September 03, 2014
Kaitiakitanga needs nurturing
A Maori development conference has been challenged to allow women to speak on the marae.
Victoria University academic Aroha Mead told Te Pae Roa 2040 conference that if Maori want te reo to flourish, they need to prioritise good speakers on marae over gender.
Ms Mead, who has a decades-long involvement with representing Maori on the international stage, says the development of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples started at about the same time as the 1984 Hui Taumata.
Maori case studies and experiences helped shape parts of the declaration, but the crown still doesn’t want to implement it in Aotearoa New Zealand.
She warned there is too much of a focus by Maori leaders on economics and not enough on kaitiakitanga or guardianship.
" What the public hears is iwi Maori wanting a piece of the economic action, of natural resources, oil, gas and water and if we don't enforce the role of kaitiaki aftertime it drops from our vocabulary and it drops from our conscienceness " she says.
Aroha Mead says the world wants indigenous knowledge of the environment, but there is no evidence it wants indigenous people.
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