Te mana Māori : Te tatari i nga korero parau
Hokowhitu, Brendan J.
This thesis has three primary objectives: to deconstruct the genealogical representation of Māori as a physical, unintelligent and savage people, to examine the role that education, and particularly physical education has played in perpetuating these representations by channelling Māori into physical curriculum areas, and to provide a functional kaupapa Māori philosophy of health and physical education. Postmodern theory underpins this theses because it encourages the search for multiple truths. In the colonial context, specifically, it provides an ideal tool by which to deconstruct the supposedly objective and preordained single truths of the colonisers. As I demonstrate, these single truths proved to be politically motivated and false. I also employ a Foucauldian understanding of European history to describe how European bourgeois nationalism and normalisation mutated into biopower, where the normalised Self was able to control, limit, describe and kill the Other. Travellers, missionaries and settlers transposed biopower from Europe to colonial New Zealand. Later, descriptions of the Other - or rather the juxtapositioning of the Self next to depictions of the primitive/anti Other - by anthropologists and historians aided this process. For the benefit of enlightened liberals, colonisation in New Zealand required a specific rhetoric to recast ruthless aspects of the process as mere anomalies on the road to Utopia. The modernist Western world validated colonisation under the guises of humanism and progress: the savage, primitive, pre-philosophical Māori provided the perfect contrast against the civilised, mature, philosophical Self. This genealogical representation formed the basis for Pakeha and Māori relations - and continues to do so. Representations of Māori as intrinsically unintelligent and physical, framed politically motivated educational policy. Initially, racist educational directives channelled Māori into physical vocations to provide labour for untamed rural New Zealand. In the 1960's and '70's, racially biased intelligence test were employed to debiltate Māori students by streaming them into non-academic classes. Later, the so-called empowering rhetoric of the neo-colonial era informed curricula by promoting diluted and sanitised versions of tikanga Māori such as Taha Māori, its physical education offshoot Te Reo Kori, and the current New Zealand Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Promoted under the liberal banner of biculturalism, these initiatives primarily benefited Pakeha and further misrepresented Māori culture as simplistic and irrelevent to contemporary society. Deconstructing grand narratives encourages researchers to construct knowledge outside such totalising truths. Thus, the theoretical approach and historical disseminations outlined above provide the foundations for part two of this thesis, which is a contribution towards Māori knowledge. Employing an interpretivist, indepth interviewing and collaborative narrative epistemology, I constructed korero with kaumatua and pakeke. These focus on health and physical education from a Māori position. Subsequent discussion examines certain aspects of each korero, to form a functional Māori philosophy of physical activity delineated by hauora, a Māori notion of holistic health. The discussion also outlines a number of issues surrounding the incorporation of tikanga Māori into mainstream education.
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: School of Physical Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: deconstruction; acculturation; New Zealand; Maori; sports; education
Research Type: Thesis