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Maoris and the New Zealand education system

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Title:
Maoris and the New Zealand education system
Creator:
MacLeod-Smith, Sandra Maree
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English
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vii, 200 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Maori (New Zealand people) -- Education -- New Zealand ( lcsh )
Maori (New Zealand people) -- Education ( fast )
New Zealand ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 190-200).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of Anthropology.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sandra Maree MacLeod-Smith.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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ocm16860335
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LD1190.L43 1985m .M33 ( lcc )

Full Text
MAORIS AND THE NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION SYSTEM
B.Sc ,
B A ,
by
Sandra Maree MacLeod-Smith
University of Auckland, New Zealand,
University of Auckland, New Zealand,
1973
1975
A thesis submitted to the'
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of Anthropology
1985


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Sandra Maree MacLeod-Smith
has been approved for the
Department of
Anthropology
Date /&i /J S'
Duane Quiatt


HacLeod-Smith/ Sandra Maree (M.A., Anthropology)
Maoris and the New Zealand Education System
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Janet R. Moone
This thesis reports on research in secondary and
original sources in New Zealand on the educational status
of the New Zealand Maori people. A brief comparision is
also made with the educational status of the American
Indian people in North America, to seek commonalities of
cause and effect.
The people of New Zealand, both Maori and non-
Maori are concerned about the relative academic perform-
ance of Maori students. Investigation into the histori-
cal record and more recent data have been made. Possible
causes and solutions for the present situation have been
sought. To this end, the following categories have been
researched: repression of the Maori culture, the func-
tional breakdown of the Maori kinship system, the Maori
language, cultural differences in cognition, the effect
of the school environment and the curriculum, teachers
and teacher training and evaluation and assessment
mechanisms.
The ramifying effects of differing sociocultural
and socioeconomic environments appear to have resulted in


iv
the academic underachievement of Maori students in the
present Anglo-European derived education system. It is
felt that the present system does little to meet the
specific educational needs of Maori students. Members
of the Maori society do not appear to be advocating
separatism, as the two cultures are inextricably woven.
But the education system should recognize and strengthen
the bicultural reality of the Maori child. It is felt
that increased cultural awareness could lead to positive
changes in both the New Zealand education system, and in
the determination of intellectual development and
academic achievement of Maori students.


V
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank the following people for
their assistance, advice, support and encouragement:
my husband Geoff, my daughter Victoria, my parents
Jackie and Jock Wiltshire, Murray Deaker, and my
director Janet Moone.


vi
CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION................................... 1
II. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND .......................... 8
III. A COMPARISON OF THE EDUCATION
OF THE NEW ZEALAND MAORI AND
THE AMERICAN INDIAN.......................... 18
IV. STATISTICS OF CONCERN........................ 4 2
V. HUIS OF CONCERN................................ 53
VI. CAUSES OF MAORI STUDENT FAILURE
AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONSTHE
CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE .............. .... 64
Repression of Culture ....................... 64
Functional Breakdown of the
Kinship System ............................ 87
The Maori Language........................... 96
Cultural Differences in
Cognition . .............................117
VII. CAUSES OF MAORI STUDENT FAILURE
AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONSTHE
EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM PERSPECTIVE ............. 124
School Environment and
Curriculum.................................124
Teachers and Teacher Training .............. 140
Evaluation and Assessment .................. 160
VIII. FINAL SYNTHESIS................................175
BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................... 190


Vll
TABLES
Table
1. Socioeconomic Figures from
1981 Census ..... ............................ 43
2. Highest Education Level by Income
Groups, Usually Resident New
Zealand Maori Population Aged
15 Years and Over............................. 45
3. Highest Educational Level for
Persons in Full Time Labor Force
at 1981 Census............................... -46
4. Intended Destination of Pupils
Leaving All Secondary Schools,
1982 ........................................ 48
5. Intended Destination of Pupils
Leaving All Secondary Schools,
1983 ......................................... 49
6. Years of Attendance and Attainments
of Pupils Leaving All Secondary
Schools, 1982 50
7. Years of Attendance and Attainments
of Pupils Leaving All Secondary
Schools, 1983 51
8. Percentage of Candidates Passing
School Certificate Subjects . ...............164
9. Percentage of Candidates Passing
School Certificate Languages ................. 165
10. Subjects Taken by Pupils at All
Secondary Schools at 1 July 1982.............. 166
11. Subjects Taken by Pupils at All
Secondary Schools at 1 July 1983 ............. 168


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
One of the most critical and controversial
issues in New Zealand education today is that of the
schooling of Maori students. While this has been an
issue of concern for many years, it has begun to receive
more significant attention since 1970, when the National
Advisory Committee on Maori Education (NACME) carried
out a detailed study of the situation. Subsequently,
educators were forced to focus their attention on
students, who because of their race, had been denied
equal education opportunities. Investigation into the
quality of education that Maori children were receiving
revealed numerous weaknesses. Educators, government
officials, social scientists and Maori and non-Maori
members of society became very concerned about the rela-
tive academic performance of these students, and began
searching for causes and explanations. Progress over
the past fourteen years has been only sporadic. By 1984,
increasing concern for educational and sociocultural
welfare of Maori students prompted the organization of
two huis (Maori style gatherings) to bring together all


2
those parties concerned, and to search for possible
causes, reasons, explanations and solutions.
Statistics indicate that in the present education
system Maori students simply are not reaching their full
potential. Standardized measures comparing the relative
academic performance of Maori and non-Maori children
revealed that a large majority of Maori students were
below the national norms for reading, English and mathe-
matical skills. Maoris are also leaving school earlier
and leaving with attainment levels well below the
national average. Consequently, greater numbers of
Maori school leavers are immediately entering the labor
force in preference to further education at tertiary
institutions. Similarities between Maori children and
lower socioeconomic strata Pakeha (European derived)
children led educators to hypothesize that the environ-
ment could be a significant factor in the determination
of intellectual development and academic achievement.
Thus, it seems relevant to develop a view of Maori chil-
dren derived from their sociocultural environment and
their school environment. There appears to be a close
relationship between these two variables, and their subse-
quent effects, singular and combined, on educational
achievement appear to be profound, and worthy of investi-
gation.


3
The focus of this thesis is the educational
success of Maori students as a group within the present
New Zealand education system. Using statistics as a
focal data source, I propose to investigate cultural,
social and cognitive factors which may contribute to
the current situation for Maori students. These factors
include repression of the Maori culture, the functional
breakdown of their kinship system, the Maori language,
cultural differences in cognition, the effect of the
school environment and curriculum, teachers and teacher
training, and evaluation and assessment mechanisms.
Although these are listed as separate entities, there is
a great deal of overlap between the above categories and
their subsequent effect on the education of Maori
students in New Zealand today.
The object of this thesis is to address all those
criteria which may have, are, or may in the future,
affect the educational success of Maori students. In
doing so, I hope to find possible causes and present
possible solutions to the situation as it is at present.
The first objective is to gain a historical perspective
of the situation in New Zealand with regard to the
education of Maori children, from the first mission
schools to the present day. Obviously there have been
changes in cultural awareness between 1814 and 1984, and


4
these have had some bearing on the educational arena.
Increasing knowledge and recognition of cultural differ-
ences between the Maori and Pakeha have had both positive
and negative effects. A greater understanding of the
past may possibly help in explaining the current situ-
ation which is causing concern to New Zealand society,
both Maori and Pakeha alike, among them politicians,
educators, social scientists, parents and children.
The second objective is to discover the exact
nature of these concerns. Here there is a dichotomy of
/
interests. On one hand, statistics support the claim
that all is not well with the present New Zealand educa-
tion system with regard to the indigenous people. What
is to blame? Is it the system? is it the students? or
is it the society? Educators, politicians and social
scientists, the majority of whom are Pakeha, present many
views on the relative educational success of the Maori
student. Statistics gathered by predominantly Anglo-
European New Zealanders present one emic viewpoint.
These statistics suggest that the present education
system is not meeting the needs of Maori students.
Another emic viewpoint comes from the Maori people them-
selves, who also have many opinions about the subject,
some similar to Pakeha thought, others very different.
The. concerns voiced at the huis at Turangawaewae and


5
Waahi were mainly those of the Maori people. Investiga-
tion and understanding of these two emic views may help
to identify the problems and present possible solutions
for the education of Maoris.
As a Pakeha with a background in education and
anthropology, my viewpoint will be an etic one. My
third objective will be to research the present situ-
ation for Maoris within the New Zealand education system,
and to evaluate all the available information. This,
coupled with a historical perspective should allow me to
look back for possible causes and forward to possible
solutions.
The fourth objective is recognition of similar-
ities between the Maoris and the American Indians, the
indigenous people of the United States of America.
Some parallels exist due to commonalities such as
colonization, loss of land and language and a European-
based education system. I hope to discover how alike
the effects on these two cultures have been. This too
should relate to solutions in New Zealand.
Information was gathered from the following
data sources:
A. Reports, oral and written from the Turangawaewae
and Waahi huis, held in New Zealand in March 1984,
and April 1984, respectively.


