Monday, May 28, 2012

Maps of Pacific Island rugby players: club affiliations while representing home country

Recently a lovely map was posted on LinkedIn by Rosemarie McKeon, an Indigenous mapper I first met at Berkeley three years ago...


A few years ago I mapped club affiliations for Pacific Island players while representing their home country. Tongan, Fijian, and Samoan players were increasingly playing for NZ, Home Union (English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish), and Australian clubs.

I've posted the essay before - Pacific Islanders in the business of New Zealand rugby: rucking the national identity?but this is the first attempt to post the resulting maps which I made with a basic system used by Canterbury University's geography department...

First up, Tonga. All I've done is gone through the team list for the Tongan team that played the All Blacks in 2000, then placed an indicator (a wee man; feminists may correctly point out it's kind've a gender neutral symbol :) showing in which country these players' clubs was located. The first map 3 Tongan players played for NZ clubs; 3 for Welsh; 4 for Japan; and 8 were still playing in their home country.


Now Fiji...two tests sampled, 1987 and 1997.



And finally Samoa, with three tests, 1993, 1996, and 1999.


Essentially this represents a Marxian international division of labour. The concerns held by Pacific Island rugby administrators, was that their players would be drawn offshore, contracted out of Island selection, and eventually play for their adoptive countries. And this has come to pass.

Ironic that Aotearoa/NZ now agonises over its brain drain having already benefitted from a Pasifika brawn drain.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

NAISA 2012

Just arranging tickets to this years Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference in Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut, for June 3-6. The host institutions are University of Massachusetts Boston; Dartmouth College; Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP); University of Massachusetts Amherst; and Yale.

Looking forward to catching up with old friends. I'm presenting on the Wednesday, 'Indigenous Resilience to urban disaster: Maori and the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes', data coming out of our Lincoln projects on how Maori have been affected by the ongoing quakes (big aftershock of 5.49 yesterday).

Essentially, "The response and recovery of Māori to the massive dislocation of the earthquakes in Ōtautahi displays the strength and resilience of Māori cultural values and skills as well as the distressing effects of ongoing Māori economic vulnerability. The institutions of whānau, marae and iwi provided immediate and much needed help to more than just ‘their own’, and the values of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga were manifested in the actions of countless individuals and groups. 


However, any framing of Māori resilience as benefiting from generations of poverty – a callous on our collective lives – risks reifying the status quo of economic vulnerability, diluting our attention from a key component of resilience to hazards and disasters, namely asset wealth. Understanding Māori resilience as nuanced, place-based and culturally ‘attuned’ opens up possibilities for better disaster preparation and improved post-disaster recoveries than simply judging Māori response(s) and recovery(ies) according to assumptions of population stability or resistance to change. But understanding and manipulating the macro-economic context remains fundamental to improving the resilience of marginalised communities such as Māori and poses a continuing challenge to our efforts to reduce our collective vulnerability to what will be recurring events."





I update our earthquake research on a Lincoln webpage, 'Maori Resilience.'


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Have Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu aided and abetted the demolition of heritage buildings?

Interview with Mark Belton, spokesperson for Restore Christchurch Cathedral Campaign. Belton's example of abuse of CERA powers, and accusations against Ngai Tahu, occur from 14:25 on...





Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Innovation, Maori, and the Māori Economy: a flat or lumpy world?



Submitting the following paper for the upcoming Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Traditional Knowledges Conference in Auckland, June 27-30. In it I outline how innovation has been framed in contemporary Maori economic development using a simple dichotomy for landscape. On the one hand, the rapid diffusion of information communication technologies (ICTs) has ‘flattened’ the world, reducing the costs of trade but making greater wealth, and hopefully happiness, possible for those individuals and nation-states that proactively engage with the processes of globalisation. On the other hand, others decry the obvious ‘lumpiness’ of the world where poverty clearly constrains many individuals and communities from benefiting from any such engagement.




The paper pulls together disparate ideas and examples of innovation with the aim of presenting some of the history and cultures of innovation that might be relevant to Māori in navigating what is certainly a bigger world, flat or lumpy.


