“To date Māori organisations have not developed barter economies or crowdsourced funding vehicles, or established their own credit unions. Nor have they adopted localised food production and distribution systems, or created communal housing developments in urban areas, community-owned renewable electricity generation, or urban gardens.
These community-based solutions succeed on a platform of local community connectedness and relationships and reciprocity and active generosity; all strong characteristics of Māori society. It is therefore surprising that these myriad network-based mechanisms, which are being aggressively adopted and adapted everywhere from Pakistan to New York City, have been so little explored by Māori collectives. And especially so given their potential to reduce the burdens of poverty and inequality that are borne so disproportionately by Māori.”
This text is an essay included in “Back to the Māori Future” in Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, Max Rashbrooke (ed.), Wellington, Bridget Williams Books, June 2013.
Better by Design: back to the Māori future?
At the creation
It is interesting to speculate on the vision that the Māori leadership of the nineteenth century had in mind as they signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and what they may have envisaged a co-created Aotearoa New Zealand – and their role in that nation-building exercise – would look like.
A genuine blending of the Māori worldview, with its dynamic, community-grounded customs and values held in a frame of reciprocal responsibility to each other and the natural world, and the equally dynamic Western model, with its technologies and capital market economy and systems of management, would have been a heady mix indeed.
We do enjoy, fortunately, a unique Aotearoa New Zealand…
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