Professor Meihana Durie

Rangitāne; Ngāti Kauwhata; Ngāti Porou; Rongo Whakaata; Ngāi Tahu

Professor Meihana Durie is the spokeperson for Te Kōtui Reo, a Collective of twelve Marae from cross the northen Manawatū Rohe. He also carries a range of roles for his iwi of Rangitāne and Ngāti Kauwhata in the areas of Tikanga, Hauora, Te Reo and Mātauranga-ā-Iwi. He is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor Māori at Massey University and previously Head of School, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi at Massey University. Meihana has a research and development background in mātauranga māori, māori education, māori health and whānau development. He maintains close involvement in local māori educational initiatives as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Manukura, a high performance special character secondary school under the mantle of his hapū of Tahuriwakanui, and as a Rangitāne representative for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki.

The Struggle for Māori Wards in Local Government

"Meihana and Colleen share their experiences of the fight for Māori wards in the Manawatū and Taranaki.

This presentation will provide an insight into the experiences of Te Kōtui Reo, a collective of twelve Marae from across the wider Manawatū Rohe, in seeking to successfully reverse a vote against the establishment of a Māori Ward in the local body council. It will also examine the ways in which the Te Kōtui Reo movement reaffirmed the criticality of whanaungatanga, whakapapa and kotahitanga in the face of opposition and challenges to the roles of tangata whenua and as a platform for anti-racism priorities to be advanced.

Colleen sat at the New Plymouth District Council table for approximately seven years as the iwi representative of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga. Colleen was there when the then Mayor Andrew Judd has his epiphany, she was there when he left, she was there for the next 'merry-go-round' of the Māori Ward when it came around six years later - as we knew it would. So what happened? and who cares? For the record Colleen is not a fan of the racist Ward legislation."

Professor Meihana Durie