introduced under the mantle of the Department of German.
2   This term is attributable to Ken Piddington and is meant to indicate that settling the problems of interrelationships between the two main groups in New Zealand, Maori and Pakeha, has a priority over all else. Multiculturalism as an ideology is rejected by many Maori thinkers because what it does is to remove the special and legitimate claims of the Maori people, as people of the land, and relegates them to being the same as all of the immigrant minorities now living in New Zealand.
3   The attitude of our universities can be compared with that of The University of Calgary in Canada whose vice-president commissioned a report entitled, “Proposals for Increased Response through Teaching, Scholarship and Service to the Expectations of the Native peoples of Alberta.” December 1977.
4   Paanui or Pānui is a publication of Maori Studies departments begun in 1978, and issued by each department which is identified in the title adopted, for example, Pānui a Waikato (Publication of Maori Department at University of Waikato), Paanui a Aakarana (Publication of Maori Studies Section at University of Auckland), Pānui a Wikitoria (Publication of Department of Maori Studies at Victoria University), Pānui-a-Waitaha (Publication of Maori Sections at Universities of Canterbury and Otago). The Maori Studies Section of Massey University has not yet issued a Pānui.
5   Dr Rangi Walker, of Continuing Education at Auckland, writes a regular feature on Maori-Pakeha relations in the New Zealand Listener and has been subjected to abuse by Ministers of the Crown, by Prime Minister Muldoon and by many members of the public who resent a view of reality that is counter to their own.
6   Dr Patrick Hohepa, who is engaged in actitivies of the New Zealand Maori Council and of Mana Motuhake (a Maori Self-Determination Political Party), is seen to be a very political person and he must therefore be bad. There is also resentment against all educated Maori men and women who become advocates of their people. Many Pakeha New Zealanders feel that it is wrong to use Western (Pakeha) knowledge in pursuit of Maori social and political issues. This is an attitude that we must try to change.
7   Clark (1975) has helped considerably in allowing us to get a better appreciation of Te Ua.
8   See thesis by James Bellich (1979), who has revealed the military genius of Titokowaru.