237.131 Independent Study Notes (as a single page)

237.131 Independent Study Week #1

Week 1: Mana Atua and Knowledge Systems

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Take 5 minutes to record anything that was new or familiar to you from this weeks class. 

Reflections on the first classroom session:

  • Similar approach to 237.130, and I think it’s good that this module builds on that.
  • Interesting to see the subtly different approach to running the class from the tutors, although it’s only the ice-breaking week.

Task 2 (1 hour)

RE-WATCH: When developing your writing for assignments you will often engage with a source more than once, re-watch Project Mātauranga, Season 2, Episode 8.

WRITE, DRAW or SKETCH: the main points you took from the episode.  Also take note of any questions that it might raise, and bring these to class next week.

I rewatched the video, and also came across a helpful transcript:


Main points from the video

  • Origin stories vary from Iwi to Iwi, so need to take care and not make sweeping statements like, “Māori believe …”
  • How were Māori astronomy stories translated by Pākehā into mainstream concepts?
  • How do the researchers identify original sources for areas like this, given that most of the history is lost oral history, and the source materials now being used are writings by colonists?

A lot of our old knowledge was written down by our philosophers from around about the late 1800s, and they’re really valuable resources because these are as close as we’re going to get to what we used to think in precolonial times. So, I mean, that’s really exciting, that raw information.

Tātai Arorangiwww.sciencelearn.org.nz, https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/videos/563-tatai-arorangi. Accessed 20 July 2021.
  • What constitutes “raw information”?
  • Interesting: mainstream versus indigenous as comparative terms.
  • Is science not indigenous to India, England, France, wherever?
  • Not all Māori knowledge is for everyone – need to re-read the 237.130 article.

Questions to take to class

  • In this context, what constitutes “raw information”, given that much of the knowledge has been lost and is being, essentially, reconstructed from second order sources such as colonial era writing?

Task 3 (2 hours)

RE-READ: Māori Marsden (Ngāi Takoto, Te Rarawa) offers a tangata whenua perspective on sustainability and resource management, through the framework of kaitiakitanga. Re-read Kaitiakitanga: A Definitive Introduction to the Holistic Worldview of Māori (which you will already be familiar with from 130 in semester 1).

SUMMARISE/BULLET POINT: the key ideas of the text, and write one finished paragraph (approx. 100-150 words) outlining one of the key ideas, use one quote from the text to support your discussion and practice including a citation. This provides the last name of the person who wrote the text, and the page number the information was on, so a citation for this text might be (Marsden 23).

READ: This short excerpt by Cleve Barlow (Ngā Puhi) on Kaitiaki and revise your paragraph to expand on your initial response, again include a short quote and citation.

Key ideas of the text

  • The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) makes it mandatory for anyone acting under it’s auspices to consider Māori cultural values.
  • Despite that, there are still concerns amongst Māori that local authorities may not do that.
  • The paper seeks to clarify that cultural values are cannot be dismissed as myth or legend; they are instead artificial constructs created to make it easier for people to understand the Māori world view.
  • I would describe this as a form of encoding – using narrative forms as a way of persisting information through generations.

… storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind.

December 20, Vanessa Boris |., and 2017 Vanessa Boris. ‘What Makes Storytelling So Effective For Learning?’ Harvard Business Publishing, 20 Dec. 2017, https://www.harvardbusiness.org/what-makes-storytelling-so-effective-for-learning/.

One item of interest

Modern man has summarily dismissed these so called myths and legends as the superstitious and quaint imaginings of primitive, pre-literate societies. That assumption could not be further from the truth. Myth and Legend in the Māori context are neither fables embodying primitive faith in the supernatural, nor marvellous fireside stories of ancient times. They were deliberate constructs employed by the ancient seers and sages to encapsulate and condense into easily assimilable forms their view of the World, of ultimate reality between the Creator, the universe and man.

Marsden, M., Henare, T., & New Zealand. Ministry for the Environment. (1992). Kaitiakitanga : A definitive introduction to the holistic world view of the Māori / M. Marsden & T.A. Henare. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry for the Environment.

My feeling is that treating traditional Māori and mainstream ways of encoding complex information as a Zero-sum game[1]https://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zero-sumgame.asp is not an inclusive approach. The two systems have validity in an of themselves, and it may well be that when used to complement each other they result in an outcome that’s better than using one in preference to the other. It’s interesting that science does use narratives to communicate complex theories to nonexpert audiences.

In summary, storytelling within science should not be disregarded. “The plural of anecdote is not data,” remains an important mantra to uphold the rigor of systematic data collection. However, when considering the communication of science to nonexpert audiences, a more appropriate mantra might be, “the plural of anecdote is engaging science communication.”

Dahlstrom, Michael F. ‘Using Narratives and Storytelling to Communicate Science with Nonexpert Audiences’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, no. Supplement 4, Sept. 2014, pp. 13614–20.

