Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development Working Paper Series

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    Constructing 'traditional' concepts: The case of Maori governance
    (2009-07-21T22:09:08Z) Warren, Te Rina
    As colonisation infiltrated Māori societies, ‘traditional’ practices and concepts became dismantled, restricted to isolated domains, concealed, abandoned or adapted to contemporary settings. A colonial government has produced a contemporary form of Māori governance in which most people commonly associate with some type of ‘traditional’ governance system. Although the naming of such institutions has its own tradition, their assimilation into western governance systems merely provides the illusion of traditional control. Understanding that such processes have taken place provides a platform that can increase consciousness of how they can maintain some of their classically traditional structures and practices. This paper considers the case of Māori governance as an example highlighting how traditional knowledges must move from the peripheries of ‘knowing’ and re-establish themselves back at the centre.
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    Of cyclones, tsunamis, and the engaged anthropologist: Some musings on colonial politics in the Andaman Islands
    (2009-07-21T21:35:54Z) Venkateswar, Sita
    No abstract available
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    Beach fale tourism in Samoa: The value of indigenous ownership and control over tourism
    (2009-07-21T20:58:40Z) Scheyvens, Regina
    This working paper reports on the findings of a research project which explores the budget tourism sector in Samoa as epitomized by beach fale tourism. Its main aim is to draw attention to the legitimacy and value of this often overlooked sector of the tourism market. As such it documents ways in which beach fale have contributed to development in Samoan villages, as well as identifying constraints to improvement of this sector. It concludes with a number of recommendations as to how sustainable, equity-enhancing development of tourism in Samoa can be supported in the future. Readers seeking a thorough understanding of beach fale tourism, including contextual information on the nature of tourism development in Samoa, and specific information concerning training and financial support for beach fale operators and impressions of tourists, are referred to an earlier paper in this series (CIGAD Working Paper No.3/2005 – see Scheyvens 2005b). The beach fale industry has contributed significantly to the development of a number of Samoan villages. There have been widespread multiplier effects for village communities as the fale are constructed using mainly local materials and expertise, and their owners often purchase items such as fruit, vegetables, seafood, and mats from the village and hire village labour during busy periods. Guests also contribute to the wider village through various means such as purchases made from village shops, use of local transport, and contributions to the collection plate when they attend a church service. Another benefit of beach fale tourism which has not been officially acknowledged is that it has restored the pride of many villagers in their home environment. Most Samoans feel genuinely honoured when people from all over the world come to visit their village and learn about their culture, and consequently community members contribute enthusiastically to village beautification efforts. Furthermore, the economic rejuvenation of some villages through beach fale tourism has reduced rural-urban migration as young people feel they now can stay in their home village and have a viable future. Despite the significant growth of the beach fale sector and the benefits this has brought to rural communities, it has been overlooked, disregarded, and in some cases harshly criticised by various commentators. Beach fale are seemingly invisible to those estimating the number of beds available for tourists in Samoa, for example, as they do not include beach fale accommodation in their estimates. Similarly, an Asian Development Bank report on Samoa (ADB 2000) with an entire chapter on tourism does not mention that beach fale exist. Outside consultants and investors, meanwhile, have voiced frustration with the communal land tenure system and its requirement for consensus in decisions concerning land use, as this has impeded the development of large resorts in prime beach side locations; instead, small clusters of beach fale occupy some of the best coastal sites in Samoa. This also irks some Samoans involved in the tourism industry, as they feel that there are too many run-down beach fale, forming a scar on the landscape. Related to this point, it has been suggested that the development of a strong budget tourism sector is not good for Samoa’s image because a country so well endowed with natural and cultural assets should be home to high class resorts which attract high spending tourists. In addition there is some jealousy of the success of beach fale from the owners of small, lower class hotels, who now see many of