Sunday, August 15, 2010

Matauranga Maori: methodological musings...

We recently hosted Charles Royal at Lincoln University, albeit briefly. At an informal kai and nibbles Charles gave those staff present an interpretation of Matauranga Maori (see also this presentation from a conference in 2006).

For Charles the principle approach of MM is that of 'tatai': two things come together, producing a third. Now this approach is easily recognisable as akin to other relational methodologies, a la Marx, and the Actor-Network theorists such as Bruno Latour. This marks a significant divergence from those methodologies that elevate individual and therefore isolated analytical units, for example the rational all-knowing consumers of neoliberalism.

The challenge remains to identify those actants relevant to Maori, trace their travels and travails and actual begin to do something to increase the number of beneficial outcomes and avoid, remedy or mitigate the negative outcomes (acknowledging we're still in the midst of debating what they might be).

Graham Smith has also published and presented widely on the methodological history and implications of matauranga Maori.

Other sites...
See this site - Rangahau - for a great collection of Matauranga Maori practitioners.

Also this post on 'Badiou, Extension and Networks...'

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Maori Unemployment

Well, Aotearoa/NZ's unemployment rate is now back at 10-year highs with overall unemployment up to 6.8% from last quarters teasing plummet of 6%.

Maori unemployment is up from 14.2% to 16.4%. As the Pikiwhara, Parekura Haitch, sayz "That means 26,400 Maori are now without jobs, an increase of 3,600 since the previous quarter."

Talking to taxi drivers, barmen, waitresses and shirt sales staff as I do, the looming double dip has been a topic of concern for some time. But these national figures hide the true pain. For young people aged 15-19 years, the unemployment rate is 26.5%. For young Maori in this age group it is 38.7%. Two out of every five rangatahi are outta work.

Yet again the issue of mining on Maori land has arisen as a geological survey of Northland/Tai Tokerau is announced. I heard Margaret Mutu on RNZ decrying the decision. The issue I raised on an earlier post remains: poor countries (like A/NZ) and poor societies (like Nga Puhi) don't have the options of Luxembourg or Switzerland. I'm not advocating for ripping up the land for minerals (we allow Africans, Asians, South Americans and Australians to do that...) but unless we seriously address Maori unemployment (and underemployment when the economy is back up on its flat feet), we remain mired in the poverty, serfs amidst the plenitude of Papatuanuku. Mining is one of the many activities we can't exclude...

Simon Lambert

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