No downside in standing tall, together
Stuff’s apology for the inequitable treatment of Māori and tikanga Māori by Stuff and its media predecessors is so powerful, writes Dame Anne Salmond, because it recognises the Queen’s promise of equality and mutual respect for different tikanga
In 1992 and 2010, as an anthropological historian, I was asked by the Waitangi Tribunal to explore understandings of Te Tiriti o Waitangi when the document was signed (or not) at Waitangi, and other places around the country.
In 1992, I had the privilege of working with close colleagues Dr. Merimeri Penfold and Dr. Cleve Barlow, both native speakers of Māori from Te Taitokerau. Dr. Barlow was also an historical linguist who had built an impressive data-base of early texts in Māori, including Te Paipera Māori, which we used to search for key terms used in Te Tiriti and elsewhere.
Together we also investigated historical documents and oral histories about the debates at Te Tiriti signings in 1840, and the context in which these were held, in conversation with colleagues including Dr. Patu Hohepa and others.
Like many other scholars before and since, including those steeped in ancestral lore, we concluded that in Te Tiriti, the text that was debated and signed (or not) at Waitangi and elsewhere, the rangatira did not cede sovereignty to the British Crown.
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