Here are the top news stories for tauira Māori this week.
Tauira Māori and Netsky engage in positive hui about te ao Māori and “that video”
Last week on April 21, tauira Māori were able to express their feelings to Belgian DJ Netsky on the controversial America’s Cup afterparty video he shared, in a hui held at the Te Roopū Māori whare.
There was a clear intention for the kaupapa to be about understanding the negative impact of the video and moving forward with positivity. Tumuaki of Te Roopū Māori Karamea Pewhairangi said that the hui achieved the result they wanted.
“We’re not there to belittle him, not to educate him, but [share] what our values are and how we express them”
They had a similar hui addressing cultural appropriation with another association earlier in the year, with the same positive result. “The relationship has grown much stronger because we’ve been able to have those conversations'' Although it is disappointing that these issues affect tauira Māori, Te Roopū Māori facilitating these hui were about “giving [tauira] that space to be comfortable to say how they felt” said Karamea.
Te Whakamoetanga o Te Herenga Waka Marae
On Monday morning, Te Heranga Waka Marae and it’s buildings were put to rest in the tikanga of whakamoe, placing temporary restrictions and officially closing the buildings for the next step of ‘The Living Pā’ project.
Co-Tumuaki of Ngāi Tauira, Katelynne Pōtiki-Clune, told Salient that the temporary closure was bittersweet.
“Having the whare closed is quite sad because we don’t have that space anymore and I know that space has been a real safe haven for a lot of Māori, especially those who move into the urban area from rural areas. It’s a place where they can ground themselves, so that space being inaccessible is quite sad and we’re all really going to miss it.
“But it was also a really amazing kaupapa to be a part of. It’s a once in a lifetime event [...] being able to witness it was a privilege. Safari and I were inside one of the houses as student presidents and I feel super privileged to have been inside that space while it was happening.”
The project which will see the redevelopment of the marae precinct is planned to take two years. The development is not only said to be a transformational shift in Indigenous architecture, but also sustainability. Professor Rawinia Higgins says that the Living Pā “will be one of the most environmentally responsible buildings in the world, and the most sustainable educational facility in New Zealand”. Tauira in their final year might want to look at postgrad studies if you want to witness the re-opening in 2023.
Unequal pay of Māori student reps sparks action at Caterbury and Otago universities
Te Akatoki Tumuaki Rosa Hibbert-Schooner announced her resignation from her role on the UCSA exec in an open letter on social media. She cites institutionalised racism and lack of value of Māori students as the reason for her resignation.
“No other delegate will be filling this space, until this role is remunerated and valued equally."
The announcement came shortly after Radio One 91FM shared a video of Te Roopū Māori Tumuaki Karamea stating similar experiences on her exec, but the two incidents were unrelated. Karamea applauds Rosa for “stepping up and saying ‘nah’” saying she had no idea the two were dealing with similar issues.
“I’m 100% behind her and her bravery to do that” said Karamea, expressing that this issue “highlights how undervalued everything that Māori students and Maori in general bring to the table”.
While there is no news yet of immediate change for Te Akatoki, Te Roopū Māori were able to action positive change when a motion was passed to increase their pay on the OUSA executive.
The motion passed at the OUSA SGM, held on Friday Apr 30, stated "That OUSA increases remuneration for ex officio positions to $5300 per annum effective from their next pay period.".
The ex-officio roles (which include a Māori student rep and Pasifika student rep)ma are required to complete 5 hours of work a week. This increase to $5300 per annum, up from the current $1279 per annum, is estimated by looking at how much the 10 hour roles receive and halving it.
This is a small but significant step in not only upholding the principles of the treaty and acknowledging equal partnership with Māori, but also addressing inequity.