The removal of a Māori child in May 2019 led to widespread protest and the launch of four inquiries into the Ministry for Children, plus an urgent inquiry through the Waitangi Tribunal. Tamariki Māori are over-represented in the child welfare system, but the issues are not just about the system itself. The legacy of colonisation continues to have an impact, not just on individual whānau, but also on the loss of tikanga in relation to whānau. It is the tikanga of whānau that many protesters seek to protect.
A discussion about the decreasing proficiency levels of one of the official languages in New Zealand, te reo Māori, would not be complete without understanding teacher trainees’ attitudes and motivations towards taking an optional Māori language course. This is because teacher trainees can provide significant opportunities within the classroom to promote learning of te reo and understanding their perspectives on learning the language to inform future revitalisation efforts.
Last year the New Zealand Government’s announcement of a “Predator Free NZ 2050” was accompanied by a target for a significant scientific breakthrough capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator by 2025. Strong responses and consolidation and repositioning activity ensued. A commonly agreed gap in our understanding is whether we, as a society, would allow the use of such a control, if it existed. Does a “social licence to operate” exist for the NZ scientific establishment? For the New Zealand Government, for that matter?