Revision, after reading Cleve Barlow on Kaitiaki.

To expand on the above, in a New Zealand context in particular, it’s appropriate to reflect on science and how it is communicated. We should cherish the uniqueness of New Zealand and create narratives that that engage and resonate with our people. Perhaps there is an opportunity right now with COVID-19 vaccination. Immunization comes from science, and that will be off-putting and worrying to some people. Perhaps we should acknowledge the role that narratives founded on traditional Māori cultural concepts can have in alleviating those concerns. Similar approaches are already being tried in mental wellbeing[2]https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/teahikaa/audio/2018701802/mahi-a-atua-a-maori-approach-to-mental-wellbeing.

Task 4 (2 hours)

READ ONE of the following:

either: the Introduction to the Oxford Illustrated History of Science by Iwan Rhys Morus (Wales). This chapter points out that even though science is often presented as 'objective', or contrasted to 'cultural beliefs' (i.e. religion, myth, legend, etc.) it is equally shaped by the time and culture that it operates within. Make a map of the points from the chapter, elaborating on these where appropriate.

or: Project Mātauranga is presented in a comparative, documentary-style format. Creative practices sometimes require different kinds of writing approaches, for example; Tina Makereti's (Te Āti Awa) "Twitch" uses a literary style narrative to compare a mātauranga Māori approach to the creation of the universe, with western scientific theories. Read Twitch and produce a piece of creative-writing (either prose or poetry) about your understanding of your own cultural framework regarding some aspect of cosmology and/or science, and your relationship to it.

Extension: This is an extra task if you are enjoying the topic and want to do more. Find an example or case study, such as pollution in freshwater streams and rivers, or the recent imaging of a black-hole. Reflect on the purpose of tikanga and/or science (i.e. what does it do/ how does it do it)? How does it affect the way we currently see the issue or example?

The Introduction to the Oxford Illustrated History of Science by Iwan Rhys Morus (Wales).

Don’t really like mind maps, but whatever – MindMeister allows you to have three for free…

Task 5 (1 hour) Self-directed study

ASSIGNMENT PREPARATION: READ the assignment brief (you will find this under Assessment Information and Drop-boxes in the left hand column). Make a mind-map of what you already understand about the terms tikanga, tatau, te reo, doctrine of discovery, tātai arorangi, whenua, colonisation/banal nationalism using this week's resources where applicable.

Meanings for the following terms, and connections between them:

  • tikangatatau
  • te reo
  • doctrine of discovery
  • tātai arorangi
  • whenua
  • colonisation/banal nationalism

What might I want the assignment to look like?

Tell a story?
Paint a picture?
Something that shows the sequence in which constellations rise, as an aid to navigation.

Would be good to paint something this time around, so that I can keep up my practice.


1 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zero-sumgame.asp
2 https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/teahikaa/audio/2018701802/mahi-a-atua-a-maori-approach-to-mental-wellbeing

237.131 Independent Study Week #2

Week 2: Mana Whenua

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from last week, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

Sorry to say that reflecting on last week’s independent study and on whether the work in class as groups deepened my initial understanding didn’t really help. Honestly, I don’t think we got any deeper into the concepts working as a group than I’d done independently.

Task 2 (3 hours – 2 hours reading, 1 hour writing)

READ: Mere Roberts (Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Hikairo). et al. "Whakapapa as a Māori mental construct: Some implications for the debate over genetic modification of organisms.".  

WRITE: a short definition of your understanding of whakapapa after reading the article, include a key quote from the reading to support your discussion.

This was an interesting article to review in detail.

I would now define whakapapa as the description of the lineage that a person or a thing has, and its connection to its source or origin. As a folk taxonomy, wakapapa establishes the person or thing’s nomenclature, and defines a place in a network of relationships, dependencies, and history. It also provides a narrative framework so that this information can be remembered and passed between people, even down through the generations.

The use of whakapapa by New Zealand Māori is most commonly understood in reference to human descent lines and relationships, where it functions as a family tree or genealogy. But it also refers to an epistemological framework in which perceived patterns and relationships in nature are located. These nonhuman whakapapa contain information concerning an organism’s theorized origins from supernatural beings, inferred descent lines, and morphological and ecological relationships. In this context whakapapa appear to function at one level as a “folk taxonomy,” in which morphology, utility, and cultural considerations all play an important role. Such whakapapa also function as ecosystem maps of culturally important resources. More information and meaning is provided by accompanying narratives, which contain explanations for why things came to be the way they are, as well as moral guidelines for correct conduct.

Mere Roberts, Brad Haami, Richard Benton, Terre Satterfield, Melissa L Finucane, Mark Henare, and Manuka Henare. ‘Whakapapa as a Māori Mental Construct: Some Implications for the Debate over Genetic Modification of Organisms’. The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 16, no. 1, Spring 2004, pp. 28.

