Maori tribal organisations in New Zealand history: From neglect to recognition, and the implications for the assimilation policy
SourceEthnologies Comparées, 6, (2003)
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
SubjectDynamics of culture and power
In New Zealand there has been a remarkable shift in government policy towards Maori tribes since the mid-1980s. Although the colonial history of the country is characterized by a consistent neglect of the tribal principle of Maori socio-political organisation, recently the government has gradually moved to recognize tribal organisations, particularly in negotiations about compensation settlements for colonial grievances. This article examines the reasons behind this transformation in light of the dispossession of the Maori of their lands in the nineteenth century and the large-scale migration of Maori to cities in the twentieth century. Against this background it is suggested that underlying the amendment of government policies towards Maori tribes may be one and the same objective : the assimilation of Maori people into New Zealand society.
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