6
B. Interviews, formal and informal, were conducted with
the following:
1. School principals from a variety of schools,
Maori only and those with varying percentages
of Maori students from high to low. Only one
principal I interviewed was a Maori.
2. Personnel from the office of the Race Relations
Conciliator.
3. Officials from the Department of Education,
Auckland; the District Senior Inspector of
Secondary Schools, members of the Primary
Schools' Inspectorate, the Officer for Con-
tinuing Education, and Advisors on Maori and
Maori studies in schools.
4. Personnel from the Department of Maori Affairs,
Auckland.
5. Auckland Teachers' College personnel, including
members of the Maori Studies Department.
6. University of Auckland personnel, from the.
Departments of Anthropology, Maori Studies and
Continuing Education.
7. Members of the Post Primary Teachers' Associ-
ation (PPTA), Auckland Branch.
8. Coordinator of Nga Tapuwae Urban Marae.


7
C. The literature search, including the following
sources:
1. Department of Education; statistics, reports to
Parliament, conference reports and publications
to schools.
2. Office of the Race Relations Conciliator.
3. Department of Maori Affairs.
4. Census statistics, 1981.
5. Post Primary Teachers Association in Auckland.
6. Library search of books, journals, articles and
other periodicals.


CHAPTER II
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
European colonization of New Zealand began in
the early nineteenth century, with the arrival of Aglican
missionaries in 1814. The missionaries sought to convert
the Maori people to Christianity and to sow the seeds of
New Zealand's first education system. The mission school
taught only the standard subjects of the English school
system: English, reading, writing, arithmetic and
catechism. This formalized education was greeted with
enthusiasm during the 1830s, and within a decade,
hundreds of Maoris of all ages learned to read and write,
many of them in their own language. Governor Grey, the
first colonial administrator, strongly supported the
mission schools, viewing them as an aid to the assimi-
lation of the Maoris in the new society. However, a
growing sense of Maori nationalism in the late 1840s
began to hinder the progress of these mission schools.
To check this, Governor Grey's 1847 Education Ordinance
set aside one tenth of government revenue to subsidize
church boarding schools which would take children away
from "the demoralizing influences of their villages,"
and accelerate the Government's policy of "speedily


assimulating the Maori to the habits and usages of the
European" (Barrington 1970: 28). In retrospect, some
Maoris view education as the instrument by which the
Pakeha sought to subvert Maori culture and establish
a European social order (Walker 1984: 1). The mission-
aries are seen as an advance party of cultural invasion
which:
. . involves a parochial view of reality, a
static perception of the world, and the imposi-
tion of one world view upon another. It implies
the superiority of the invader and the inferior-
ity of those who are invaded (Friere 1972: 129).
In 1967, a Native School system was introduced
for Maori communities. While using the same syllabus as
the public board schools, teachers were expected to have
sufficient knowledge of Maori to initiate new entrants and
establish school routines. After that, however, English
was to be the language of instruction. Progress in
Maori education was slow, with much of the blame being
laid on the Maoris, not with the education system. The
Maori language was forbidden in schools and corporal
punishment administered to any students who transgressed.
A number of influential Maoris gave positive support to
the emphasis placed on the teaching of English. Many
actually petitioned the Government on this issue
(Barrington 1966: 2). The cultural dominance of the
Pakeha and the belief that knowledge of English would


10
bring them equality, led Maori leaders to take this
action (Walker 1975: 6). Gradually, this repressive
policy began to take effect. In 1900, over 90 percent
of school entrants spoke Maori as their first language;
by 1960 this had fallen to 25 percent (Biggs 1968: 24).
The New Zealand Federation of Teachers in 1930 attempted
to have Maori language included in the school curriculum.
This move was blocked by T. B. Strong, the Director of
Education, who stated "the natural abandonment of the
native tongue involves no loss to the Maori" (Barrington
and Beaglehole 1974: 205).
In 1879 the control of Maori schools was trans-
ferred from the Department of Native Affairs to the
Department of Education. The Native School Code of 1880
provided for the instruction of Maori children in the
reading, writing and speaking of the English language,
and in arithmetic, geography and "such culture as would
fit them to become good citizens" (Barrington 1966: 7).
This last form of instruction sought to emphasize the
importance of the extension of the school's activities
to include the whole life of the Maori community within
its sphere of influence. This concern which originated
with the organizing-inspector of schools, James Pope,
stemmed from a belief that the Maori race was threatened
with extinction. This was substantiated by a high


11
mortality rate among Maori school children. In an
attempt to counteract this, the Maori schools' curric-
ulum was broadened to include agricultural, technical
and health instruction. Pope prepared several specially
adapted textbooks on subjects such as health, money and
exchange and law and liberty. Some were translated
into Maori for use in both the Maori community and the
schools. In Barrington's opinion, this information
refutes the view commonly held by later writers that in
the Maori schools "from 1879 until 1931 . everything
Maori, including the Maori language, was strictly for-
bidden" (Barrington 1966: 1-10). John Thornton, head-
master of Te Aute College, a Maori Boys' College,
insisted that the school's curriculum emphasized the
academic:
What led me to this idea was that I felt that
Maoris should not be shut out from any chance of
competing with English boys in the matter of
higher education. I saw that the time would
come when the Maoris would wish to have their
own doctors, their own lawyers and their own
clergymen, and I felt it was only just to the
race to provide facilities for doing so, espe-
cially in an institution which was a Maori
endowment (Thornton 1906: 32).
Apirana Ngata and Peter Buck, both graduates of Te Aute,
exorted the Maori people to adopt an optimistic and
challenging attitude toward the future. Hard work would
help them in their quest to enter the universities and
the professions, learn trades and find employment in the


12
civil service. Another Te Aute graduate, Maui Pomare,
as officer for Maori health, argued that increasing the
amount of time spent on practical education in schools
could improve the high Maori infant mortility and raise
the general standard of living in Maori communities.
The 1931 Regulations Relating to Native Schools
re-affirmed the position of the 1880 Native School Code.
While emphasis continued to be placed on the basic
subjects, particularly oral and written English, atten-
tion was also paid to the Maori culture, arts and
crafts, and the activities and needs of the local
community. Unfortunately, the isolation of many Maori
communities and the need to continue instruction in
health and agriculture, made it difficult for the Maori
schools to attain high academic results. This accom-
panied by a reduction in the number of Maori scholar-
ships provided, and lack of public finance for schools,
resulted in few Maori children attending secondary
schools (Barrington 1966: 1-10).
The realization, at the end of the 1930s, that
the amount of land available would soon be inadequate to
support the growing Maori population, heralded demo-
graphic changes. Economics forced many Maoris to
migrate to the towns. Urbanization and continued under-
representation of Maoris in institutions of higher


13
education and professional occupations contributed to a
change in Maori education policies and philosophy. The
next twenty years saw a shift from the rural-based
mainly agricultural instruction of the 1930s, to more
academic courses, examination results and provision of
more financial assistance. This new emphasis was influ-
enced by demands from Maori parents for less "home-
centered curriculums" and more academically-oriented
education (Barrington 1966: 1-10).
Urbanization was significant. Until 1926, only
9 percent of the Maori population lived in urban
environments. By 1958, this had increased to 24 percent.
This resulted in the majority of Maori children being
educated in public schools (Hunn 1960: 23). Unlike the
Maori schools, these were not equipped to deal adequately
with Maori students. The educational gap between Maori
and Pakeha grew wider and could no longer be ignored.
The Hunn Report in 1960 drew attention to the fact that
insufficient numbers of Maori students were staying at
school until the senior forms (grade levels);- too few
were sitting and passing School Certificate (a nation-
wide examination for third year high school students),
and higher qualifications, and too few were seeking
higher education. Hunn suggested many reforms, among
them administrative reorganization, pre-school


14
education/ specialized teacher training, trade training,
educational and vocational guidance and the development
of the Maori Education Foundation. Hunn also advocated
a policy of integration and pluralism in education,
rejecting previous policies of assimilation.
Closely following this came the Currie Report in
1962. This recommended an increase in the limited
teaching of Maori language in high schools. The result
of these two reports was a dynamic upsurge in Maori
interest in education. Parental and community involve-
ment and participation gave the Maoris a more contribut-
ing role in the instruction of their children. The
growing Maori consciousness resulted in a reassessment
of the adequacy of the educational system for Maori
pupils. A report in 1971 from the National Advisory
Committee on Maori Education outlined what Maoris wanted
from the system:
1. That cultural differences need to be under-
stood, accepted and respected by children and teachers.
2. That the school curriculum must find a place
for the understanding of Maoritanqa (the Maori dimen-
sion) including the Maori language.
3. That in order to achieve the goal of equality
of opportunity, special educational measures need to be
taken.


