GEOGY219-20B (HAM)

Māori Lands and Communities

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences


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Paper Description

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This paper introduces students to Māori geographical perspectives and examines key events that shape Māori communities and their relationships to land, water and other taonga. The paper begins by examining foundational beliefs and values which underpin Māori culture, identity and relationships to land, taonga and people. There is a specific focus on the signing of Te Whakaputanga o te rangatiratanga o Niu Tīreni, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Native Land Court. The paper examines the post treaty aftermath and colonial mechanisms of land appropriation and marginalisation in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Contemporary legislation that impacts Māori lands and resources,Te Ture Whenua Māori Act and the Resource Management Act, are explored alongside case studies to illustrate the complex and diverse geographies of contemporary Māori. Students who take this paper will develop an understanding of the complexities of land tenure, governance structures, resource management, treaty settlements, tribal development, media representations affecting Māori lands and communities.

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Paper Structure

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The paper is made up of a combination of in-­class workshops and online forum activities. The online forum is an assessed item and will involve a combination of critical reflection activities that focus on literature, documentary and film reviews.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Students will:
    • Identify key concepts and values that underpin Māori relationships to land and other taonga;
    • Recognise the diversity of whānau, hapū and iwi relationships to land and other taonga;
    • Understand better the processes and impacts of colonisation on Māori lands and communities;
    • Begin to understand the role of legislation, specifically the Native Land Acts, Te Ture Whenua Māori Act and the Resource Management Act, in shaping land tenure and use in Aotearoa;
    • Demonstrate critical thinking about a range of contemporary issues affecting tangata whenua
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessments will be discussed in detail during class time and specific assessment criteria for each assessment item will be provided.


Worth 10% of the overall grade due: 31 July 2020 5 pm

In this assessment students are to prepare a short pepeha. A pepeha is a formal introduction used to introduce oneself in Māori spaces and places following tikanga (Māori protocols and customs). This assessment is designed to encourage students to explore own their heritage and positionality in relation to Māori geographies.

More information and resources will be given in Moodle and in workshops.


Worth 20% of the overall grade.

Reading reflections are designed to encourage students to complete readings before coming to class, to reflect more deeply on the content of the reading, to make personal meaning from the meaning, and to develop their analysis and writing skills.

For this assessment you are required to produce a READING REFLECTION FOR FIVE of the course readings. These should be completed and uploaded to Moodle prior to coming to class for that week (Monday 10am at the latest). Each reading reflection is worth a total of 4% and assessment criteria will be provided and discussed in class.

Reading reflections should be:

Approximately ONE typed A$ page in length;

  • Provide a concise yet considered analysis of the reading IN YOUR OWN WORDS;
  • For each reading summary you should ask TWO questions of the reading that you would like to discuss in class.
  • Reflections (including questions) must be uploaded to Moodle as per the due dates below.
  • Reading reflections should be written as an academic piece of writing using appropriate language, grammar and referencing
  • Summarise and discuss key arguments in the reading;
  • Link readings to class content;
  • Consider the students own assumptions as they may relate to or be challenged by the reading.

NOTE: Students are required to complete all set readings for the course, even though only FIVE Reading Reflections are required for this assessment. The Final Test will draw from material across all of the course readings.

1. READING 1 Due: Monday 20 July 2020, 10 am:
Kawharu, M., 2012: Environment as marae locale. In Selby, Rachael., Pataka J. G. Moore, Malcolm Mulholland, and Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa. Māori and the Environment : Kaitiaki. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2010.
2. READING 2 Due: Monday 10 August 2020, 10 am:
Te Matakite O Aotearoa - The Māori Land March | Television | NZ On Screen. This is a five part documentary, you are to watch all five parts

3. READING 3 Due: Monday 7 August 2020 10 am
Simmonds, N. B., Kukutai, T., & Ryks, J. (2016). Here to stay: Reshaping the regions through mana Māori. In P. Spoonley (Ed.), Rebooting the Regions: Why low or zero growth needn’t mean the end of prosperity (pp. 79–105).
4. READING 4 Due: Monday 14 September 2020 10 am
Roberts M., Norman W., Minhinnick N., Wihongi D. & Kirkwood C..1998: Kaitiakitanga: Māori perspectives on Conservation. In Pacific Conservation Biology, 2(1) 7 – 205.
5. READING 5 Due: Monday 5 Oct 2020 10 am
Ormond, A., Ormond, J., 2018: An iwi homeland - country of the heart. MAI Journal 7(1): 79-91

The online quiz is worth 20% of the overall grade due: 20 August, 2020
Students will be required to sit an online quiz. All questions will relate to both the course readings and lecture material from each half of the semester. The test will comprise of short answer sections and longer paragraph answer questions.


Worth 20% of the overall grade 2000 words due: 2 October 2020
Students must write an essay on ONE of the following topics:
1."There is a well known aphorism that says Maori walk backwards into the future, that is, they take the past with them in advancing into the unknown" (Kawharu, M. 2012, 222). Write an essay that evaluates this statement in relation to Māori land, use examples to support your answer.
2.Choose either the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act or the Resource Management Act. In your essay, provide a brief summary and history of the legislation, discuss the recent changes and the impacts that this legislation has had on Māori land and communities.
3.Using examples, write an essay considering the 'symbols' of colonisation that are part of the Waikato landscape. In your essay, use literature to consider/reconsider the history, meaning and potentially competing values that are part of these symbols and thus part of the landscape.


Worth 30% final grade

The final test will be delivered online and will take place during the exam period.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1.  Five reading reflections
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Exploring pepeha
31 Jul 2020
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Essay
16 Oct 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Final test
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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A course readings list has been prepared for this paper and will be available via Moodle. All readings are managed by the university’s online Reading List Talis Aspire system. This means you will not need to purchase a readings book for this course.

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Online Support

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Online support is via the paper management system Moodle. Paper materials will be made available to students via Moodle. Such materials include important announcements and documents (including the paper outline and lecture notes).

PLEASE NOTE there is no University of Waikato requirement that lecture notes, in whatever form, be provided to students via Moodle. Furthermore, the notes made available on Moodle may not be an exact copy of the lecture as presented in class.

Lecture material is also provided via Panopto recordings.

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This paper is held in the B Semester. It has four contact hours weekly, through two lectures. Students are expected to attend all sessions and complete the required readings. If we consider that the ‘normal’ annual load for a BSocSc or BA is seven papers we can then calculate that on the basis of a 17 week semester (including recess and study periods) the student should spend around 10 hours a week on average working on the paper. This includes attending classes, connecting to Moodle and completing assessed work and readings.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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GEOG101, GEOG103 or TTWA150

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Restricted papers: GEOG219

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