Innovation, Māori, and the Māori Economy: a flat or lumpy world?

Abstract

This paper outlines how innovation has been framed in contemporary Māori economic development using a simple dichotomy for landscape. On the one hand, the rapid diffusion of information communication technologies (ICTs) has ‘flattened’ the world, reducing the costs of trade but making greater wealth, and presumably happiness and security, possible for those societies and nation-states that proactively engage with the processes of globalisation. On the other hand, others decry the obvious ‘lumpiness’ of the world where poverty clearly constrains many individuals and communities from benefiting from any such engagement. This paper pulls together disparate ideas and examples of innovation with the aim of presenting some of the history and cultures of innovation relevant to Māori in navigating what is certainly a bigger world, flat or lumpy.


Keywords: innovation, Indigenous economies, science, development, Māori communities
Introduction 

Introduction

By standard indicators the NZ economy continues to underperform and its relative decline (especially to neighbouring Australia) has not abated (McCann, 2009). A significant source of future growth is seen to reside with Māori (especially iwi) ventures, particularly in the primary sector where Māori agribusinesses are framed as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the New Zealand (Lambert, 2011).

Innovation in this context is often glossed as advancing technology, the theoretical examination of which roughly begins at the time of Māori colonisation. James Stuart Mill (1848) articulated the role of technology in his Principles of Political Economy when he described four fundamental sources of national wealth (represented by ‘Y’ in the following equations), namely capital (K), labour (L), land (T) and what he labels ‘productiveness’ (p). The relationships are:

Y = K + L + T + p


In plain language, a nation’s wealth is how it combines capital, land and labour, and what has been variously called productiveness/productivity but which we now recognise as ‘innovation’. But as Kiwi economist Brian Easton (1997) points out, this ‘arithmetic residual’ and has no explanatory ability, indeed has been described as a ‘coefficient of ignorance’. For the early capitalists, this theoretical ignorance was of no importance as long as profits could be made. Science and technology were thus harnessed along with land, labour, and capital to enable the supply of new or better products or services to the market, and improvements to the processes by which such things were made or supplied. In simple terms, innovation creates or alters demand or lowers costs, therefore increasing profits.

This coupling of innovation to profit is actually a much reduced conceptualisation of innovation which is better understood as any new idea, object, or activity, or even the rediscovery of an idea, object, or activity regardless of its commercial worth. But the term ‘innovation’ as it is increasingly used in Māori economic discourse broadly follows current commercial usage as “[t]he search for and development of new or improved production, management, sales or marketing processes that have the potential to add value to a firm’s, an enterprise’s, an industry’s, or a sector’s offering to end-users and/or consumers” (Te Puni Kokiri, 2010, p. 36). The role of innovation in increasing profit was promoted by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter who considered ‘technical change’ central to modern economics and fundamental feature of capitalist economies (Schumpeter, 1928). Such change was destructive in that it consigned existing inventories, techniques, implements and ideas to obsolescence (e.g., the closure of unproductive/old abattoirs across Aotearoa/NZ) but also creative as it laid the foundations for change by forcing the reallocation of capital and resources (e.g., towards eco-tourism or software development), hence Schumpeter’s term ‘creative destruction’.

In order to arrest the apparent decline of national economies, innovative/novel products are continually developed, particularly for consumers seeking ‘quality’ attributes pertaining to environmental health, sustainability, ecological resilience issues and so on (Saunders, Allison, Wreford, & Emanuelson, 2005). Indigenous ventures, including Māori, now attempt to satisfy these relatively wealthy consumers and their values (Chapman-Smith, 2012) although the targeted ‘niche’ markets can still be very large and difficult to supply.

But many so-called markets remain unfulfilled despite considerable demand, not least in health care and environmental management. This inability of market forces to recognise and remedy future threats to national or regional economies is seen to be the primary cause of unsustainability (Becker & Jahn, 1999), further complicating the role of technological innovation which is assumed as the means to improve productivity, as the cause of uncertainty in more broadly ascribed development goals, and as the solution to these concerns.
Is the world flat or lumpy?