15
Maori pressure for cultural recognition and
educational reform was difficult to deny. The Maori
Education Foundation noted that in 1966, 85.5 percent
of Maori pupils left school without any recognized
academic qualifications. By 1969, this had been
lowered to 79 percent, not a substantial gain consider-
ing interest displayed and the amount of financial
input (M.E.F. Report 1969: 28). The statistical black-
out of Maoris in education, identified by Hunn in 1961,
was still there after a decade of effort. The following
decade saw marked progress by way of educational reforms
which reversed the former policy of assimilation by
cultural denial in schooling. By 1973, New Zealand's
seven teachers' colleges had established courses in
Maori studies. There followed a demand for more Maori
teachers, and to meet this, a one year training course
for native Maori speakers was introduced in 1974.
Associated with this was the creation of numerous posi-
tions with the Department of Education for specialist
Maori advisors in all areas of education. While the
impact of these changes caused regional and national
increases in the numbers of schools teaching and
students learning the Maori language and Maori culture,
the effect on Maori students was minimal. They still
remained well below the national average in their level


16
academic achievement. Walker (1984: 1-4) suggests that
there is something more fundamental in the nature of New
Zealand society which is contributing to the production
of this constantly negative result.
The strategy of cooperation and adjustment
adopted by the Maori people over the past twenty-five
years has clearly failed. Modifications and improvement
have occurred, but constant monitoring and vigilance has
been required to maintain the status quo. The Maori
population of New Zealand has begun to view this
"patching" of the system as futile and frustrating. In
their opinion, what is needed is a radical review of the
entire system of education. It was to this end, that
the two huis at Turangawaewae and Waahi, were organized,
and held. Both gatherings were searching for ways to
establish biculturalism in New Zealand and within its
education system.
E tiup e rea mo nga ra o to ao
Ko to ringa ki nga rakau a te Pakeha
Hei ara mo to tinana
Ko to ngakau ki nga taonga a o tipuna Maori
Hie tikitiki mo to mahuna
A, ko to wairua ki to Atua
Nana nei nga mea katoa.
Grow up tender child in the days of your world.
Turn your hand to the tools of the Pakeha
For the well-being of your body.
Turn your head to the treasures of your Maori
ancestors
As a crown for your head.
Give your soul unto God the source of all things.
-Sir Apirana Ngata.


This quote, penned in a child's autograph book,
acknowledges the capacity of the Maori child to assimi-
late two categories of information: those concerned
with Pakeha traditions, and those with Maori traditions
Added to this is a spiritual dimension which in Ngata's
view, serves to aid the marriage of the two cultures.
While he believed that the conveyance of the Maori
culture could be achieved by the Maori community alone,
societal changes, urbanization and industrialization
have all undermined this. New Zealand society is now
looking to the education system to assist in the
performance of this vital function and in doing so, to
improve the academic attainment of its Maori students.


CHAPTER III
A COMPARISON OF THE EDUCATION OF THE
NEW ZEALAND MAORI AND THE
AMERICAN INDIAN
We want our children to be proud of being Navajos.
We want them to know who they are . They need
a modern education to make their way, but they
have to know both worldsand being Navajo will
give them strength (John Dick, Navajo School
Board member, Rough Rock 1968).
How similar this sounds to the message of Sir
Apirana Ngata to a Maori child in her autograph book.
Cultural difference is also a problem in Indian educa-
tion. Historically American schools have been agents
for assimilation or maximum acculturation, paying little
attention to the cultural differences and needs of their
American Indian students. This is due partly to the
ethnocentrism of the majority culture, and the view
that assimilation would benefit the Indian population.
It is difficult to generalize with accuracy about all
American Indians. Just as there is no monolithic Maori,
so too, there is no monolithic Indian (Fuchs and
Havighurst 1973: 246-47).
Education for American Indians, like that for
the New Zealand Maoris, began with mission schools.
Many Indian mission schools were boarding establishments


19
and with the westward expansion of Anglo-Americans,
there was much Indian resistance. During this period,
boarding schools, accompanied by student labor
developed. Reservation confinement and education for
assimilation was viewed as more humane and less costly
than military control and extermination of those native
/
Americans opposing the westward expansion. These board-
ing schools with an emphasis on agricultural endeavors
were the equivalent of the native schools for the
Maoris. Native American children were often forcibly
removed from their homes, forbidden to use their native
language, boarded with Anglo-American families for
vacations, and native religions were suppressed. The
purpose of these practices was to prepare the Indian
children to become Americans, and that isolation from the
influence of their cultural group was the most effective
means of achieving this end (Fuchs and Havighurst 1973:
226-48).
After 1890, official policy supported attendance
in public schools and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
day schools. Boarding school programs continued and are
still in existence today. The public schools, however,
effected a few changes to accommodate the influx of
native American children (Parmee 1968: 102-05). This
still appears to be the situation today.


20
. . there are people who talk about integra-
tion, assimilation, first class citizenship,
etc. But you know the American Indians have
something different '. songs, tribal dances,
arts and crafts, our religion, games and stories.
Some of these are fast disappearing and my ques-
tion is: are we going to continue to lose these
precious gifts through this process of education
or becoming white men? Or should we continue to
identify ourselves as Indians, which to me is no
disgrace (Wesley 1961: 7).
The "people" Wesley referred to were the administrators
of agencies managing Indian affairs, school officials,
and off-reservation politicians. These people, by
means of their economic and political power, and
educational advantage controlled the fate of many reser-
vation programs. Their aim was integration, facilitating
the assimilation of Indians into the mainstream American
culture (Parmee 1968: 106).
Native Americans, like the Maoris, experienced
a repression of their culture. Their fate was in the
hands of members of the majority culture, acting as the
"gatekeepers." In schools, Indian children are caught
between two conflicting cultures (Fuchs and Havighurst
1973: 203). Like their Maori counterparts, Indian
teenagers experience identity problems. In educational
achievement, they progress very well until the sixth
or seventh grade, coinciding with the onset of puberty.
They become more aware of their identity as an Indian,
with an accompanying feeling of rejection or alienation,


21
which subsequently lowers their self-confidence and
desire to succeed in an education system based on the
needs of the majority culture (Bryde in Fuchs and
Havighurst 1973: 126-27). This marginality is what
Wesley is alluding to. Indian youth appear to be caught
between two cultures, and the education system does not
appear to be making any adjustments to counter this
conflict. Indian youth may favor one culture and reject
another, or utilize a combination of the two. While the
two cultures are quite different and often contradic-
tory, some Indians have the ability to separate
behavioral roles dependent upon their environment.
While this allows an individual to exist in two cultures,
it is not achieved without psychological stress and
identity conflict (Fuchs and Havighurst 1973: 129).
School performance is affected by social,
economic and cultural factors well before the age of
puberty. Like Maori students, many Indians come from
lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This often disadvan-
tages students for subsequent academic achievement, in
that home conditions are not conducive to provision of
aids such as books, encyclopedias and space and time
for quiet study. Chores at home, babysitting siblings
and help at harvest time were sometimes seen to keep the
Indian students from school (Wolcott 1967: 92-93).


22
Although employment opportunities for educated Indians
are increasing, the use of formal Anglo-American-based
education to earn a living is a relatively new concept
in Indian society.
General Indian cultural characteristics include
close family solidarity and mutual support, cooperation
rather than competition, belief in the values of a
tribal tradition, belief in tribal religion and a
tribal language. These characteristics and philos-
ophies conflict with the competitive, individualistic
achievement demands of the school system based on and
rewarding Anglo-American standards.
. . Instead of stressing individual enterprise
and responsibility for personal needs within a
narrow family unit, they emphasize voluntary
cooperation and the sharing of surplus within
extended kin groups (Getty 1961: 62-185)
As is the case with Maori youth, Indian youth are
adversely affected in the educational arena, as its
ideology and methodology are diametrically opposed to
that of their cultural heritage (Fuchs and Havighurst
1973: 123-29).
Urbanization has also had an effect on.the
education of Indian children. Urban Indian youth feel
more alienation from the majority culture than do the
Indian youth who are geographically more isolated.
Fuchs and Havighurst (1973: 131) suggest that this may


23
be due to the fact that they have a clearer perception
of cultural boundaries and differences, resulting in
the opinion that they definitely belong to one culture
and not to the other. Rural Indians appear less
affected by problems with cultural identity than their
urban counterparts. Parmee (1968:8) notes that many
Apache students have a sense of failure almost built
into their personalities, perhaps the result of too
many years of repression. A similar situation exists
with New Zealand Maoris. The Indian people are begin-
ning to recognize this, and advocating changing.
When we are talking about changing values . .
we are talking about trying to better ourselves
on the reservation ... we will have White
employees in some of our key positions. We want
to gradually replace these White people by our
own Indian boys. To do this, we have to have
these boys qualified, we have to have them
educated . The requirements for some of
the key positions . require much higher than
high school education (Mull 1963: 31).
For the San Carlos Apaches, Parmee (1968: 4-5)
noted that the lack of adequate formal education was
still a problem, with the average attainment level
being that of eighth grade. Concern was voiced about
the high rate of drop-outs, absenteeism and the low
percentages of high school and college graduates.
Tribal leaders assigned much of this to inferior
education and discriminatory treatment, accusations
not without foundation.


