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Fresh perspectives on conflict resolution

Fresh perspectives on conflict resolution

Auckland, New Zealand
21 May 2008

More than 200 indigenous speakers and delegates from eight countries will meet at a conference in two weeks time, to be held at the University of Auckland, to present fresh strategies for peaceful relationships between peoples and groups based on applying traditional approaches to today’s challenges.

Hosted by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, the Māori Centre of Research Excellence, the international conference, Te Tatau Pounamu – The Greenstone Door: Traditional Knowledge and Gateways to Balanced Relationships, will run from June 8 to 11.

Dr Tracey McIntosh, Joint Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, said the need today for new approaches to conflict resolution is greater than ever and the Centre was delighted to have attracted so many leading speakers.

“This shows the importance we all place on building better relationships and is an overdue opportunity, particularly for indigenous peoples, to provide fresh perspectives to work from,” Dr McIntosh said.

“It is also pleasing to see this continued confirmation of the role Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is now playing internationally. New Zealand has been a leader in establishing a Centre of Research Excellence based on excellent research from an indigenous stand point.”

International speakers who will address the four-day conference include:

 Fr Paul Ojibway – who has served as an advisor to the Vatican and to the White House on inter-religious and urban America Indian affairs, and is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and an enrolled member of the Fond du Luc Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

 Dr Laiana Wong – a professor in the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge (Kawaihuelani Hawaiian Language Department) at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Dr Wong’s address (“Attend to your fellow humans lest your love be wasted on dogs") refocuses responsibility for solving social problems back on indigenous peoples themselves by taking a critical look at how well they are maintaining traditional values.

 Patricio Dominguez – a member of Pueblo de Las Cruces, New Mexico, Mr Dominguez is a shaman, and on the advisory committee of the International Indigenous Coalition and on the board of directors of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge in Albuquerque. His address looks at traditional Native American approaches to conflict resolution that aim at satisfying all parties rather than defining winners and losers.

 Dr Irene Watson – a Fellow at the University of Sydney Law School and a widely published writer on Aboriginal Law, Dr Watson, who is from the Tanganekald and Meintangk tribal groups, has studied wide scale violence in Aboriginal life and will offer perspectives on the potential for future applications of Aboriginal law in addressing this.

Speakers from New Zealand and other Pacific Islands include Dr Pita Sharples, Sir Paul Reeves, Moana Jackson, Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Dr Tamasailau Sua`ali`i-Sauni, and a panel of Tongan people led by Dr Linitā Manu’atu.

Founded in 2002, the CoRE has already reached a key target of helping to create 500 new Māori PhDs. Its research projects have been reported in the world’s leading scientific publications and have been adopted by local and national Government in implementing new educational, health, environmental and social policy programmes.

To register online and for further information regarding the conference please visit

The email address for the conference organisers is


For further information please contact:

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence and supports Māori scholars, community members and international academics engage in research and its applications. It accelerates the growth in numbers of Māori researchers conducting research in ways that genuinely engage with diverse Māori communities to benefit Māori and all New Zealanders.

Sponsorship and support from the following organisations is gratefully acknowledged:

The University of Waikato

Te Puni Kōkiri

Ministry of Health

Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust (Tainui)

The Families Commission

The University of Auckland

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