Giving voice to kaumātua perspectives and experiences, and those of older people in general, during the COVID-19 pandemic has been rare because older people are more often spoken about than provided with opportunities to speak for themselves. When they have been spoken about, the focus has been on their vulnerability. While such vulnerabilities are a critical concern, this focus ignored their active participation in and contributions to their communities.
Tapu and noa are often cited as fundamentals by which we enact tikanga, promote well-being and divide labour. However, exactly how tapu informed precolonial gender divisions of labour is difficult to examine, mostly because of the pervasive influence Christianity has had on cosmological narratives, from which tapu derives (Mikaere, 2017; Rewi, 2010; Te Awekotuku, 1994). This article outlines some commentary on the relationship between tapu, gender roles and colonisation, and tries to extend that scholarship.
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?