their former clientele (such as staff of government agencies) preferring to stay in beach fale; it is likely that this jealousy contributes to negative perceptions of what beach fale have to offer the tourism sector. The Government is now introducing changes which could undermine beach fale tourism in some areas. Firstly, an amendment bill was passed in Parliament in on June 26, 2003, to encourage more foreign investment in higher class resorts. This involves the government playing a stronger role in assisting outsiders to lease land, and tax breaks being given to new hotel/resort developments, with the size of the tax relief being proportional to the size of the hotel/resort. This may see more land moving out of community hands, at least temporarily, in the future, but it is unclear if this is also signaling less government support for the small-scale beach fale initiatives. Secondly, partly in response to concerns from within the tourism industry about supposed substandard accommodation and facilities provided by some beach fale operations, staff of the Samoan Tourism Authority are formalizing planning procedures by developing ‘minimum standards’ which tourist accommodation providers must abide by if they want to be promoted or endorsed by the Government. Depending on the final details of these minimum standards, this may mean that less wealthy families will be unlikely to establish a beach fale venture, as greater resources will be required to meet the minimum standards. Based on these findings and an earlier paper ( 2005b), this working paper makes four key recommendations: • Firstly, village leaders together with Samoan Tourism Authority (STA) personnel need to regularly monitor the development of beach fale (through personal observation, village meetings, and consultation with tourists), and to control this development where necessary, in order to: a) maximise the benefits villagers gain from the fale (for example, in order to maintain their popularity beach fale need to continue to offer tourists a unique cultural experience in a relaxed environment - if some villages are oversubscribed with beach fale enterprises and owners start haggling for custom, this is likely to deter tourists) b) minimise inconvenience/harm to local people from tourism. To date, matai have effectively put in place good social controls on tourist behaviour but they may need to pay more attention to environmental issues (such as sewage disposal and use of fresh water by beach fale), and to equity issues ( ensuring that beach fale development does not impinge heavily on access of local people to the beach or marine resources) otherwise resentment towards tourism could build up over time. • Secondly, the Samoan Tourism Authority and donors such as NZAID should continue to support beach fale enterprises and to ensure that in doing so they offer assistance to a diverse range of enterprises, from the very basic to those that are now well promoted and more up-market. While it would be easy to overlook the basic beach fale enterprises, they effectively provide an important livelihood strategy particularly for those who are not in a strong economic position withintheir village, and it is operators of these enterprises who are in more need of help with matters like publicity, marketing, and service provision. • Thirdly, officials need to recognize the importance of the domestic tourism market, and to encourage development of this market both because a) it is a very good source of revenue and it is less fickle than the international tourism market, and b) this would signal that the government is interested in the recreation and well-being of its own citizens, rather than just offering up the country’s best scenic assets for the enjoyment of foreign tourists. • Fourthly, there is further potential to develop the beach fale sector, but advice needs to be provided to villagers about development of associated products and services, such as beach clothing, souvenirs, food or tours, so that they are aware of viable options which do not just replicate the basic beach fale concept. The Samoan Tourism Authority, Small Business Enterprise Centre, donors and other relevant agencies could assist villagers to identify and develop appropriate products and services to enhance the beach fale experience. In summary, this paper shows how a unique model of tourism development centred on basic beach fale has evolved in Samoa and is reaping considerable benefits for rural people. Samoa has until recently eschewed many advances from international interests because of land tenure issues, preferring to take a path which has supported the development of a strong and dynamic budget beach fale sector (see 2005a, 2005b). This paper suggests that although beach fale tourism does not attract high spending tourists, it should be considered ‘high value’ in terms of community development because most economic benefits are retained locally, it is based upon local skills and resources, it involves cultural education of guests, it supports conservation of resources, and it does this all in the context of high levels of local ownership, participation and control.