24
Like that of the Maori, in many cases the Indian
kinship system has also been adversely affected by
colonization. The enforced move westward, and the
associated loss of land had an adverse effect on the
functioning of the kinship system. On the reservation,
neighbors are frequently kin and any neighbors not
blood kin share a common identity. With urbanization
comes isolation. Indians in cities tend to maintain
social contacts with other Indians, usually confined to
a limited number of kinsmen, old friends from the home
community, or Indian neighbors. Children often have
friends at school from other subcultures, but as they
growth older, many shift to more exclusively Indian
friendships (Fuchs and Havighurst 1973: 287-88). The
organization of Indian centers, a local gathering place,
corresponds to the urban marae of the Maori people.
These centers have very similar purposes in that they
help Indians adapt to urban life, create jobs, provide
information about education, employment, housing and
hospitalzation and help combat juvenile delinquency.
Indian centers attract members of many differing tribes.
Indian adolescents generally have problems
adjusting to an urban lifestyle. Many truant school,
and drop out after reaching the eighth grade. This
phenomenon is explained partially by their identity


25
conflict, but is also affected by the fact that the
Anglo-American-based education system makes few, if any,
allowances for the cultural characteristics of Indian
students. Administration and teachers are often
ignorant of the cultural or educational needs of
Indian pupils. Indian students differ from their
Anglo-American counterparts in their attitude towards
education. Their motivation appears to be lower, due
partly to an ethnic difference, but also to differences
in socioeconomic status. While many middle-class Anglo-
American students appear to view school attainment as an
important part of their self-image, Indian students may
view educational achievement as a separate activity,
having little influence on their personal feelings of
self-esteem. Indian youth appear less concerned about
academic achievement than many of their classmates,
using performance in other non-academic areas as a
measure for self-evaluation. This ideology requires
attention from educators. Indian students have a
clearly different concept from the norm regarding the
value of education. A greater understanding is
needed of Indian history, an individual's orientation
to his or her family and Indian society in general,
before Indian students can be accurately assessed and
their view of the role of formal education can be under-
stood (Fuchs and Havighurst 1973: 180-82).


26
Although they do not achieve well by the stand-
ards of the majority culture, Indian students' reaction
to schooling is less negative than might be expected.
Part of the answer lies in the fact that schools provide
a socially rewarding peer group. They enjoy inter-
action with their peers, mainly other Indians. Accord-
ingly, students in schools with few Indians are usually
more negative in their attitude towards school than
students in schools where Indians are in the majority.
School achievement in academic terms is not viewed by
Indian students or parents as very important. In the
past, this has been partly explained by the fact that
they do not clearly understand or see the relationship
between educational achievement and future opportunity
or success. However, present trends indicate that
formal education is becoming more valued, as a mechanism
by which Indians can seek to improve their socio-
economic status, and general lifestyle (Fuchs and
Havighurst 1973: 176-78).
Indian parents are often accused of having
minimal involvement with the schools. This is probably
due more to ignorance, fear and suspicion, than to
disinterest. Taking into consideration their own
limited schooling experience, and the cultural, social
and economic conditions they endure, this approach is


27
understandable. Many Indian parents are generally
approving of the education system, viewing it as an
agent for upward mobility in the majority or mainstream
society. There are some who found the entire experience
negative and unfulfilling and conveyance of this
attitude to their children often occurs. However,
criticism is levelled at the schools, more in the urban
settings, where Indian students are a minority in the
student body, and often ignored. With increasing knowl-
edge, responsibility and involvement in education,
Indian parents will hopefully voice more concerns
regarding the education of their youth (Fuchs and
Havighurst 1973: 180-81). Part of the problem lies in
the functional breakdown of the kinship system of
extended families, with other parents and elders
sharing the burden of child-rearing. As this tradi-
tional support system deteriorates, aided by the shift
of the economic base to a cash and wage economy, the
nuclear family has become more independent. With
increasing academic attainment, there sometimes
develops an alienation between parents and children,
due to differences in education and experience, and
compounded by problems with adaptation to their
respective changing environments (Parmee 1968: 112).
Marinsek (1960: 38) notes that the changing structure of


28
the Indian family has influenced the development of
social problems such as alcoholism, abandonment of
children, gambling and prostitution, all of which are
evidence of the tensions inherent in a transitional
culture (Parmee 1968: 26).
Like the Maori kinship system, Indian power and
authority traditionally lay mainly in the hands of
elder kinsmen and religious leaders. More recently
there has been a shift in community leadership, like
that in Maori society, with these individuals now sharing
their status with an educated vocal and more political
younger group. Most Indian community leaders feel that
there should be greater Indian involvement in the plan-
ning of school policies, programs and curriculum. At
present, their influence in this area is minimal. These
leaders are more critical of the education system than
Indian students and parents. They see schools as.
adequate, but making few allowances for students from
the Indian culture. Improvement is needed in the
economic position of the Indian people, and they are
coming to expect the school system to aid them in this
quest. Indian communities also favor increased teaching
of Indian culture and history. Given the opportunity,
community leaders will assume more responsibility for
the education of their children. They can achieve this


29
by having a voice in policy-making, election to school
boards, and action by tribal councils on matters of
education. Like the Maori, the new Indian power struc-
ture has members more militant than their predecessors.
While ma:ny Indian adults appear to value education
as a means to a better future, some militants seem
bent upon persuading the young that education is
"not the Indian way" and upon "raising hell" with
teachers and administrators. Unfortunately these
confrontations often seem to occur for their own
sake, and viable alternative approaches to Indian
education are not proposed by these militants,
perhaps because they are not capable of doing so
(Harkins 1969: 27).
Although many tribal groups are in danger of
losing their language, for many Indian children English
is a second language. This subsequently affects all
areas of their education often resulting in an over-
representation in remedial and low-academic classes.
Indians, both students and parents accept that the
language of instruction is English, and thus recognize
the necessity for competence in English. Despite this,
many feel it is important to retain their native
language, and that schools could provide instruction on
this. A shift is occurring, from earlier times when
use of the Indian language was forbidden, to the develop-
ment of a new curriculum designed to inform Indian
students of their origins and of their importance in
the history of this country.


30
Teaching of Indian languages is being encouraged
. . beginning with a search for Indian teachers,
encouragement of Indian youth to enter the teach-
ing profession, and the use of Indian speaking
adult teacher-aides . confidence and trust
are being placed with Indian people (Annual Report
BIA 1968).
As is occurring in New Zealand, the concept of
bilingualism is gaining momentum. Proponents argue that
this is a more humane approach to instruction, avoiding
the frightening, frustrating experiences of the non-
English speaking student in an all-English environment.
School failure is strongly related to an inadequate
command of English, thus many urge that instruction
should be given in their native language first.
Bilingualsim would also serve to indicate respect for
the native culture and would retain pride. Such a
scheme would also provide employment for native speakers
as teachers, advisors, and consultants in curriculum
development, as well as generating increased parental
and community involvement with the schools. Bilingual
education would have the positive effect of providing
familiarity and skill in dealing with differing cogni-
tive systems. In a multinational, multiethnic world,
language is seen as a key to identity, and protection
against alienation and disorientation (Fuchs and
Havighurst 1973: 207-10).


31
The concept of bilingualism presents many
problems. There are many different Indian languages
and dialects, comparable to the Maori language. There
are few relevant teaching materials available for such a
scheme. This is probably due to concerted efforts in
the past to eradicate Indian languages, with a view to
assimilation. Some native speakers have been used, but
lack of qualifications has caused problems. Teachers'
aides have been used but this places the teacher of
Indian languages and culture in a lower position than
his or her peers. Despite this, schools in areas where
there is a large concentration of native speakers
should offer courses in Indian language, even just on
an elective basis. While providing cultural and
cognitive recognition to the Indian population, such
a scheme would also provide interested students with
skills to help them function effectively as teachers,
administrators, scholars and in reservation develop-
ment. Similar to the New Zealand situation, there is
resistance to bilingualism, from the public sector and
from many educators committed to English-only policies
and assimilation. Despite problems associated with
setting up such programs, these could be trialed in
communities where the native language is the home
language.