So, ongoing innovation is increasingly seen as vital to questions of national comparative advantage, the competitiveness of firms, long-term economic growth, trade, finance, employment, manufacturing and services, and as integral to the sustainable development of Māori resources (Lambert, 2008). Importantly, the current context for economic development is global, with geographical and cultural ‘obstacles’ interpreted as having diminishing effects through ongoing technological advances, particularly with modern ICTs. Thomas Friedman (2005) argues that cheap communication and travel have ‘flattened’ the world, making greater wealth possible for those individuals and nation-states that proactively engage with the processes of globalisation. For Friedman, globalisation is broadly interpreted as increasingly interdependent participation in extensive chains of production that compete for cheap labour and raw materials from the developing world to ‘satisfy’ demand in both the developing world (where there is a growing number of wealthy and self-consciously discerning elites) and the markets of the ‘West’.


Others have decried the obvious ‘lumpiness’ of the world, evident in both developing countries, where extreme poverty constrained many individuals and communities from benefiting from the new global supply chains (Smith, 2005), and the developed world, where less dramatic but similar disparities persist. 


Māori and Innovation
Constraints to Māori participation in innovation are somewhat glaring. When innovation was theorized as residing within research, science, and technology (RS&T) institutions, Māori lacked critical mass in shaping the processes of a period characterised by the ‘science push’ concept (Fig. 1).

In this model, Māori participation has been minor and being part of any ‘value chain’ has proven difficult (Te Puni Kokiri, 2010). This model can be identified in Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) strategy lead by the Ministry of Primary Industries that has invested in programmes on wool, red meat, dairy, aquaculture, mānuka honey and forestry. Government funding is to be matched by industry investment with the aim of ‘boosting economic growth through research and innovation…to transform great ideas into research, development, and ultimately products, jobs and growth’ (Carter, 2011).

This linear ‘science push’ model was challenged by the ‘market pull’ concept in the 1970s as further empirical evidence showed the complexity of the relationship between science, technology and innovation (Martin & Nightingale, 2000). Through the 1980s and 1990s, international research revealed that the ability to innovate was deeply embedded within firms as collectives of people, capital and ideas. This included a realisation of the importance of networks, including education, localised knowledge and the role of tacit knowledge (Gibbons & Johnston, 1974).

As Fagerberg and Verspagen (2009) point out, academia has now formalised ‘Innovation Studies’ although this still amounts to a disparate collection of approaches. Some approaches have coalesced around the methodologies of geography and policy studies; others have been moulded by the ‘free-wheeling discursive voyages’ into capitalism described by Schumpeter. Beyond this, Smits (2002) notes that innovation is now linked to the emergence of a ‘porous society’ in which ‘knowledge intensive intermediaries’ have a fundamental role combining the insights and abilities of both users and producers. Metcalfe (2007) usefully distinguishes between innovation ecologies, comprised of those people that are the ‘repositories and generators of new knowledge’, and innovation systems or ‘connections between the components that ensure the flow of information necessary for innovation to take place’. This holistic interpretation of innovation has several antecedents. Wulf (2007) referred to an ‘ecology’ of innovation, comprising ‘interrelated institutions, laws, regulations, and policies providing an innovation infrastructure that entails education, research, tax policy, and intellectual property protection, among others.’ Dvir and Pasher (2004) list a number of attributes to innovation ecology, including the time and space to muse; an organisational structure with weak boundaries and a low emphasis on hierarchy; tolerance of risk; clear strategies and attention to the future; recognition and incentives; financial capital; human diversity; and conversations – the ‘unifying principle’.