Task 3 (30 minutes )

WRITE, DRAW or SKETCH: Choose ONE of the following:

either a.) Huhana Smith describes the relationship of the stream to the whenua around it.  She also discusses the holistic effect of harakeke on the land, humans and other animals.  Make a visual representation of the ways that harakeke acts as a "whole of environment healer" (Smith), this could be as an exploded parts drawing, diagram, flowchart, comic strip etc.

or b.) watch the video The tohorā and the kauri which considers kauri dieback through a whakapapa based approach. Using Roberts et al. and the information from the video, draw a whakapapa chart that includes the tohorā and the kāuri.

a.) whakapapa chart

I tried to do this – I honestly did – but just couldn’t get there. It just felt too contrived and no matter how many times I tried to draw the relationships, it just just doesn’t work. There is no sensible connection I can force between tohorā – whales – and kāuri, a kind of tree.

Interestingly, I did also come across a number of articles that have sought to treat kāuri dieback disease using whale-derived items such as whale oil[1]https://www.teaomaori.news/potential-whakapapa-maori-solution-kauri-dieback-outbreak and whale bone[2]https://www.teaomaori.news/iwi-research-whalebone-treatment-kauri-dieback. I am yet to find any peer-reviewed, scientifically validated sources that confirm the efficacy of this.

There may well be substances present in these whale-derived items that can have positive effects in the treatment of kāuri dieback disease. There are many complex chemicals in these substances that have no doubt not been properly studied. If referencing the shared whakapapa of these two species has opened up investigation into a treatment that works, then that can only be a good thing. One does not need to be a believer in traditional Māori medicine to be grateful for that. It is important, however, to bring science and traditional Māori approaches together and validate these findings carefully if they are not to be seen as fringe science like homeopathy.

b.) a visual representation of the ways that harakeke acts as a “whole of environment healer”

I originally started working on this one, however, there is little evidence I can find to support the assertion that Harakeke is a “whole of environment healer”.

Saying that, Harakeke is an amazingly useful plant!

There is evidence that harakeke can act as a help in wetland restoration, which is what’s at the core of the Huhana Smith video. So, let’s focus on that, see where it leads, then try to illustrate it.

Key point in this task is “whole of environment“. Environment means the surroundings or conditions in which person, animal, or plant lives or operates. So, I’m going to read that as meaning any environment, not just the wetland landscape in the video. In general then, how can flax help people, plants or animals?

Let’s look at the manifold uses of harakeke:


Task 4 (30 minutes)

WATCH: This exercise asks you to focus on just thinking and watching, rather than writing. Watch Bruce Pascoe (Yuin, Boonwurrung) explain the construction of Australia's 'standard story' used to justify colonisation and imagine Australia as terra nullius. Some questions you might like to think about while watching: How does Bruce Pascoe challenge the 'standard story'? What other accounts do you know from here (Aotearoa/New Zealand) or other colonised contexts which might be similar? How might these also be challenged?

I watched Bruce Pascoe (Yuin, Boonwurrung) explain the construction of Australia’s ‘standard story’ used to justify colonisation and imagine Australia as terra nullius.

I had heard a little of this before, as I’d read “Deep Time Dreaming” by Billy Griffiths, a book on ancient Australia and the extremely long timescales that humans have occupied the continent. Aboriginal peoples have lived in Australia for 65,000 years. They had a rich and complex society, including practicing agriculture and what we might term “landscape engineering”. Much of the archaeological evidence of early occupation is under water due to ancient climate change, but very recent digs are point to a radically different past to what most Australians have been brought up believing, and to a degree are comfortable with.

I recall being particularly moved by parts of the book, so I went back and looked for a particularly memorable quote from it. Turns out it’s a quote that dates back to 1989. This has obvious parallels to New Zealand, albeit over shorter (but no less transformational) timescales.

My expectation of a good Australia is when white people would be proud to speak an Aboriginal language, when they realise that Aboriginal culture and all that goes with it, philosophy, art, language, morality and kinship, is all part of our heritage. And that’s the most unbelievable thing of all, that it’s all there waiting for us all. White people can inherit 40,000 or 60,000 years of culture, and all they have to do is reach out and ask for it.

Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins, 1989, taken from Griffiths, Billy. Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia. Black Inc, 2018.

Task 5 (2 hours)

WRITE: Self-directed work on your assignment. Begin drafting your definition of the key term you have decided to focus on, using resources from the course and the Massey library databases.

Make sure you cite your sources as you go, so you don't have to back-track to finds these again when you have finished writing.

FIND: 2 or 3 examples of art or design works that relate to the ideas you are discussing in your definition.

I choose Doctrine of Discovery.

