Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Critical Studies Lecture Notes

DATE: 03.04.2013

  • The important thing to remember about the treaty is that there are two versions (English and Maori) but, and this is the important bit,  they are not exact copies which is a point of contention in the treaties lawyers.
  • Before the treaty there was the declaration of independence of New Zealand  [1833]
  • In 1834 northern chiefs were invited to Waitangi to choose the New Zealand Flag

Figure 1 The original design of the New Zealand flag is today widely used by Maori groups
1800 – 1840
  • The treaty was signed on 6th Feb 1840
  • There was much trading and contact and conflict between Maori and pakeha
  • Brits forced into treaty by Maori chiefs 
  • 13 chiefs petition the king (France expansion and possible annexation?)
  • Missionaries buying and selling land on behalf of tribes
  • Declaration of independence was written by Busby with no official authorisation.  It was signed by 34 Northern chiefs.
Treaty translations
  • Tino  rangatiratanga – is one of the most contentious in retrospective analyses tof the Treaty of Waitangi, amid debate surrounding the obligations agree to by each signatory the phrase features in current historical and political discourse of race relations in New Zealand and is widely used by Maori advocacy groups.  A flag based on tino ranatiratanga was designed in 19090 which has now become a representative flag for Maori across New Zeaaland. (From Wikipedia)
Figure 2: Tino Rangatiratanga flag, designed by Hiraina Masden, Jan Smith and Linda Munn.

  • Entered into the full spirit of the treaty
  • Treaty of Waitangi commission was set up in 1975
  • Active protection of Maori language and culture
  • Question: How you think the treaty affects you in this class?
Four principles of the treaty
  • Principles of active protection
  • Tribal right to self-regulation
  • The right of redress for past breaches and the duty to consult
  • The recognition and adherence to the principles ensures the actively protects of Maori Language and culture.
Understanding the treaty gives you cultural contexts to work with.
  • Government tried to bring in multicultural decisions (on what exactly?) these failed because they didn’t understand bicultural problems (check that bit)
  • How does the treaty make us unique?
  • Reads as equality to Maori/Non Maori/ Pakeha
  • Canadian/first peoples treaty
  • Other indigenous peoples don’t have treaties. (We can take it as read that this particular bit is meant to be taken in general rather than specific situations.  At any rate I don’t feel the need to list all the indigenous peoples of the world and the colonial politics throughout the entirety of history)
  • Asset Sales - Prime minister John Key deliberately misinterpreting what the Maori leaders were saying “We are the guardians of the water” became “You can’t own the water” (the foreshore debate)
Trans pacific partnership
  • Business having a say in the running of a country.  This I feel is nothing new but then I consider myself to be only slightly jaded in the matter.
  • Privatization is the modern equivalent of colonization (Yes, in a sense, but governed by a great deal more rules than the old practice of just sticking a flag in a country and claiming it)
How you think the treaty affects you as an artist and as an individual
The fact that the treaty is important is something that has never been in question.  But I remain uncertain as to how much the treaty affects me directly in everyday life.  I do have Maori Ancestry through my mothers side (Ngati Roukawa) but everything that is available to me is also available to everyone else in the country and regardless of the treaty of waitangi.  Maybe then we can just call it a greater awareness of the whys and wherefores of the treaty itself.

From an artistic point of view I think that it's important for anyone doing cultural work to investigate their intended work deeply.  There is meaning and significance in every swirl of Maori art and if you pass up the opportunity to talk with an elder of the local tribe then you're being a fool to yourself and a burden to others.

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