While the term ‘ecosystem’ has been applied to innovation in NZ (see, e.g., New Zealand Institute, 2009), the debate is poorly informed by the research literature, dominated by various statistical analyses (often framed or emanating from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, e.g., Statistics New Zealand, 2009). Te Puni Kōkiri has released several interlinked reports that model scenarios of better implementation of science and innovation for developing the Māori economy (Te Puni Kokiri, 2010). Funding remains small and insecure; just $5 million is allocated to the Vision Mātauranga Capability MSI funding.

One approach to interpreting how Māori participate in the networks of innovation is through the active insertion of alternative cultural logics - ‘Kaupapa Māori’ - to directly or indirectly influence research, science, and technology. Consider Figure 2:





This model explicitly builds the ‘cultural environment’ into the innovation process by increasing the spectrum of creativity available for problem-solving. Where identified, it could be argued there is an opportunity for an ‘Indigenous turn’ in which localised communities and their cultures interrogate ‘outsiders’ according to cultural traditions that may include, for example, holistic interpretations of the world and self-determined strategies in which there is no ‘bottom-line’ to cultural aspirations.

But what are the implications for Māori of this ‘innovate or die’ mentality? Although the latest iteration of innovation strategies incorporates mātauranga Māori, is the landscape any smoother? It could be argued that for Māori, fundamental insights come from our communities and their ‘non-certified’ experts. Assimilating or even simply accessing their knowledge is difficult, although the rise of non-certified expertise in many areas indicates how historical boundaries between scientific expertise and a wider citizenry have been eroded (Figure 3).






Some critics have expressed either reservations or complete scepticism about the rigour or applicability of mātauranga Māori in contemporary settings. Wider ideological opponents describe Indigenous methodologies as ‘irrational’ and ‘unscientific’, standard insults against the contagion of native cultures threatening so-called rational European philosophy. However, such controversies merely emphasises the ethical, philosophical, and practical challenges posed when multiple knowledge bases collide and collaborate.

The predominant context for contemporary Māori development is one of highly fluid capital and knowledge that moves through extensive transnational networks, a feature of the modern agribusiness supply chains Māori already engage with. Participants in these networks continually re-imagine and re-orient their personal and collective involvement according to such decisions as the utilisation (or not) of natural resources, how such utilisation proceeds, and the intergenerational transfer of assets and liabilities. Much of the expansion of the Māori economy is in primary production through a number of agri/forestry/aquaculture and fisheries ventures, some of considerable size. Other ventures seek large-scale development of urban and peri-urban lands for residential and commercial uses in the face of growing ecological and social barriers (Wright, 2008).

The recently elevated ‘science and innovation’ platform on which the country might ‘close the gap’ with Australia is a dubious national goal for Māori, many of whom emigrate to Australia to close their own gaps! Again, this state strategy attempts to frame innovation for Māori without including all the people, processes or places we ourselves might bring to the table. Māori connect more dots, much like the current models of innovation that emphasise the interconnectedness or ‘ecology’ of innovation. Connecting more dots seems to be what is needed for the country’s – indeed the planet’s – sustainable development.

The personal abilities of the tactical players – often called ‘knowledge workers’ - is thus at the heart of any strategy. Serious concerns have been raised about the retention of young researchers (Ihaka, 2009; Massaro, Yogeeswaran, & Black, 2012); post-doctoral research positions are reported to have declined by 25% (Hendry, 2012). Many knowledge workers are subject to increasingly vulnerable and temporary employment conditions, and the lure of international research positions is a natural outcome of the economic model followed. Further, many Māori postgraduates are young wāhine who face additional risk factors in a work environment where chauvinist and racist attitudes persist despite the clearly negative effects on completion, outputs, rigour, professionalism, and retention. Fig. 4 represents a generic social network in which an individual student might inhabit. This network would include whānau, friends, possibly one or more Māori communities as participants, mentors, and collaborators, as well as university or wānanga staff and colleagues and possibly Crown Research Institute, corporate and industry participants. The array of issues and challenges are considerable.



