Conflict and culture : a discourse analysis of public texts on an indigenous New Zealand tertiary institution : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This current project begins with a brief history of Maori education since colonisation, and creates a picture of TWOA and its students and the struggle they undertook to develop into a first class education institution. Then, using Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory, I offer some deconstructive possibilities which provide alternative interpretations of the media discourse that ignited the public’s vilification of the institute. I describe what transpired over the time of 2005-2006 and critically examine and analyse the language used to express the two-party attack on TWOA and its Tumuaki, Rongo Wetere. I find that the language used by politicians and media commentators positioned TWOA as an inefficient and corrupt Maori institution in need of Pakeha (NZ European) governance and management. Through an investigation of the selection and promulgation of particular tropes, the interests of the political elite are shown as serving to marginalise the institution, limit its growth and channel its students into Pakeha educational institutions. The Wananga brought tertiary education to those New Zealanders who had hitherto been excluded or who had failed in mainstream education. Its astonishing success caused its decline.