Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Being Mäori-Päkehä

Being Mäori-Päkehä

Tuesday 8th July 2008

Attention: Education/Mäori Issues Reporters

A new book from NZCER Press delves into the experience of being a New Zealander of Mäori-Päkehä descent.

Walking the Space Between is written by Melinda Webber (Te Arawa/Ngapuhi/Päkehä), who is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland.

Ms Webber examines how she has come to state her ethnic identity as Mäori, despite having strong Scottish heritage on both sides. The book contains detailed interviews with six others about the complex nature of straddling two distinctly New Zealand ethnic groups—Mäori and Päkehä, each with their own prescriptive criteria for inclusion. Their stories reveal how some people of mixed Mäori descent sit on the margins of both groups, forever negotiating the right to be included. Ideas – often unspoken – about who is considered a ‘real Mäori’ in the Mäori world, and the ‘right kind of Mäori’ in the Päkehä world, play a prominent role in shaping their sense of in-between-ness.

Ms Webber says that feeling is often exacerbated at school, where Mäori students are expected to tick certain boxes, such as being good at sport and speaking te reo. For her and those she interviewed, it was not until they were older and in tertiary education that they realised they could work out their own identity and that it could be fluid rather than fixed.

“The older I get, the more I’m sure about my right to decide what being Mäori means for me and my family and my child, and to enact that, regardless of how different it is to what other Mäori do,” she says. “Identity is shifting, our culture is shifting.”

Ms Webber says there’s a need for a more robust debate in New Zealand about ethnic identity, particularly when more and more people have transnational or mixed-heritage backgrounds. As a teacher educator, she would like to see trainee teachers being taught to better understand what they bring to the classroom, through an examination of their own identities.

“If you are going to teach a diverse range of students, then as a first step you have to understand yourself and the lens through which you see the world.”

--

About NZCER

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research is New Zealand's only independent, educational research organisation. Established in 1934 through grants from the Carnegie Corporation, it became a statutory body in 1945 and now operates under its own Act of Parliament. Its key focus is to provide educators, students, parents, policy makers and the public with innovative and independent research, analysis, and advice. NZCER is not formally attached to any government department, university, or other educational organisation.

For more information, please visit our website www.nzcer.org.nz


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland