He maramara mō te ahi : exploring the possibilities for Treaty partnerships : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
The thesis takes as its starting point, the aspiration of Māori to be self-determining and to have this authority recognised and engaged in Treaty partnerships with the Crown in its own evolving terms. This prospect is examined in relation to the tertiary education environment, with a particular focus on the possibilities that kaupapa Māori spaces and structures presently being developed at various universities offer to advancing just forms of Treaty partnership. Its methodological journey to posit how Treaty partnerships might be conceived of and made possible draws on concepts from kaupapa Māori theory, supported by deconstructive insights as both seek to question and transform totalising colonial bicultural identities and discourses of sovereignty. Current political and legal bicultural arrangements are examined and critiqued as inadequate vehicles through which partnership might be advanced as they do not sufficiently question the sovereign position of the state. Significantly, this failure allows a reconsideration of the very meaning of partnership, bringing forth the possibility of recognition being given to both authoritative partners to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, Māori and the Crown. Through the lines of critical questioning, consideration is given to the structural arrangements, relational resources and ethical principles that might rejuvenate the notion of partnership. Central to the thesis is the notion that Treaty partnerships become possible by and through each partner recognising and engaging with the limits of their own authority to determine the nature and terms of partnership.