Initial definition

A basic definition derived from Wikipedia, as a placeholder until I’ve read the articles I’ve found on the subject:

European Christian governments could lay title to non-European Christian territory on the basis that the colonisers travelled and “discovered” said territory. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of modern governments.


Examples of art or design works

I found an exhibition that takes this on directly, and some of the work resonated with me:


dismantlingthedoctrineofdiscovery wordpress blog

Resolution, by Tane Mā

Resolution, digital still from moving image, 2018 by Tane Mā

Artist Tane Ma’s interactive digital piece, Resolution, is based on Nathaniel Dance’s 1776 portrait of Cook. As the viewer approaches it the portrait increasingly pixellates into a pattern suggestive of a tukutuku panel design.

The title is a play on the name of the ship Cook captained on his second and third voyages of exploration in the Pacific. It also refers to the struggle towards reconciliation as previously unheard stories are incorporated into recorded history. This is why the homonyms “rewriting” and “re-righting” interest the artist.

“Revisionism is a default position of hurt,” says Friend.

“What does resolution look like. What does the future look like in the post-resolution era?”

Peters, Mark. A View from the Shore. https://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/entertainment/20181205/a-view-from-the-shore/. Accessed 28 July 2021.

6th Sense, by Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs, 6th Sense, https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/31361/6th-sense

Steve Gibbs’ paintings here recall the arrival of Captain James Cook in Turanganui-a-Kiwa on 7 October 1769. When Cook made land he named it Poverty Bay as he was unable to gain vital supplies needed while there. For Steve Gibbs and his iwi (tribe), they recall Pāoa who co-captained the Horouta waka (canoe), which made landfall at Tūranganui-a-Kiwa as the origin of their arrival in the region.

6th Sense, 2017 considers both histories from the perspective of Pāoa’s pet dog, Marewaiteao. The headland Te Kuri a Pāoa (the dog of Pāoa) become known as Young Nicks Head. The depiction of Pāoa’s white dog in this painting is a metaphor for the people who occupied the region to the south of Turanganui a Kiwa down to Mahia. The title, 6th Sense, suggests the inevitability of the changes that British colonisation would bring to the region and to the country.

‘6th Sense’. Auckland Art Gallery, https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/31361/6th-sense. Accessed 28 July 2021.

Some other useful links:

James Cook and the Doctrine of Discovery – 5 Things to Know

My Definition

The Discovery Doctrine allowed European government to take ownership of lands that they encountered for the first time, in spite of them being already occupied by indigenous peoples.


1 https://www.teaomaori.news/potential-whakapapa-maori-solution-kauri-dieback-outbreak
2 https://www.teaomaori.news/iwi-research-whalebone-treatment-kauri-dieback

237.131 Independent Study Week #3

Week 3: Mana Tangata

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from last week, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

Went back and looked at my notes and enhanced them, but mainly as a result of watching the videos again and rereading the articles.

Task 2 (3 hours)

READ: Ataria James et al. "From tapu to noa: Māori cultural values on biowaste management: A focus on biosolids" The main example in this reading is the management of biowaste, choose an example of your own (this could be an object, person or space) and draw an annotated diagram that outlines considerations between tapu and noa that might concern your example.

*You can use the abstract to help you identify the main aim and key points of a text. Or you can read the introduction and conclusion first to help you work out what the overall aim and most important points might be. Try highlighting or underlining just one sentence or phrase (the one you think is most important) in each body paragraph to help break the text down.


I read the article and thought about some examples where I have seen tapu/noa principles applied. The obvious one for me is in whale strandings, given who I work for.

Whales are commonly recognized as taonga (or treasure). There has been customary use of stranded sea mammals by Māori for a long time, probably since they migrated to New Zealand.

If a whale strands and unfortunately dies on a New Zealand beach, then DOC is legally responsible for implementing the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978[1]https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/marine-mammal-strandings/.


Task 3 (3 hours) self directed study on your first assignment

WRITE: Continue to research your project. Select your final example and write up your contextual understanding of this, making connections to the definition you drafted last week and continuing to use course resources and your own further reading to help develop depth and nuance in your discussion (use the Massey library databases). Make sure you cite your sources as you go. 

LIST, SKETCH, MAP or PLAN: Sketch, map, plan ideas for the practical component of your assignment.

Discovery Doctrine – My Definition

The Discovery Doctrine allowed European government to take ownership of lands that they encountered for the first time, in spite of them being already occupied by indigenous peoples.

6th Sense, by Steve Gibbs

I am still keen to reference Steve Gibbs work for this assignment.

Steve Gibbs, 6th Sense, https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/31361/6th-sense

The shifted perspectives in this work interest me: the two angles to the story of Cook’s ship arriving, inversion of the ship, and that picture is seen through the eyes of Pāoa’s pet dog, Marewaiteao.