This view of innovation emphasises what Māori educationalist Wally Penetito called the ‘sophistication of relationships’, an acknowledgement of fundamental influences on the success or failure of so much of our social world. It could be said that what Māori bring to innovation is the requirement that programmes and projects require occasionally intensive, possibly ongoing, intergenerational, international interaction. The challenges faced by Māori are not ours alone, although we bring our own history, culture and aspirations to the debate. Ultimately, any innovation strategy is implemented by individuals and groups with various agendas and abilities. Finding, engaging, trusting and supporting them will be as challenging as figuring out what they should do.
Smoothing out the lumps

Global extant forces now directly affect the location and practice of innovation in a way quite distinct from previous periods. The resulting economic spaces impact on the growth and influence of the Māori economy, challenging Māori as drivers, practitioners, and purchasers of innovation. The assertion of Māori cultural logics within innovation ecosystems also challenges universities, funding bodies, ethics committees, corporations, voters, and tax payers. Lumpiness as far as the eye can see!

While accusation and controversies abound in collaborative projects involving non-Māori, by accepting and using mātauranga and Kaupapa Māori – even superficially - Pākeha exhibit an essential modern skill: the skill and pragmatism to assimilate ‘all forms or aspects of social activity without exception’, to understand and apply, not only of one particular methodology but any methodology or variation (Feyerbend, 1975, p. 10).

Likewise innovators must be able to pass from one approach to another ‘in the quickest and most unexpected manner’ (ibid.). Further, good innovation is supported from above and below, is networked both here and overseas, and the benefits will be disseminated to all who have contributed, and all who need those innovations for their collective health and security. At all levels this requires understanding, vision, commitment, courage, cooperation, and perseverance, in other words leadership. Innovation will draw on iwi capital (economic, environmental, social, and cultural) through education, training and mentoring programmes, and be reliant on the sophistication of their public and private, local and global relationships. In this sense, it might be said some innovation (particularly in the environmental sciences, community sustainability programmes, biodiversity etc.) is taking an Indigenous turn to navigate what lumps exist on our innovation landscape. The challenge remains to improve the combination of land, labour, capital through social innovation to better contribute to the growth of the Aotearoa/New Zealand economy and, by a still contested association, the development of Māori society.


References
Becker, J., & Jahn, T. (Eds.). (1999). Sustainability and the Social Sciences: A cross-Disciplinary Approach to intergrating environmental considerations into theoretical reorientation. London: Zed.

Carter, D. (2011). Primary Growth Partnership nears $500m. Retrieved May 23, 2012,from http://beehive.govt.nz/release/primary-growth-partnership-nears-500m

Chapman-Smith, B. (2012, August 16). Maori cuisne cluster eyes offshore markets. NZ Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/small-business/news/article.cfm?c_id=85&objectid=10827312

Collins, H. M., & Evans, R. (2002). The Third Wave of Science Studies. Social Studies of Science, 32(2), 235-293.

Dvir, R., & Pasher, E. (2004). Innovation engines for knowledge cities: An innovation ecology perspective. Journal of KnowledgeMmanagement, 8(5), 16-27.

Easton, B. (1997). The Commercialisation of New Zealand. Auckland: Auckland University Press.

Fagerberg, J., & Verspagen, B. (2009). Innovation studies: The emerging structure of a new scientific field. Research Policy, 38, 218-233.

Feyerbend, P. (1975). Against Method. London and New York: Verso.

Friedman, T. (2005). The World is FLat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Gibbons, M., & Johnston, R. (1974). The Roles of Science in Technolgical Innovation. Research Policy, 3(3), 221-242.

Hendry, S. (2012). Budget 2012: What’s in it for science? Retrieved May 28, 2012,from http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2012/05/24/budget-2012-whats-in-it-for-science/

Ihaka, J. (2009, July 17th). Science community fading, says PM's adviser. NZ Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10584991

Lambert, S. (2008). The Expansion of Sustainability through New Economic Space: Maori Potatoes and Cultural Resilience (Doctoral thesis). Lincoln, Christchurch.

Lambert, S. (2011). Te Ahuwhenua and the ‘Sons’ of the Soil’: A history of the Māori-Farmer-of-the-Year award. MAI Review, 6(1).