32
Not all Indian people want the schools to teach
the Indian language and culture. Problems arise when
there are disagreements relating to tribal needs, local
conditions and to differences between traditional and
more progressive factions within tribes. More tradi-
tional Indians tend to support the indigenous system of
teaching custom and language. They view school as a
place to learn English, and skills to deal with the
non-Indian world. A more progressive view is the
addition of Indian history, culture and language
courses into school curricula. This would serve to
assign importance to these areas and positively rein-
force the self-esteem and identity of Indian students.
The major problem associated with this is the dearth of
trained teachers with knowledge and fluency in all
these areas.
Some Indian problems with education have been
influenced by ignorance about cultural differences in
their cognition. Indian children, like their Maori
counterparts, have been brought up in a relatively
permissive manner, with their entire existence being
an experiential learning situation, arranged to provide
them with the opportunity to develop skills and confi-
dence in their own capabilities. Didactic teaching is
an alien experience for Indian children beginning


33
school. Individualism involving direct competition and
aggression is negatively valued in Indian society. The
need for expression of individuality is recognized, but
is measured by what an individual does for the group.
Competition is accepted within very narrow limits.
This concept must have an effect on progress at school,
where the system is based on Anglo-American values and
beliefs.
Silence is a highly respected virtue and value,
and Indian people have an adept ability to communicate
silently. Non-verbal communication including subtle
facial expressions, gestures, body movements and the
use of personal space is often used by Indians. To
impart knowledge effectively, teachers should be aware
of these cultural nuances. Accordingly, Indian children
are skillful interpreters of silent language, reading
feelings and attitudes with unerring precision. Indians,
in times of stress or anxiety, remain passive, display-
ing little overt emotion. Generally, they do not react
until they are more sure and confident of the situation.
In the classroom, this type of behavior is often misread
as indifference, passivity or insolence. Many Anglo-
American teachers describe Indian students as reticent,
shy, lacking in confidence, and reluctant to ask ques-
tions or recite individually.


34
A frustrating aspect of urban schools attended by
Indian students, is the rate of activity and constant
changes every forty, fifty or sixty minutes, based on a
theory of brief attention span. Indian children often
work more slowly. "This is not indicative of slowness
of thought or of learning, but the deliberativeness of
someone who takes seriously an unfamiliar task and wishes
to make certain that it is performed to a high level of
precision" (Fuchs and Havighurst 1973: 291). There
appears to be a lack of cross-cultural sensitivity
among many educators.
No one revealed any consciouness of the intimate
relationships among language, culture, person-
ality, and mode of learning that would have been
basic to assisting these children toward educa-
tional achievement. (Wax 1969: 227)
The school environment often reflects this
absence of cultural awareness. It continues to present
a hostile and alien image to Indian students. If no
Indian culture is taught, the Indian child feels no
identity with the school. Textbooks indicate that
many misconceptions, myths, inaccuracies, and stereo-
types about Indians are common to the curriculum of most
schools. These either neglect the contributions made
by Indians, or distort their roles, characteristics and
relationships. Many negative stereotypes, all inaccur-
ate, have been assigned to the Indian culture. The


35
president of the American Indian Historical Society has
said, "There is not one Indian child who has not come
home in shame and tears after one of those sessions
[in school] in which he is taught that his people were
dirty, animal-like, something less than a human being."
Students of other cultures are also affected by such
misconceptions; they learn little of the truth about the
Indian culture, and such negative stereotype's and
ignorance are merely perpetuated (Fuchs and Havighurst
1973: 214-18).
Re-writing textbooks and educating teachers
will not solve this dilemma. Extracurricular sources
such as radio, television, films, books, magazines and
newspapers all contribute in some way to the misinter-
pretation and misunderstanding of true facts about the
Indian culture.
. . precious little contemporary information
about living, breathing American Indians is
apparently being provided in schools. . .
When the problems of poor teacher preparation,
or inadequate teacher attitudes are added,
together with the often negative influences of
family, media and peer groups, the picture
becomes generally depressing . (Hanson,
Harkins, Sheracts and Wood 1970: 37).
Most education for Indians has been designed in
the absence of reference to their particular interests
and needs. Calendars do not coincide with local
customs, and the Indians are expected to adjust their


36
lifestyle to fit in with the school year. Breaks in this
year to coincide with harvest seasons, rice gathering
or salmon packing would seem desirable, but such change
is difficult to effect when one is dealing with a
bureaucratic administration. Similarly, styles of
learning to accommodate cultural differences in cognition
could be utilized. Group cooperation, rather than being
labeled as cheating, could be encouraged by sensitive
educators.
Indian boarding schools are still in operation
today, serving students from mainly isolated rural
areas, those with severe academic retardation, with home
problems, and severe emotional problems. Non-
reservation Indians are not eligible, so those in urban
areas are precluded from attending. How well these
schools serve their students is a subject of debate.
Some question whether there should be such a mixture of
students in one school, and how effectively one institu-
tion can hope to meet the needs of all their charges.
These high schools offer an academic and prevocational
curriculum, but are often criticized for stressing
vocational training at the expense of college prepara-
tion. Rather than provision of an atmosphere that is
culturally familiar to their students, these boarding
schools appear more geared to special programs designed


37
to meet the. more practical needs of their Indian students.
Provision of food, clothing, medical and psychological
care and shelter are priorities (Fuchs and Havighurst
1973: 222-45).
Similar to the case of the Maoris, there are
too few Indian teachers in schools. The necessity for
a college degree of certification has prevented many
Indians from entering the profession. A recent
increase in the numbers of Indian college students
may see a welcome change in this situation. Until this
occurs, more Indian teaching assistants should be
assigned to school staff. More Indian teachers and
assistants would have three advantages. First, they
would provide role models, encouraging students to
further their high school and college education.
Second, Indian teachers will have greater empathy with
Indian culture. Third, the teaching profession would
employ many young Indians. Non-Indian teachers,
while often well-intentioned, are sometimes handicapped
by their ignorance about Indian culture. Improvements
are also needed in the areas of counseling and voca-
tional guidance. Many counselors have had little or
no contact or experience with reservation life and
this subsequently hampers their effectiveness. Voca-
tional guidance could be improved. Proponents of


38
academic training view vocational training as limiting
for career choices, while others see it as a realistic
preparation for employment. Work-study programs,
career development programs and job training could be
very valuable to many Indian students. In some areas
adult education classes have been offered. These
second-chance opportunities provide a much-needed
service (Parmee 1968: 115-16).
Curriculum materials and programs in the
majority of schools with Indian students do not include
tribal history, culture or contemporary issues includ-
ing tribal government and politics. Support for such
programs is growing, as more Indians begin to take an
increasingly active and vocal role in education affairs.
As previously mentioned, there is a sector who see the
education system as an agent for mobility in the
majority culture, and to use it to teach Indian culture
is deemed unnecessary.
The standardized testing used in schools have
been designed for and normed on Anglo-American urban
middle-class students. Evaluation and assessment on
this basis conveys false information about the ability
of a rural Indian student. Differences in experiences,
contact with the mainstream society, language and
culture all adversely affect scores in standardized


39
testing. The subsequent low scores often influence
teacher expectations of Indian students, and the latter
suffer due to this situation of cultural ignorance.
There is a tendency for educators to use the
term "cultural deprivation" to explain almost any learn-
ing difficulties in groups of children outside the
mainstream society. This term is inadequate and
misleading. There are aspects of the school's culture
that these children may lack, and this may increase the
distance between teacher and pupil. Members of the
majority culture do not always see that their education
system is part of the problem in the education of
minority groups (Wolcoff 1967: 126-31). Until this
occurs, Indians, like Maoris, will continue to suffer
at the hands of a system which is unaware of the specific
educational and cultural needs of these groups.
There are many similarities encountered by
Indians and Maoris regarding the education of their
respective youth. These phenomena are shared with many
other groups worldwide. Colonization resulting in loss
of land, a foreign economic system discrimination,
cultural differences and the repression of native
culture including languages, and European-based educa-
tion systems, has left many indigenous groups lacking
in the educational arena. There appear to be countless


40
commonalities of cause and effect. Greater awareness
and understanding, particularly on the part of the
part of the majority or mainstream society, appears to
be needed before any improvement can occur. Similar
situations exist globally, and these are all at
different stages of development and progress. Much
can be learned from observation of respective strengths
and weaknesses of different types of education systems,
and subsequent discussion of solutions presented and
attempted, successfully and unsuccessfully. In my
opinion, the solution appears to lie in the education
of the majority mainstream society. They must be made
aware of the specific cultural propensities and needs of
the indigenous group. With this ifnormation, provided
to them by members of the indigenous society who best
know and understand their culture, changes could be
effected in.many areas of the education system such as
policy, administration, curriculum, training and
teaching principles. These should be designed to over-
come some of the universal indigenous cultural differ-
ences as detailed above, such as community orientation
rather than individualistic endeavor, greater emphasis
on cooperation rather than competition, and differing
styles of cognition and communication.


