Sunday, November 13, 2011

FOMA conference, Tauranga, 2011

Just home from three days in Tauranga, sitting in on the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) AGM and annual conference. The powhiri was at Tamapohore marae, Mangatawa, but presentations and dinners were at the Bay Park Arena. Fantastic kai (for those who decide the worth of a hui on such things...) but must confess the economic discourse remains both naive and more than a little contrived.

The ex-Minister of Maori Affairs, John Luxton, gave a rather condescending presentation reminding us that there is economic capital, environmental capital, social capital, and wait for it, cultural capital. Cheers John, nothing like patting the natives on the head for a hobby...

The Expansion of Sustainability Through New Economic Space

John Allen (MFAT) gave what is generally called an impassioned speech (repeating a joke of David Lange's that Allen's used before in an article for the NZ International Review, about NZ being a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica...). Essentially we are continually told that a) the Maori economy is big/important/growing; this economy is vital/integral/central to the future of Aotearoa/NZ; c) the global economy is /interested/hungry/fascinated by Maori food/wine/culture;p and d) we Maori need to grasp/seek/take up the challenges.

The role of Maori as labour in this economy is somewhat threatened by the poor education outcomes for our rangatahi/ young people and the terrible impacts that any recession has upon Maori workers. Latest unemployment figures are as bad as ever...



Saturday night saw a great show put on by the Howard Morrison Jnr. and then Tasty Brown...Had a great boogie with Donna Awatere, and we gave her a Lincoln t-shirt and invited her to visit us at Lincoln for a presentation to staff and students sometime next year.


l-r: Dr. Amanda Black (Bioprotection Research Centre), Donna Awatere, Melanie Shadbolt (BRC)




Managed to get my greasy mitts on one of the trophies up for grabs for Te Ahuwhenua. Evidently this was the first time that all three trophies have been together.




References

The Expansion of Sustainability through New Economic Space: Maori potatoes and cultural resilience http://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/dspace/handle/10182/309





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