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    The growth of beach fale accommodation in Samoa: Doing tourism the Samoan way
    (2009-07-21T02:28:07Z) Scheyvens, Regina
    Samoa is an independent Pacific Island nation with beautiful beaches, rainforests and volcanic features, and is home to vibrant Polynesian communities living mainly in picturesque villages dotted around two main islands. It is seemingly another perfect island paradise, yet Samoans have a long history of resistance to outside interference thus in the past they have been reluctant to trade on their country’s natural beauty and cultural features by encouraging tourism development. Threats to the country’s agriculture sector from two cyclones and a taro blight led to a change of heart in the early 1990s, and tourism has since rapidly grown to become Samoa’s main industry, contributing four times more to the economy than agriculture (Twining-Ward and Twining-Ward, 1998). Arrivals grew from less than 48,000 in 1990 to over 92,000 by 2003. However, unlike the three most popular Pacific Island destinations, Fiji, French Polynesia and New Caledonia, Samoa is not home to numerous large resorts. Instead the tourism industry here is dominated by small to medium sized enterprises which are mostly under local ownership and control. The largest growth in recent years has been experienced in the budget beach fale accommodation sector. Beach fale, or traditional beach huts, are now a strong feature of the coastal landscape of Samoa. A family or community need relatively little capital to establish a beach fale operation, but the family or community group does need permission from the relevant matai (chiefs). These fale range from basic, open sided huts with thatched roofs and traditional woven blinds in the place of walls, to walled bungalows with small verandas. Bathroom and dining facilities are shared with other guests, and the relations between guests and those catering to their needs are more friendly than servile. Guests are expected to conform with cultural protocol during their stay, which includes dressing appropriately when entering a village and respecting Sa(evening prayer time). Staff of the Samoan Tourism Authority generally recognise the value of beach fale as a unique tourism product, and they have been supported by NZAID in providing training and financial support to beach fale owners over the past few years. Training in areas such as financial management, health and safety, and service skills is helping to address areas of weakness which exist in the beach fale sector, where many of the owners have limited business experience. Beach fale attract a wide range of clientele, with both Samoan and foreign tourists being very important markets. Samoan guests include couples, families, and youth groups who typically take weekend day trips from Apia to nearby beaches where they pay a small fee to cover use of the beach and a beach fale (which provides shade and a comfortable resting place). Longer stay visitors to beach fale include government and non-governmental agency staff who are sent on retreats to work on their mission statement or review goals and objectives, and family or school groups celebrating a reunion. Foreign visitors are also a diverse group which, rather than being limited to international backpackers, includes a lot of young and middle-aged couples from Australia and New Zealand, surfers, adventurers and ecotourists of all ages, and clientele from up-market hotels like Aggie Grey’s who desire a unique cultural experience for a day or two. The majority of tourists interviewed in this research were extremely positive about beach fale tourism. Typical comments from a beach fale visitor’s book were as follows: ‘Great place’; ‘fantastic food’; ‘wonderful beach’; ‘friendly family’. Many guests commented that they would like to stay longer and/or to return one day. The location of beach fale on what would be prime coastal property with premium values in most parts of the world certainly adds to the value of the fale.One respondent referred to beach fale as ‘5 star hotels the Samoan way’, and many tourists remarked that staying in an open fale gave them a sense of the affinity between culture and nature in Samoan society. Both Samoan and foreign tourists agreed that there were several services that were central to an enjoyable beach fale experience: • clean and well maintained facilities • good meals incorporating local produce • a secure environment • friendly staff. There were few negative perceptions of beach fale, but they are worth mentioning so those operating beach fales or providing training to operators are aware of tourists’ concerns. While they appreciated the relaxed pace of life in Samoa, some tourists felt that the hospitality was ‘too casual’ at times. For example, tourists expressed annoyance that fale which had been booked in advance were given to other guests, and at the time taken to respond to their requests for service or assistance. Newly arrived tourists were sometimes anxious about security or privacy concerns when staying in open fale, but their fears usually abated after a few days. Some tourists felt there was a lack of clarity or inconsistency with pricing practices, thus every operator in a village might charge ST$60 for one night even when the quality of their accommodation and service varied enormously. While a few foreign tourists were concerned that beach fale were now crowding the beach in popular locations, Samoan tourists had no concern about this and felt that there was still space for growth in the overall number of fale. Finally a minority of tourists felt resentful that there were cultural restrictions placed on their activities at certain times (e.g. Sundays); the majority were however very positive about the value of Samoan culture and respectful in their attitude to beach fale rules. Samoa demonstrates that a country with strong indigenous control of the tourism sector can be economically successful. Large-scale development of up-market hotels and resorts based on foreign investment need not be the key objective of Third World governments that wish to maximize their gains from tourism. Indeed, it is probably in Samoa’s interests to stay with small-medium scale tourism development and to cater for a diverse range of tourists, including domestic tourists and those traveling on a budget. Many tourists who come to Samoa are attracted at least partly because of what a locally-controlled tourism industry can offer, namely, low to moderate prices, friendly service, basic accommodation in stunning locations, and a cultural experience.
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    Politics and professionalism in community development: Examining intervention in the highlands of northern Thailand
    (2009-07-20T20:25:36Z) Mckinnon, Katharine Islay
    It has been suggested that the practice of international development assistance is so deeply problematic that the only moral choice is to abandon the work altogether. The practice of community development in the Third World has been the subject of extensive critique for several decades. Scholars and development practitioners speak of the 'tyranny' of development and discuss the ways in which development is a means of control and domination rather than an altruistic enterprise whereby wealthier nations lend assistance to poorer nations. How are these debates relevant to highland development programs in northern Thailand? And how are development practitioners responding to the suggestion that they are making things worse rather than better? This paper explores the history of development in the hills and suggests some ways that development practitioners can - and do - take on board recent critiques of development while continuing to work for the betterment of highland lives and livelihoods.