Martin, B. R., & Nightingale, P. (2000). Introduction. In B. R. Martin & P. Nightingale (Eds.), The Political Economy of Science, Technology and Innovation (pp. xiii-xlii). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Massaro, M., Yogeeswaran, K., & Black, A. (2012). Trapped in the postdoctoral void: lack of postdotoral opportunities in New Zealand forces emerging reseacrhers to exit science or seek employment overseas. New Zealand Science Review, 69(2), 30-39.

McCann, P. (2009). Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox. New Zealand Economic Papers, 43(3), 279 - 314.

Metcalfe, S. (2007). Innovation systems, innovation policy and restless capitalism. In F. Malerba & S. Brusoni (Eds.), Perspectives on innovation (pp. 441-454). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mill, J. S. (1848). Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. London: J.W. Parker.

New Zealand Institute. (2009). New Zealand's innovation ecosystem - emerging conclusions. Auckland: New Zealand Institute. Retrieved from http://www.nzinstitute.org/Images/uploads/NZs_innovation_ecosystem_-_emerging_conclusions.pdf

Saunders, C., Allison, G., Wreford, A., & Emanuelson, M. (2005). Food Markets: Trade Risks and Trends (05/04): Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability.

Schumpeter, J. A. (1928). The instability of capitalism. The Economic Journal, 38, 361-368.

Smith, N. (2005). Neo-Critical Geography Or, The Flat Pluralist World of Busienss Class. Antipode, 37(5), 887-899.

Smits, R. (2002). Innovation studies in the 21st century;: Questions from a user's perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 69(9), 861-883.

Statistics New Zealand. (2009). Innovation in New Zealand. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/4D070B56-8EFB-4DFD-A351-3C145AC7B51C/0/5511SNZinnovationreportffweb.pdf

Taatila, V. P., Suomala, J., Siltala, R., & Keskinen, S. (2006). Framework to study the social innovation networks. European Journal of Innovation Management, 9(3), 312-326.

Te Puni Kokiri. (2010). The Maori economy, science, and innovation. Wellington: Te Puni Kokiri/ Ministry of Maori Development/ BERL.

Wright, J. (2008). State of the Environment: “Prioritising Environmental Challenges: What Matters Most?”. Retrieved from http://www.pce.govt.nz/news/speeches/State_of_the_Environment_28_Aug_2008.pdf

Wulf, W. (2007). Changes in innovation ecology. Science, 316(5829), 1253.

Ziman, J. (1984). An Introduction to science studies: The philosophical and social aspects of science and technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

The GC still shines for Maori

I caught a little of episode three of 'The GC' last night and thought some reinterpretation is needed, given the crap review by someone at Fairfax.

Why crap?

Well, the reviewer mocked their looks (universally above average, although ugly people only make it on tv as bad guys), their lifestyle (it's a beach and bar town), and their interactions ('Neph!' 'Where's the aunties', 'Leave the mumsies at home') but somehow missed what was screaming its presence: wealth.

These are a bunch of young Maori who've come from Gisbourne, Lower Hutt and so on ... check the stats for Maori unemployment. And now, as scaffolders, they can earn enough money to purchase property, and the personal trainer is opening his own gym.

Tame who comes in for the most vitriol because of his (edited) self-centred world of body and booty, waxed lyrical about his parents and how he was building his portfolio (six propertiers, six!) in honour of them.

Okay, it's all relative and I think the Aussie economy is tanking (in which case property will crash first).

But what do you think our rangatahi see when they watch this?

They see 'Once was poor' whanaunga living a lifestyle they don't have to dream about. They can pack their bags and jandals and get a one-way ticket to the Gold Coast.

We recently interviewed several whanau who have left Otautahi because of the earthquakes. They're doing very nicely thank you, the earthquakes were just the trigger - most had considered leaving for Oz for many years.

Go the GC.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NZ GDP growth revised down

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.
StatsNZ has revised its methodology for calculating GDP figures, leading to a revision of last years growth to 1.1%, down from the previously published 1.4%.

