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Veronica Tawhai

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Uepohatu

Veronica lectures in policy and politics at Te Pūtahi a Toi. A recent recipient of the Fulbright-Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga scholar award, Dr Tawhai's fields of research and community work include te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori and youth political engagement, constitutional change, and electoral, civics and citizenship education. To date she has co-edited two books, authored several papers and presents widely on these issues. She is a member of Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation and is completing her PhD on the role of citizenship education in transforming indigenous-coloniser relations.

Matike Mai – Planning for constitutional transformation

Matike Mai works understandings of the independence of hapū and iwi, alongside their interdependence through whakapapa, within the wider Māori polity, as the basis for constitutional authority. It constructs a similar dynamic between Māori and the Crown where just constitutional relations require the independence of both to make decisions for their peoples, while acknowledging their relationships under te Tiriti o Waitangi. To enact this vision of ‘conciliatory and consensual democracy’, to ‘work together as equals’ in the light of the realities of colonial history and unresolved injustice and disparity, the Crown needs to be able to match the radical generosity from Māori. and a bring to the table a mighty commitment from Tangata Tiriti because as a group we are so far behind our Tiriti partner. Collectively we are ignorant of our history, careless in regard to our environment, insecure in our identity and deeply privileged in our lives.

Veronica Tawhai
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