He moana pukepuke e ekengia e te waka : persevering with citizenship education in Aotearoa : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education at Massey University
This thesis examines citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand. In particular, it reviews what education there is in the New Zealand curriculum about Aotearoa's democratic arrangements, including the provisions for the political voices of Māori. Recent political debate suggested the reform of these provisions through a citizens-initiated referendum. This thesis sought to identify what formal education is provided to citizens to inform their response in such a referendum. Critical discourse analysis and a content analysis method were utilised to analyse data. A review of the social studies curriculum revealed some citizenship education material in education, but a distinct neglect of issues about the Māori-Pākehā relationship as they relate to Aotearoa's bi-political democracy. For example, there is an absence of material about the Māori Electoral Option. This thesis contributes to the calls for the strengthening of citizenship education in Aotearoa. It does so by affirming the benefits of such education to Aotearoa's democracy, through the empowerment of citizens to engage in democratic society. Such a citizenship education is posed through the concepts of presence, freedom, and critical consciousness from a Māori world-view (Te Ao Mārama).