41
This would subsequently enable the education
system to provide more effectively for those students who
are not members of the majority society. In recognizing
and strengthening the bicultural reality of many of
their students, and making cross-cultural comparisons
of similar situations on a global scale, improvements
can be effected in order that respective education
systems can make progress toward the provision of equal
educational opportunity for all their students.


CHAPTER IV
STATISTICS OF CONCERN
The most recent New Zealand Census of Population
and Dwellings occurred in 1981, and at that time the
total population of New Zealand was 3,175,737 people.
The number of Maoris, specified as one half or more
Maori, was 279,252. This figure comprises 8.79 percent
of the total population.
Socioeconomic status figures reveal that the
Maori people, are overrepresented at the lower end of
the scale. Table 1 helps to demonstrate this fact.
The percentage of the work force unemployed contains
nearly four times as many Maoris than non-Maoris. There
appears to be a slightly smaller gap between Maori and
non-Maori groups in the fifteen to nineteen years age
group, and those under twenty-five years. The figure
for Maori girls is alarmingly high. Although Maoris
only account for 8.79 percent of the total population,
they constitute 24 percent of those unemployed. This
figure is nearly three times that for their non-Maori
counterparts. Although the figures continue to be
higher than those for non-Maoris, there appears to
have been a slight improvement in the number of Maoris


43
TABLE 1
SOCIOECONOMIC FIGURES FROM 1981 CENSUS
Maori (Percentage) Non-Maori (Percentage)
Workforce unemployed 14.1 3.7
15-19 years unemployed 33.0 10.0
15-19 years unemployedGirls 43.0 12.5
Workers under 25 years 40.0 27.0
Maoris: 8.8% of total population; 24% of total unemployed
No Secondary School qualification:
All people over 15 years 80.9 59.0
Age 15-19 years 74.0 39.8
Home Ownership 45.0 73.0
Number of persons per household (average) 4.2 2.9
Dwellings occupied by one person 8.9 19.0
SOURCE: New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 1981,
Volumes II and VIII. Wellington: Government Printer.


44
leaving secondary schools without any formal qualifica-
tions. The differences, however, are too great to
ignore. Home ownership is less frequent for Maoris, as
are the number of dwellings occupied by just one person.
The number of people per dwelling is also greater for
Maoris.
Table 2 depicts highest educational attainment
level by income groups for New Zealand's Maori popula-
tion. There is very obvious overrepresentation in the
lower income brackets, with the average annual income
being approximately $3,500. The average income for the
total New Zealand population is approximately $6,000,
which places the average Maori income at only 58 percent
of the national average. These figures all display
evidence of lower socioeconomic status for the Maori
people, when compared with the non-Maori population
of New Zealand.
Table 3 displays the Maori non-Maori dichotomy
for the highest education level attained by those in
the full-time labor force. The Maori people are under-
represented in the area of tertiary education. For
86.4 percent of Maori males, high school was their
highest level of education. In comparison, it was the
highest level for only 64.7 percent of non-Maori males.
Comparable figures for females are 85 percent for


45
TABLE 2
HIGHEST EDUCATION LEVEL BY INCOME GROUPS, USUALLY RESIDENT NEW ZEALAND
MAORI POPULATION AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER
Income Group Migheii Education Level Total
No Secondary Education 3rd, 4th or 5th Form 6th Form 7th Form University Te.chert College Poly- technic/ Technical Institute/ Community College University end Teachers College University end Poly- technic/ Technical Institute/ Community College Other <*>
Nil or Lois M 3,600 5,268 279 57 61 12 204 9 8 3,763 13,269
F 7,662 21,906 1.578 99 105 180 609 45 27 4,740 36,954
S1 £249 M 248 600 * 57 9 9 3 45 3 - 186 1,167
F 447 1.032 132 15 9 27 60 9 - 192 1,923
S250 $499 M 132 510 51 6 6 - 45 - - 114 867
F 225 640 93 6 12 15 45 6 - 135 1.386
£500 5999 M 153 699 78 30 21 45 3 3 135 1,173
F 243 1.266 171 21 24 24 75 3 - 153 1,980
$1,000 $1,999 M 216 948 114 48 39 3 96 3 3 105 1,581
F 354 1,722 190 27 39 36 102 12 3 180 2,676
$2,000 S3.499 M 354 1,452 138 38 57 9 158 3 3 87 2,292
F 504 2,337 279 33 42 45 117 24 3 218 3,594
$3,500 54,999 M 360 1.611 144 18 24 3 201 6 3 66 2,442
F 429 2.079 282 24 21 51 102 12 3 177 3,177
£5,000 £0,499 M 684 2.877 267 33 39 18 297 9 9 117 4,353
r 468 2,740 339 IS 27 33 138 15 3 174 3,963
$6,500 57.999 M 1,131 4.299 402 40 45 15 393 12 9 198 6,556
F 534 2,832 390 36 21 30 144 9 3 248 4.254
£8,000 $9,999 M 1,728 6,756 591 78 72 27 729 21 9 333 10.350
F 522 2,745 507 39 30 69 234 33 3 345 4,533
$10,000- $11,999 M 1,728 6,634 S37 57 61 36 993 30 21 363 10.663
F 273 1,794 339 15 39 117 150 36 9 288 3,060
$12,000-$13,999 M 1,101 4,197 364 54 102 63 609 39 15 207 6,768
F 87 699 150 15 27 174 84 42 3 150 1,434
S14.000-S15.999 M 684 2.625 294 42 93 96 411 60 15 171 4.488
F 33 216 57 6 12 141 27 36 - 90 621
£16,000-$17,999 M 351 1.458 135 24 63 46 218 33 12 67 2,430
F 15 66 IB - 9 33 9 21 30 201
$18,000-$19,999 M 162 837 93 12 63 39 153 33 6 66 1.464
F 3 27 12 3 15 24 3 21 9 114
$20,000 $22,499 M 114 510 60 6 69 IB 96 21 6 30 936
F 6 15 3 _ 3 9 _ 9 3 .9 54
$22,500 $24,999 M 54 198 18 3 24 6 48 18 3 21 393
F 3 18 3 - 3 3 3 - - 3 39
$25,000 $27,499 M 36 90 9 - 18 3 18 6 3 9 192
F _ 6 _ _ 3 _ 15
$27,500 £29,999 M 9 63 6 3 15 3 12 3 6 117
F _ 6 3 _ _ _ 9
$30,000 $34,999 M 21 66 6 _ 6 _ 15 6 6 129
F 6 3 _ _ _ _ 9
$35,000 $39,999 M 16 24 - 6 _ 6 - 3 60
F 6 3 - - e 12
$40,000 549,999 . M 15 36 9 12 3 3 3 90
F _ 9 _ - - a 15
$50,000 S59.999 M 9 24 3 - 6 42
F _ 3 3 3
$60,000 and over M 21 66 9 9 - 3 - 8 111
F - 3 3 - _ - - _ - 9
Net Specified M 1,740 5,689 408 66 51 30 436 27 9 2.517 11,175
F 2,001 s.o ;s 878 48 42 88 261 27 12 3,099 14,313
Told 20,482 98,415 9,360 1.047 1,450 1,508 7,395 708 216 18,888 167,478
(*) Include* person* still attending school, other tertiary and not soeciUed.
: New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 1981.
: Government Printer, p. 95.
SOURCE
Wellington


TABLE 3
HIGHEST EDUCATION LEVEL FOR PERSONS IN FULL TIME
LABOR FORCE AT 1981 CENSUS (percentage)
No Secondary Education 3rd, 4th or 5th Form 6th 7th Form University Teachers College Technical Institute Other1 Total
Males Maori 14.9 65.4 6.1 1.8 .6 7.2 4.0 100
Non-Maori 9.8 44.8 10.1 10.8 .7 18.9 4.9 . 100
Females
Maori 9.5 66.7 9.5 1.6 2.2 4.1 6.4 100
Non-Maori 6.1 46.3 14.6 7.2 3.7 9.5 12.6 100
^Includes persons still in education and not specified.
SOURCE: New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 1981. Welington: Government Printer, p. 3.



47
Maori, and 67 percent for non-Maori. As educational
attainment can influence upward mobility, it would
appear that the Maori people still lag behind their
non-Maori counterparts. There are insufficient numbers
of Maori people in the different areas of tertiary
education. Tables 4 and 5 suggest that this trend is
being perpetuated by school leavers in the past two
years. Both indicate that only about 2 percent of
Maoris attend university, compared with 12 percent for
the total New Zealand population. The percentage of
students continuing their education past secondary school
is less than half that for the nation, in both 1982 and
1983. Consequently, there is a greater percentage of
Maori school leavers entering the labor force, with the
majority of them placed at the lower end of this arena.
Tables 6 and 7 show the relationship between low
educational attainment at school and lower status employ-
ment. Here again, Maori students appear to lag well
behind the national figures. The number of Maori
students leaving school in 1982 and 1983 without any
form of academic attainment, was twice that of the
national figures. The success rate of Maori students
in nationwide examinations appears to be alarmingly
low. For both 1982 and 1983, they reach parity with
the national figures only at the two lowest categories.