The 661 hectare property is currently owned by New York financier John Griffin. After acquiring the property in 2002, Griffin engaged in a long-term plan to restore the area’s vegetation and wildlife. Across the station over 600, 000 trees were planted, 26 hectares of wetlands were restored, and a 2-metre-high predator-proof fence was constructed as native species such as Tuatara, Blue Penguin and Weta were reintroduced. In 2005 Ecoworks, an ecological restoration company in Gisborne, successfully used solar-powered, acoustic-attraction methods and artificial burrows to establish breeding colonies of six pelagic seabird species at Young Nick’s Head which had previously been severely affected by human colonisation and the introduction of new predators.


Discovery Doctrine and New Zealand Biodiversity

I believe the Discovery Doctrine concept has been applied to New Zealand’s ecosystems and biodiversity by both Māori and Pākehā. Essentially, both colonizing events have been based on a presumption that discovery gave people the right to bring their own non-native species into the country, and to exploit the environment that was already here. This has had devastating consequences for New Zealand’s native species. Perhaps by referencing The Discovery Doctrine in this context I can provide a common ground for Māori and Pākehā, and to show the responsibility that all New Zealanders share for this destruction.

I guess the question is, can I reference 6th Sense in a way that illustrates this in a way that will strongly resonate? An option is to rework the general concept of the piece, replacing elements of it with new one that represent indigineous species and ecosystem decline.

Let’s look at how 6th Sense tells its story.

6th Sense, 2017 considers both histories from the perspective of Pāoa’s pet dog….

The title, 6th Sense, suggests the inevitability of the changes that British colonisation would bring to the region and to the country.

‘6th Sense’. Auckland Art Gallery, https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/31361/6th-sense. Accessed 28 July 2021.


I could produce a work that considers both histories from the perspective of an extinct indigenous species. A Haast’s Eagle, say, seeing an approaching Māori waka and a Pākehā ship, and in them the upcoming changes to New Zealand. The destruction of 45% of native forests by the Māori and a further 30% after Pākehā arrived. 59 bird species that have gone extinct since humans arrived.

I think there’s a decent concept here, so will start to sketch how this might look.


1 https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/marine-mammal-strandings/

237.131 Independent Study Week #4

Week 3: Mana Tangata

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from last week, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

This week’s tutorial did give me a little more clarity of the tapu/noa concept, and discussing it with my table group helped to walk through some aspects of that. An example I hadn’t fully considered was medical waste, which in an Aotearoa context will of course need to be managed in an appropriate manner, given the potential connection to the tapu of the person/body.

Task 2 (1 hour 30 minutes)

READ: Huhana Smith's (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa ki Tonga) Mana: Empowerment and Leadership.

REFLECT: Summarise the key points of Smith's essay, for example; how does Smith define mana? What are some aspects of language revitalisation? What are some of the historical events that have impacted on te reo?

Write two or three paragraphs reflecting on te reo Māori in Aotearoa today. What does it mean to uphold the mana of te reo Māori? Where do you predominantly see or hear te reo Māori in your own life? How might te reo Māori be respectfully/appropriately incorporated more widely and deeply in the media, design, and art, of Aotearoa?


In the article, Smith defines mana as being a, “pervasive influence of supernatural origin that exists throughout the universe”.

I find her choice of the word “supernatural” interesting, because that definition is not one that is shared by all Māori. Strangely, this definition places mana perilously close to the definition of The Force from the Star Wars universe.

Smith goes on to clarify that mana accumulates through achievement and acclamation; mana cannot be claimed or self-assigned.

On a societal level, mana provides the foundations for Māori leadership and authority. It also provides a base for creativity, and as a descriptor for various natural domains.

Mana and Te Reo

I am not a linguistic anthropologist, and I am unlikely to become one in half an hour, but I am aware that culture and language are intrinsically linked. Smith postulates that the mana of Māori culture is bound up with the Māori language, te reo Māori.

We can think of the mana of te reo Māori as something that can be nurtured and grow, so that te reo can gain respect as one of the official languages of New Zealand, and thereby enrich New Zealand society.

I most often hear re reo spoken in my own life in a work environment, where we often use karakia before meetings and so on. I understand that this is increasingly common in New Zealand business. As someone who has lived for a long time in a country where English is not the main language, I do find this slightly tokenistic, but it may be unfair of me to make this assertion. There is a stated intent by New Zealand Government to increase the use of te reo Māori, and getting people used to hearing it in daily life could well be a good first start. There is also support from my employer to learn te reo, which is also becoming a welcome addition to the workplace.

I would argue that we can uphold the mana of te reo Māori by using it more often and more “seriously”. By this, I do not mean that casually greeting each other with a “kia ora” is wrong, but that this expression has a meaning – “have life” or “be healthy” – so we should perhaps consider that richer meaning in contrast to the much simpler “hello” – a variation on “hail” – when we are saying it.