Source: StatsNZ  
Of course people have been anecdotally alluding to poorer growth than government figures for sometime. Essentially the NZ economy is where it was in 2006, 2007. Ongoing dynamics in Australia (slowing but a boost from their last budget), China (slowing), Europe (declining) and the US (moribund) mean a small exporting nation like Aotearoa/NZ is going to be buffeted for a while longer.

Curious to see Prime Minister John Key bemoaning his job and his treatment in the media. If you think it's tough not being (universally) liked, try being broke bro.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maori GIS

It had to happen sooner or later: Ghost GIS... courtesy of Te Kahui Manu Hokai Conference on GIS Training for the Tauira Kaitiaki Taiao, 2012 (embedding has been disabled but the short link is provided).



Now that I check out the website on which presentations have been posted, I thought it worth a mention as there is some very exciting stuff going on in GIS for Indigenous groups...




Wednesday, May 09, 2012

This is what it's come to: Greek Neo-Nazi's in parliament in the home of democracy...



The first action for the 28th Maori battalion in WW2 was in the Petra Pass on Mt Olympus against the advancing German army invading Greece. While this action (and most of the next two years!) resulted in retreat and regular hidings for 28MB, the NZ 2nd Division, and the British army, eventually we all kicked them back to where they came from and - we thought - ended all that fascists nonsense.

But fascism never seems to die. It just smells that way.

Greece was the second country I ever visited. A wonderful place, great people, very similar to Maori actually. To think that my children - 2 boys aged 10 and 9, and a girl aged 3 - might have to suit up and help Greece kick up some more fascists chills me.

Ake ake kia kaha e

Friday, May 04, 2012

Speaking of Maori on the GC, did the Aussie economy just crash?!

While sensitised to how Ngati Kangaru rangatahi are being portrayed in the media, more serious concerns are afoot. The latest Australian Industry Group Performance of Services (PSI) - a seasonally adjusted composite Aussie index based on sales, orders and new business, deliveries, inventories and employment - seems to have dropped off a cliff...


It's been a constant refrain of mine that the Maori economy as represented by Maori at the micro-scale is overly reliant on the Australian economy (this is the subtext of the GC), particularly for rangatahi and pakeke.


So I suggest we need a GC2: whanau on the Gold Coast, and follow those kaumatua who wish to engage on such a project. Australia is an amazing whenua, admit it! Most of us will have travelled their, and many have worked, others are now raising mokopuna there.


What are their experiences?


To change it up a little, how about no contracts, just manaakitanga, koha, and korero.


And kanohi-ki-te-kanohi.

Ultra Fast Broadband: when's your whare getting wired to the rest of the world?

This map by Chorus - the UFB provider - will give an indication of when you can expect to be get a big pipe for data wired to your house. Disappointingly for me,  Leeston doesn't feature at all (i recall the governments original plan was wire-up only towns of 15,000 people and over), and the time needed for this roll- raises concerns for exactly how this government expects to change our economy (which is still largely driven by agriculture) in line with the need to realign from housing boom (and bust).

Debt-driven consumerism to the sustainable land-use that will buttress our economy in the medium-term?

One case study from my 'End-users innovation' project while working for AERU talked about her driveway being dug up for the broadband connection which she herself couldn't access!

Other info...
Koorindates website (All broadband connections) http://koordinates.com/maps/BroadbandMap/collections/#/

Otautahi kura connections: http://gcsn.school.nz/community/news/revealed-governments-broadband-plan-your-kids-school


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Maori and Pasifika unemployment up again

Latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) shows the number of Maori out of work has risen for the fourth consecutive quarter to 13.9%, up from 13.4%.

Unemployment numbers for our whanunga from Te Moana Nui a Kiwa have jumped from 13.8 to 16%.

This jump has been labelled 'unexpected' but is a reflection of poorly poor-forming world and local economies.

Tough times for too many although those already wealthy just seem to get richer...
Simon Lambert

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