TABLE 4
INTENDED DESTINATION OF PUPILS LEAVING ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS,* 1902
Intended Destination M F Totals Percentage Of These M Maoris* F Totals Percentage
Further Full-Time Education at: University 3608 2886 6494 12.0 109 67 176 2.1
Teacher Training: Attending University Full-Time 53 149 202 0.4 2 13 15 0.2
Other (including Kindergarten) 46 393 439 0.0 12 20 32 0.4
Technical Institute 1403 3470 4961 9.1 229 365 594 7.1
Other Full-Time Education 178 253 431 0.7 41 39 80 1.0
To Join Labor Force: Technical or Professional Work Requiring Further Part-Time or Directed Education: Health Services 80 932 1020 1.9 11 60 79 0.9
Technicians and Other 770 434 1204 2.2 56 47 103 1.2
Apprenticeships 3761 617 4378 8.1 351 44 395 4.7
Clerical, Sales and Related Work 2700 6294 9002 16.6 209 591 800 9.6
Production, Service Industries (including Armed Forces), Agricultural and Manual Occupations 7138 3253 10391 19.1 1290 698 1908 23.8
No Occupation or Unknown 7690 8102 15792 29.1 1997 2093 4090 49.0
Totals 27523 26791 54314 100 4307 4045 0352 100
Does not include students leaving to attend another secondary school or deceased.
Excludes the Correspondence School (unable to supply this information).
^Estimate
SOURCE: Education Statistics of New Zealand 1993. Wellington: Department of Education, p. 40.
CO


TABLE S
INTENDED DESTINATION OF PUPILS LEAVING ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS,1 1963
- Of These Maoris^
. Intended Destination M F Totals Percentage M F Totals Percentage
Further Full-Time Education at:
University 3802 3015 6817 12.2 102 79 181 2.2
Teacher Training:
Attending University Full-Time 72 118 190 0.3 8 11 19 0.2,
Other (including Kindergarten) 58 350 408 0.7 11 24 35 0.4
Technical Institute or Community College 1442 3715 5157 9.2 185 362 547 6.5
Other Full-Time Education 131 197 328 0.6 48 43 91 1.1
To Join Labor Force:
Technical or Professional Work Requiring Further Part-Time or Directed Education:
Health Services 62 754 816 1.5 2 46 48 0.6
Technicians and Other 642 384 1026 1.8 67 25 92 1.1
Apprenticeships 3697 668 4365 7.8 315 60 375 4.5
Clerical, Sales and Related Work 2514 6412 8926 15.9 220 587 807 9.6
Production, Service Industries (including Armed Forces), Agricultural and Manual Occupations 7577 3587 11164 19.9 1319 797 2116 25.3
No Occupation or Unknown 8173 8687 16860 30.1 1863 2192 4055 48.5
Totals 28170 27887 56057 100 4140 4226 8366 100
1Does not include students leaving to attend another secondary school or deceased.
Excludes the Correspondent School (unable to supply this information).
^Estimate (includes figures based on teacher identification).
SOURCE: Education Statistics of New Zealand 1984. Wellington: Department of Education, p. 42.
VO


TABLE 6
YEARS OF ATTENDANCE AND ATTAINMENTS OF PUPILS LEAVING
ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS, 1962
Highest Attainment
School Certificate
cu ^ e
>. -r4 SO
4-t n -h
HO) *H 4J
) M o) H n)
M ID U U c
0) f-i V 10 -H
> o > m e
H JZ -H U 6
CO C 9 X
DM SOU
h in o
UH^ Me
9 O 9 3
JS o ** > u
qij; h *h 4J
h o c e
x in u d cd
5P3
x E m
a%
l-l OT
0)
I
O)
9
m
JS *H
* 8
Year of Attendance
First Year
Male
Female
Second Year
Male
Female
Third Year
Male
Female
Fourth Year
Male
Female
Fifth Year
Male
Female
Sixth Year
Male
Female
Totals
Male
Female
Grand
Percentage
Of These Maoris*
Male
Female
Total
Percentage
- - - -
- - 2 2
- - 2 1
3 24 11 2113 2170
- - 11 3076 2693
152 2574 1619 1552 1019
39 2271 1583 1756 968
2 47 120 116 80
20 41 62 48
157 2645 1750 3783 3271
39 2291 1635 4896 3710
196 4936 3365 8679 6981
0.4 9.1 6.2 16.0 12.9
1 53 105 196 389
- 41 69 222 466
1 94 174 418 855
0.01 1.13 2.1 5.0 10.23
- - - 366 368 163
- 221 221 100
_ _ 2524 2524 939
- 1751 1751 724
1135 641 837 5273 7890 1558
1033 636 907 4170 6749 1437
1553 747 705 1698 9024 1092
1693 876 807 1695 10851 1307
170 74 56 110 7334 482
163 73 59 119 7031 442
a 2 1 7 383 73
2 - 4 11 188 35
2874 1464 1599 9900 27523 4307
2891 1585 1777 7967 26791 4045
5765 3049 3376 17947 54314 6352
10.6 5.6 6.2 33.0 100
228 182 270 2875 4307 8352
211 206 299 2531 4045
439 388 577 5406 6352
;.3 4.6 6.91 64.72 100
Docs not include studonts leaving to attend another socondary school or deceased.
Excludes the Correspondence School (unable to supply this information). Ul
O
4-Estimate.
SOURCE: Education Statistics of New Zealand 1903. Wellington: Department of Education, p. 39.


TABLE 7
YEARS OP ATTENDANCE AND ATTAINMENTS OP PUPILS LEAVING
ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS,1 1983
Highest Attainment
School Certificate
s &
£0-0
0) 4)
U *r-i (fl
s
r W 0<
% s
flj U 3
SS < &
u
o
a
9
(0
O
Year of Attendance
First Year
Male - - - - - - - - 275 275 124
Female - - - - - " - 186 186 87
Second Year
Male - - - - - - 1 5 2447 2453 892
Female - - - - - 1 1 1677 1679 707
Third Year
Male - - - - 5 997 602 786 5187 7579 1436
Female - - - 2 9 935 615 681 4249 6691 1472
Fourth Year
Male 11 32 23 2079 2533 1512 757 803 1945 9695 ill 9
Female - 4 12 3042 3018 1585 894 891 1788 11234 1346
Fifth Year
Male 137 2768 1661 . 1596 1121 198 98 67 129 7795 500
Female 40 2579 1518 1966 1207 216 121 84 142 7873 S76
Sixth Year
Male 2 62 116 103 71 9 2 3 5 37 3 69
Female - 23 57 64 63 6 5 2 4 224 38
Totals Male ISO 2802 1800 3778 3730 2716 1460 1666 9968 28170 4140
Female 40 2606 1587 5074 4297 2742 1636 1859 8046 27887 4226
Grand 190 5480 3367 8052 8027 5458 3096 3525 18034 56057 8366
Percentage 0.3 9.8 6.0 15.8 14.3 9.7 5.5 6.3 32.2 100
2
Of These Maoris
Male 2 65 90 223 405 210 187 297 2661 4140 8366
Female - 40 77 267 501 249 229 363 2492 4226
Total 2 113 167 490 906 459 416 660 5153 8366
Percentage 0,02 1.35 1.97 5.95 10.82 5.4 5.0 7.89 61.6 100
1Does not include students leaving to attend another secondary school or deceased.
Excludes the Correspondence School (unable to supply this information).
^Estimate.
3One or more subjects attained irrespective of grade awarded.
SOURCE: Education Statistics of New Zealand 1984. Wellington: Department of Education, p. 41.


52
Their achievement in the University Scholarship and
Bursary examinations is minimal.
Such underachievement is a cause for great
concern not just for the Maori sector, but for the
entire New Zealand society. It could be concluded
that there is something wrong when members from one
cultural group are so consistent in their low perform-
ance levels in national secondary school examinations.
This appears to be related to levels of employment or
economic achievement on leaving school. Other factors
may also contribute to this situation, lack of academic
achievement need not be the single cause. Criteria
such as socioeconomic status, the social and economic
climate of New Zealand and discrimination also require
consideration, when searching for causal explanations.
The consistent positioning of Maoris at the lower ends
of the society's socioeconomic scale leads concerned
New Zealanders, and especially educators to investigate
a system which seems to be inadequate for the Maoris
within it. From here, they can search for causes and
reasons, and eventually, solutions.