Task 3 (30 minutes)

PRACTICE: One way of upholding the mana of te reo Māori is to learn and practice speaking it. For those of you who cannot speak any te reo Māori, watch this video at Tōku Reo, which covers pronunciation and greetings, and practice along with it (click through to the 'full-length video'). For those who are confident with pronunciation and greetings, go to the Māori dictionary and learn 3 new words related to art or design, and explain their meaning. For those who may be practising or are fluent, write a sentence or paragraph in te reo Māori on the mana of language, or about mahi toi.

OK, so I did this – can’t really write much about it!

Task 4 (3 hours)

WATCH: Jamila Lyiscott's discussion about language and the use of language in relation to identity and community.

READ: This excerpt from Robert MacFarlane. McFarlane focuses on changes to the Gaelic and English languages, and its relevance to the landscape.

CREATE/REFLECT: While these three resources are from different cultural paradigms, each addresses situations akin to 'upholding the mana of language'. All of these resources are also written in a more poetic register, than what is usually considered the 'norm' in academic writing. Write a poem, or some poetic prose drawing on what you've learned from the various resources about language this week.

A Poem

Speak Up

To hear another language,
and roll it around in one's mind,
is to bask, reptilian,
in another culture's sun.
To speak another tongue,
even if twisted in a beginner's fugue,
is to learn the songs,
of another culture's hearth.
We should not treat this as our holiday packing,
"picking up" a language for our souvenir hunt.
Alone among all animals, only we can change our minds this way.

Task 5 (2 hours) Self-directed study on your first assignment

WRITE and MAKE: Continue self-directed work on your assignment. Refine and revise your writing for your definition and your contextual understanding. Begin trialing, testing, drawing, producing samples for your practical component, and make a plan of what you will need to do to complete this component.

Been considering my reinterpretation, sketched some concepts, then started my painting. Needs much work yet, but good to have made a start.

237.131 Independent Study Week #5

Week 5: Colonisation and Nationalism

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from last week, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

We didn’t really talk through our independent study in this week’s tutorial.

Task 2 (3 hours)

READ: "A "Kiwi" At My Table" by Robyn Kenealy. This is an essay by a former 2nd year student on nationalism and food advertising in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and is an excellent example of how to apply international theoretical texts and concepts to local examples. The concept of 'banal nationalism', for instance, was developed by Michael Billig in response to the American political situation, but here has been applied to food advertising in Aotearoa. Similarly, Benedict Anderson developed the idea of 'imagined communities' in an international context, but is being used here to analyse a local context.

REFLECT: Summarise the key points of Kenealy's essay.  Can you think of other advertisements in Aotearoa which uses similar Nationalist rhetoric to sell its products? Have a look at Ngā Taonga's exhibition of advertisements. Choose an example and mind-map the various ways in which you can see it reiterating the overall thesis around nationalism and advertising.

Kenealy asserts that commonplace advertisements that are at first glance innocuous can be part of a more insidious reinforcement of nationalistic attitudes. He uses as examples two examples of adverts – one for ketchup, one for bread – that reflect what he calls “common tropes of ‘kiwi-ness'”, and posits that the adverts seek to build an association with a viewer’s perceptions of national identity, and through that (presumably) increase the desire of the viewer to purchase them. He further argues that the undesirable side-effect of this approach to advert is to reinforce and further normalise these stereotypes, to the detriment of a more inclusive society.

It sounds like the Tip Tap advert in particular strays beyond banal nationalistic pointers to implied togetherness and “kiwi-ness”, but also starts to point to that as somehow being different, perhaps even better, than a vaguely defined “other”. This is more of a shift towards more dangerous forms of nationalism, and it would have been interesting to see the advert to see how this was portrayed.

While looking for that advert, I did re-watch what is known to be the UK’s “favourite advert”, which coincidentally is also for bread.

Hovis ‘Bike’ Advert 1973 (Britain’s Favourite TV Ad)www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mq59ykPnAE. Accessed 17 Aug. 2021.

This also plays (strenuously) on a kind of idyllic view of England, and could well have become the subject of a British version of Kenealy’s paper, were one to be written.

FURTHER REFLECTION: Break Kenealy's essay down - how is it structured? What elements are introduced in the first section, and how are these used in the second section, when analysing their examples? How are Anderson and Billig used as the framework for the analysis?

The citations for Anderson and Billig are as follows:

Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities, (New York: Verso, 1991) 
Billig, Michael, Banal Nationalism, (Sage: London, 1995)

Kenealy deconstructs the arguments from both cited authors so that he can use their key themes as a set of acid tests for his own arguments. For example, he states that the advertisements under discussion are not inherently responsible for nationalistic evil but, by using Billig’s work as a test for banal nationalism, he is able to position the advertisements on a nationalistic scale as being representative of a wider pattern in society.