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    A tale of two nations: The divergent pathways for indigenous labour force outcomes in Australia and New Zealand since 1991
    (2009-07-17T04:39:49Z) Hunter, Boyd
    This paper compares labour market experiences of indigenous Australians and Maori since 1971 with a particular focus on the early 1990s where employment outcomes appeared to diverge dramatically. One way to enhance the interpretability of international comparisons is to examine what happened in urban and other areas because the globalised economy means that the labour market in major cities tend to track one another reasonably closely. It is also important to condition on the level of urbanisation in the respective countries because geography provides a rudimentary control for differing levels of acculturation and the historical experiences of colonisation. The analysis provides two main insights: first that Maori populations are more fully integrated into the New Zealand economy and business cycle than indigenous Australians are into the Australian economy. The second finding is that while Maori are performing very well in terms of employment growth, the prospect for future improvements may be constrained by unresolved cultural conflict embodied in the high ongoing rates of Maori arrest. While there is a similar level of cultural conflict between indigenous and other Australians, it is probable that the historical difference in the treatment of the respective indigenous populations is partially responsible for the different economic outcomes in the two nations.
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    Justice in New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.
    (2009-07-17T03:52:10Z) Gibbs, Meredith
    In this paper I examine how the New Zealand government, through the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, is providing contemporary reparation for historical injustices against Maori tribes. Because historical injustices involve the interactions of cultures over time, justice in New Zealand’s Treaty settlement process is shaped, and constrained, by two key factors: ‘culture’ and ‘time’. First, I make the case that justice in the Treaty settlement process is only that part of justice that is shared by Maori and the New Zealand Crown and that this shared conception of justice is found in the Treaty of Waitangi (the influence of ‘culture’). Following on from this, I show how the Treaty as the shared standard of justice limits the justice in the Treaty settlement process in important ways. Second, I argue that because reparation for historical injustice is made in the present, and works into the future, justice in the Treaty settlement process is not full reparative justice (the influence of ‘time’). Rather, although the justice of the Treaty settlement process is by nature reparative, its scope is limited by contemporary, and prospective, justice concerns. I argue, finally, that the Treaty settlement process reflects a reconciliatory approach to reparative justice where the cultural survival of Maori through restoration of the promises of the Treaty is given greater weight than the provision of full reparation for past wrongs.
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    Te Tai Tini Transformations 2025
    (2009-07-17T02:51:03Z) Durie, Mason
    No abstract available
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    Remittances: an informal but indispensable form of income for seafarer families in Kiribati
    (2009-07-17T02:31:17Z) Borovnik, Maria
    This paper discusses the distribution of remittances to Kiribati by looking at the socio-cultural elements of people and how these are linked to strategic-economic decision-making when remittances are received by families. Being employed on foreign merchant or tuna vessels has great economic advantages for Kiribati. One of the main advantages is that overseas employment is one of few employment alternatives for the working age population in Kiribati. Remittances sent back serve not only as safety nets for seafarer families, but people benefit through informal channels of distribution. It will be shown in this paper that and how remittances have led to better living conditions for families in Kiribati, increased cash flow and some investment. On the outer islands, however, remittances are often the only cash contribution for some families and are mainly used for basic needs and community contributions.
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    Conflict, violence and development in the Southwest Pacific: Taking the indigenous context seriously.
    (2009-07-17T02:14:45Z) Barcham, Manuhuia
    This article addresses two main issues. The first of these issues is the ongoing conflation of conflict with violence, and the lack of recognition of conflict as a potentially positive force. The second of these issues is the continued push by donors in the region towards the reconstruction of the state in a stronger form, despite recognition that the structures of the state have played a critical role in the emergence of the recent and ongoing violence in the region. In addressing these issues the article first explores the differentiation between the concepts of conflict and violence, before then engaging in a discussion of the ways in which conflict can not only be a positive force but may actually be constitutive of society itself. The article then looks at ways in which the state has acted to both catalyse and intensify destructive forms of conflict. Once these two issues have been addressed the article then moves on to explore the ways in which an awareness of these issues can be harnessed, by both donors and local communities working together in a form of constructive engagement, in the creation of more durable and effective forms of governance in the region.