Māori politics—tradition, activism, and shared authority

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Maria Bargh discusses tradition, activism, and shared authority in Māori politics.

Māori politics is the first politics of Aotearoa. With hapū based political decision-making, tikanga principles underpinning political community and leadership, and a focus on relationships, Aotearoa has been governed. The details of this political world have remained familiar amongst Māori, however the teaching of it in schools and universities has been lacking.

In more recent times, the field of Māori politics, replete with political leaders, movements, and events, is now much more visible and discussed by non-Māori. Yet, a common refrain of people ‘not knowing’ the political history persists and leads to challenges to the exercise of Māori tino rangatiratanga.

In this inaugural professorial lecture Professor Maria Bargh from Te Kawa a Māui, School of Māori Studies, relates four political stories illustrating the intricacies of Māori political traditions, decision-making and activism. How can knowledge of Māori politics continue to enrich the vision of shared political authority in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Maria Bargh, flanked by two other academics at her inaugural lecture
Inaugural lecture (left to right): Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Engagement, Professor Rawinia Higgins, Professor Maria Bargh, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nic Smith.

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