Extension: This activity is not compulsory, however if you would like to explore concepts of nationalism and the nation further, read Benedict Anderson's Introduction to Imagined Communities. Write a paragraph defining his conception of 'imagined communities' and its relationship to ideas around nationhood and the state. Think of one example where you could apply his ideas in an Aotearoa/New Zealand context. 


Task 3 (4 hours) Self-directed study on your first assignment

WRITING and MAKING: Continue self-directed work on your assignment. Complete your practical work to bring to class next week and continue refining and revising your writing if needed. Compile your reference list (make sure all the sources you have cited and/or quoted in your writing are included in your reference list). Use the Massey OWLL site to check your citations and reference list formatting. You will find the link to the OWLL site and the MLA 8 document in the Assessment information and Drop-boxes section.

NOTE: You will need to bring a print out of your assignment work to class next week.

The reframing of the Discovery Doctrine to put it into a context where all humans take a similar doctrine is an essential part of reframing Sixth Sense into something that reflects my personal views of how humans interact with the natural world.

Humans are an animal that has historically seen no reasons to protect indigenous ecosystems, and the species has felt it have a right to exploit new environmental niches.

Like other species, humans have a fundamental niche. However, unlike other species, humans are able to create a realized niche too, by adapting the environment to suit their preferences.

Humans have also expanded the dimensions of their realized niche by managing the intensity of their interactions with other species. Humans control their own competitors, predators, parasites, and diseases, thereby reducing the constraints that these biological stressors exert on the realized, human niche. Humans also manage the ecological constraints of their mutualistic plants and animals such as agricultural cows, pigs, chickens, and plant crops.

Niche – What Is The Niche Of Humans? https://science.jrank.org/pages/4664/Niche-What-niche-humans.html. Accessed 13 Aug. 2021.

This is the Discovery Doctrine that I hope to reference in my piece, and it has had a devastating impact on ecosystems around the world, as humans arrive, colonize, adapt, and destroy.

As part of my painting, I propose to include a list of extinct bird species, representative of the damage that human have done to the indigenous biodiversity of Aotearoa.

List of New Zealand animals extinct in the Holocene

It’s ironic to me that approximately the same number of species have been driven to extinction by Māori colonization of Aotearoa as have gone extinct since European colonization.

237.131 Independent Study Week #6

Week 6: Presentation

Thanks to COVID, this didn’t happen.

Prep for Second Half

Task 1 (2 hrs)

READ: Hirini Moko Mead's Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga: Underlying Principles and Values.

REFLECT: Make some notes on your understanding of tikanga, considering this in relationship to ethics and values. You will need to bring this to class for discussion in week 7.

Pending some free time due to working at home during lockdown…

Task 2

ASSIGNMENT PREPARATION: Read the brief for Assignment 2. Note any questions you might have, and what topic you might be interested in.

Ideas for marginalized communities in Aotearoa, New Zealand?

Need to have a group discussion on this.

No idea yet of how groups are going to work, given we’re in lockdown still, and this course may be online?

237.131 Independent Study Week #8

Week 8: 13-17 September: Introduction to Assignment 2

Note: there was no week 7 – courses were suspended due to a COVID lockdown.

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from week 6, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

We did not really discuss the concept of tokanga, which is what the independent study was about.

Task 2 (2 hours)

INDIVIDUAL WORK: Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Read both versions, and Hugh Kawharu's notes. Choose ONE of Kawharu's notes and reflect on its significance in your workbook, and the broader implications of this politically, socially, philosophically, economically, etc.

“Government”: “kawanatanga”. There could be no possibility of the Maori signatories having any understanding of government in the sense of “sovereignty” i.e. any understanding on the basis of experience or cultural precedent

Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Hugh Kawharu’s note #6

To me, this conclusion appears quite patronizing and I am unclear as to how Kāwharu (1927-2006) could have direct knowledge of what the signatories knew or did not know about the concept of sovereignty. I would imagine that he is basing this on the oral history coming down to him, so I must ask if the lack of knowledge of a subject would be something that could be passed down.

I well, however, set that aside and take at face value the premise that the Māori at the time knew little of the non-Māori concept of government. One fundamental question is, what form of government? I have to assume that, as the Treaty of Waitangi – and yes, I am specifically calling out the original English version, not the translation – came out of the British government of 1840, then that’s what Kāwharu is referring to when he writes of “government”.

The heart of the British Empire was the United Kingdom, the world’s largest and most industrialised economy in 1840. Lands in British possession were found around the world. Many were colonies – under direct rule from London – and others were in the hands of trading enterprises. The Atlantic empire included the sugar colonies of the British West Indies (whose slaves had recently been freed), Canada, Nova Scotia and others in British North America. The empire also included the strongholds of Gibraltar and Malta in the Mediterranean, slave-trade-related holdings on the West African coast and the fur-trading territories of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The eastern empire centred on British holdings in India, which were formally ruled by the British East India Company. There were colonies further afield – Cape Colony in Africa lay on the main British sea route to India and the Straits Settlements colony on the route to China. Australia, which had been annexed in 1788, was the site of three colonies – New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, both originally convict settlements, and South Australia. It was as part of New South Wales that New Zealand was first incorporated into the British Empire.

Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. The British Empire, 1840. https://teara.govt.nz/en/zoomify/35471/the-british-empire-1840. Accessed 21 Sept. 2021.

This is the government of the British Empire in its period of greatest power and expansion. Queen Victoria had been on the throne for less than three years, slavery had been abolished only two years prior, the industrial revolution was just getting started.

Socially, the Chartist movement was rising.

Chartism was a working class movement, which emerged in 1836 and was most active between 1838 and 1848. The aim of the Chartists was to gain political rights and influence for the working classes.

The National Archives Learning Curve | Power, Politics and Protest | The Chartists. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/politics/g7/. Accessed 21 Sept. 2021.

It was in this era of expansion and social change that the Treaty was signed. When assessing modern interventions into to the Treaty and how it was established, the very different context of the British Empire of the time must surely be included as critical context for any analysis.

Task 3 (2 hours)

GROUP ACTIVITY: As a group divide the reading Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: Taonga Works and Intellectual Property amongst yourselves (approx. 6 pages each, if you're in a group of 5). Read and make notes individually in your workbook (approx. 1hr). Then share/discuss as a group, making sure that each of you has an understanding of the whole text (approx. 1hr).

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

Task 4 (3 hours)

GROUP ACTIVITY: As a group finalise your topic (approx. 30m). Mind-map what you already know about the topic, and what you might need to find out (approx. 1hr). Identify and record what strengths you each bring to your group, and how your project can draw on the different fields of art and design you are each interested in (approx. 1hr). Identify and record your research abilities, and how you might support each other (approx. 30m).

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

237.131 Independent Study Week #9

Week 9: 20-24 September: Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Art & Design

Task 1 (5 minutes)

REFLECT: Have a look at your responses to the independent study from week 7, how did this weeks class discussion deepen or help develop and expand your initial understanding? You could write about this in a sentence or two, or you could go back and add to your original notes.

Task 2 (3 hours)

GROUP ACTIVITY: Assign half your group the first reading, and half your group the second reading, and read your assigned readings (approx. 1hr30m):

1) Ani Mikaere’s discussion of mana wāhine, and its relationship to western feminism, Māori Women: Caught in the Contradictions of Colonised Reality.

2) Kim McBreen’s discussion of tikanga Māori approaches to sexuality, Ahunga Tikanga and Sexual Diversity.

DISCUSS: Then meet up as a group, and present the reading you did to each other, and unpack the connections between them, in terms of tikanga. Does a consideration of gender and sexuality impact your project? If so, how? If not, why not? Keep notes! (approx. 1hr)

EXAMPLE: As a group find some examples of artists and designers from Aotearoa/New Zealand who engage with mana wāhine, feminism, takatāpui, and non-dominant expressions of gender and sexuality. Makes notes, and be prepared to discuss these in class. (approx. 30m)

Ani Mikaere’s discussion of mana wāhine

Wheels within wheels, circles within circles. Now we unpack the inequality of gender relations within current Māori culture, impacted by colonialism and the consequent introduced legal frameworks, and not necessarily reflective of the pre-colonial state. We are asked to set aside, of course, the accounts captured in writing by settlers, and instead re-connect to the oral histories, which tell a different tale.

It’s clear from the article that Māori women played a leadership role in pre-colonial society, and that this role was to a significant degree set aside in post-colonial society, and that this situation continues to the present day. We can see that stereotypical representations of Māori masculinity are rife, and that Māori women are keen to reclaim their power in society.

How does this article influence our group’s consideration of the history of Asians in Aotearoa? Although the experiences of Māori women can perhaps not be directly connected to our topic, they certainly point to the need to assess how gender has played a part. We know that the first Asians arriving in NZ were predominately male – they were Chinese men who came to work in the Otago gold fields. We should seek more diverse sources that speak to the history of women and Queer people in Aotearoa if we’re to tell this story holistically.

Task 3 (4 hours)

INDIVIDUAL WORK: Research your topic and find 1 academic resource. Read this and make notes. (approx. 2hrs)

GROUP WORK: Meet up and share the resource you’ve found (this should give you 5-6 resources per group), and add to the mind-map you made last week. (approx. 1hr) Start to plan what your tool might be, in relation to this. What might be some particular tikanga/ethics/values you might need to consider in relation to your tool. And why are they important to your specific project? (approx. 1hr)

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

237.131 Independent Study Week #10

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

237.131 Independent Study Week #11

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

237.131 Independent Study Week #12

(On a shared Google document – for later inclusion)

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