A Sociology of Maori Education - Beyond Mediating Structures
The history of the relationship between Maori (the indigenous minority) and Pakeha (the dominant majority) is one that is encapsulated in processes of mediation. Pakeha resolve issues that favour kawanatanga solutions (article 1 of the Treaty) while Maori recommendations almost always line up with solutions that uphold questions to do with tino rangatiratanga (article 2 of the Treaty). Each takes into account forms of accommodation of the other but these compromise positions are usually the tasks for the public servants who are by definition, working for the government of the day, and therefore, on the side of kawanatanga. The point of articulation is critical in the nature of the relationship between Maori and Pakeha. The legal academic, Alex Frame (2002) describes this position as important for those New Zealanders "who have tried to walk in both worlds, thereby not only honouring and strengthening their own and each other's cultures, but also bringing to life a third and co-existing culture of interaction in Aotearoa". A study of a variety of mediating structures, explores the relationship between Maori and Pakeha and analyses the effects these have on both parties, especially as these pertain to developments in Maori education. An approach to settling the conundrum of prioritising one agenda without creating new grievances for redress is argued throughout the study. It is argued, further, that a major re-think is needed of what an education will mean in order to meet the requirements of a contemporary Polynesian/Western society that both honours the tenets of its foundation document as well as providing a rational basis for meeting commitments in the modern global society.