Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

'We many Peoples make one Nation' or are we all one Nation?

Dr Ann Sullivan, Assoc Prof Dimitri Margaritis.

In 2004 nationalism and racism are major political issues in New Zealand. Disagreement between Ma¯ori and the Government regarding ownership and property rights to the foreshore and seabeds has developed into a discourse on nationalism and nationhood, which is polarising the nation. The political ‘left’ recognise the Treaty of Waitangi as an important founding document of the nation and recognise the cultural distinctiveness of the indigenous Ma¯ori. The ‘centre-right’ use a common theme of ‘we are all one people, one citizenship for all’ in an attempt to discredit the Treaty of Waitangi and its place in the social framework of government. Political leaders of the centre-right argue that there is a single national identity and recognising ‘difference’ is racist. Ma¯ori have a separate sense of nationhood that is based on geneological linkages (whakapapa). This paper will discuss the competing discourses and their implications for reconciliation or conflict. Particular attention will be paid to the influence of the discourse on public policy choices and affirmative action programs.


Dr Ann Sullivan  (New Zealand)
Associate Professor Maori Studies
Department of Maori Studies
University of Auckland

Assoc Prof Dimitri Margaritis  (New Zealand)

Department of Economics
University of Waikato

  • Nationalism
  • Racism
  • Indigenous
  • Maori

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)