CHAPTER V
HUIS OF CONCERN
Traditionally, among the Maori, a hui is a
gathering and meeting of people for discussion and
social intercourse. A hui gave the most senior members
of the tribe, both men and women, the opportunity to
transmit the genealogy, history, legends and mythology
of their own descent-lines, and the tribe as a whole.
Huis could take many forms, a funeral, a marriage, or
to discuss a problem. The social, interaction reinforced
kinship ties and alliances and enabled the host group to
display hospitality to their guests. This hospitality
reflected the hosts' mana (prestige). Contemporary
huis, such as the two discussed below, differ in that
their purpose is different from that of traditional
huis, but the protocol followed, the chance for discus-
sion, the social interaction and the hospitality
accorded remain the same.
Nga Tumanako, the Maori Educational Development
Conference, was held at Turangawaewae marae from March
23 to 25, 1984. It was sponsored by the New Zealand
Maori Council and the Conference Director was Dr.
Ranginui Walker from the Centre for Continuing Education,


54
University of Auckland. Approximately three hundred
people from all over New Zealand attended the confer-
ence. The majority were Maori teachers, with a few
Pakeha teachers, school principals and representatives
from the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) and
the Department of Education.
The conference had two main objectives. The
first was to identify the negative or deleterious
effects of the education system on taha Maori (the
Maori dimension). The second was to illustrate the
positive and innovative developments in education
emanating from taha Maori that needed official recogni-
tion and further expansion. Papers were presented and
the delegates divided into nine workshop groups to
discuss the following themes: Kohanga reo (language
nests), bilingual schools, bilingual continuity from
pre-school to tertiary education, alternative schools
and marae (Maori meeting place) on campus.
The hui on "Secondary EducationThe Maori
Perspective" was held at Waahi marae from April 13 to
15, 1984. This was sponsored and organized by the
PPTA of New Zealand. Over one thousand people attended,
an indication of the concern about this issue. The hui
was divided into two major groups, a youth forum,
consisting of students, mostly Maori from New Zealand


55
secondary schools, and an adult forum, made up of
teachers and parents mostly Maori, PPTA members, and
Department of Education officials. The two forums held
workshops on their own and then combined to discuss
issues of concern to all. These included cultural
identity, the Maori language, the school curriculum,
the examination system and the unusually high per-
centage, 75, of Maori students leaving school with no
formal qualification.
Both gatherings were held on maraes, the
traditional meeting place for Maori people, and marae
and hui protocol were followed in both instances.
Parents at the Waahi hui expressed the following feel-
ings:
It is good that it has been held on a marae, on
our own territory so that speakers feel safe,
protected and comfortable. It has been good to
see them rising up and speaking out. It should
be possible to start making changes (May Adlam
1984: 3).
If nothing gets done, I say we should not open up
the marae again. We are not going to be used for
talk. I would encourage all maraes to hold no
more in-service education on their maraes if there
are no changes (Taitimu Maipi 1984: 3).
The personnel at both Turangawaewae and Waahi
were mainly concerned with the New Zealand public
education system, one which they view as failing the
Maori students. Both gatherings called for reform, a


56
major restructuring of the system to acknowledge Maori
values and attitudes, and to offer Maori pupils a chance
of success rather than near certainty of failure. The
present system was seen to be based on the British
system, with little allowance for bicultural or multi-
cultural education. Minimal cultural awareness was
seen as detrimental to Maori and Pakeha alike, and that
improvement in this area could only serve to enrich both
cultures. The concept of taha Maori was considered very
important. This embodies all that is considered Maori:
philosophy, mythology, tradition, ideals, spiritual
values; in essence, the Maori world view. The core
curriculum at present allows for only a token mention
of taha Maori. All felt that this was insufficient.
Maori dignity, pride and self-esteem has all been
affected by the denial of equal education opportunity,
the result of a Pakeha-based education system. Frustra-
tion and anger has surfaced/ and the Maori people, on
behalf of their youth, are speaking out.
The Maori students, and those of other minority
races by the very nature of the school system,
are made to feel that aspects of their cultures
are not worthy in our present society and there-
fore they, as participants in their own cultures,
are unworthy too (Tauroa 1981: 65).
To these ends, both huis produced recommendations
to be submitted to the Department of Education. The


57
Turangawaewae hui produced the following eight recom-
mendations.
1. That the hierarchy of subject passes, that is
different pass marks for different subjects in School
Certificate (a nationwide examination for third year high
school students), be abolished and a fairer method of
assessment and moderation of marks be introduced so that
Maori children have an equal chance of passing along with
their Pakeha counterparts.
It is frustrating for Maori language teachers who
know they have taught their children well to be subjected
to this arbitrary process. For instance, in 1974 a child
sitting for a Maori language examination had a 50 percent
chance of passing. Three years later the pass mark
went down to 44 percent and in 1980 down to 39 percent.
2. That University Entrance, U.E.(a nationwide
examination to gain entrance into a University), be
replaced with Sixth Form Certificate (a system of
internal individual subject assessment).
Removal of U.E. would enable some schools to
offer up to seventeen subjects so that education would
become more liberal and children will have a range of
subject choices in keeping with their own needs rather
than those of the university. The status quo of the
4 percent (including Maori students) who wish to go


58
directly to university from the sixth form will be main-
tained by extending Sixth Form Certificate equivalence
to U.E. from the unnecessarily restrictive twelve marks
to a mark of sixteen.
3. That kohanga reo be funded from the Education
Vote.
Because of the misguided policy of Maori
language suppression in the past, the education system
can claim the dubious distinction for the condition
identified by the research of Richard Benton as Maori
language death. Kohanga reo is a language recovery
program that must be supported financially by the State
as a form of reparations to the Maori people.
4. That on-campus marae facilities used for
educational purposes be funded from voter education.
An evaluation of the educational uses of the
present on-campus marae facilities should be conducted
by the Education Department, for the purpose of
including the cost of erecting such facilities in Vote
Education.
5. That the time for study and submissions to
the Core Curriculum Review be extended by one month.
The Core Curriculum Review is a significant
event because it has not been done for forty years,
therefore it should not be rushed if the course plotted


59
by the present review is to be maintained for a similar
period. More time is needed for wide community partic-
ipation in the review if it is to be a democratically
valid exercise.
6. That the term taha Maori (Maori dimension)
used in the Core Curriculum Review be clearly defined.
The term taha Maori is the latest "buzz word"
in education. While most Maori people have an intuitive
feeling for the meaning of the term at present it is
only subjectively defined. If the term is not clearly
defined for Pakehas who do not understand its meaning,
then it is in danger of being degraded to the level of
educational jargon without substance.
7. That the Minister of Education welcome Maori
initiatives for the establishment of alternative schools
based on the principles underlying kohanga reo.
The kohanga reo is the most exciting and inno-
vative education program in the country. Its success
is due to the harnessing of the latent potential for
education within the Maori population hitherto untapped
by the education system. That same potential needs to
be realized in alternative schools.
8. That since the essence of taha Maori is
its taha wairua (spiritual ethos) then it is a truism
that it can be taught only by a Maori. Therefore, the


60
teaching of taha Maori should be left to Maori teachers
or resource persons from within the community.
Recommendations from the Waahi hui numbered six:
1. That taha Maori become part of the core
curriculum and that it be an integral component in the
total curriculum, structure and organization of all
schools and that it be given a minimum time allowance.
2. That it be compulsory for Maori language to
be taught to any child that requests it.
3. That PPTA develop "a conditions of service"
policy for the employment of resource people from the
community whose skills are needed to teach specialized
elements of taha Maori.
Note: The specialized elements of taha Maori
referred to include such things as marae protocol,
carving and local tribal genealogy and other cultural
traditions.
4. That each school should have a special
staffing allowance to provide for the supervision and
development of taha Maori throughout the school.
5. This Conference deplores the fact that
School Certificate in its present form gives a signif-
icant group of students a sense of failure, and demands
that it be abolished and replaced with a broader-based
system of assessment.


61
6. This Conference recommends that all schools
seek and adopt new strategies of communications,
involvement and interaction with their local Maori
communities for the advancement of Maori children; and
reaffirms the policy that each branch establish a multi-
cultural advisory committee.
As a follow-up to the Waahi hui, the PPTA of
New Zealand voted to adopt the following "Basic Prin-
ciples," to be published in the Members' handbook:
1. That New Zealand is a multicultural com-
munity.
2. That the Government has a responsibility to
protect New Zealand's cultures and that the education
system has a particular role to play in this respon-
sibility.
3. That all students are entitled to education
success (however the term is interpreted) and it should
be equally available to all students of whatever ethnic
or social-economic background.
4. That our identity as a country depends on
future adults having a recognition of their own ethnic
identity and a respect for the ethnic identity of
groups that go to make up New Zealand society.
5. That it is the teachers' professional
responsibility to promote and sustain the multicul-
tural nature of their schools.


62
6. That Government funding of state secondary
schools should provide for the multicultural nature of
each school.
Our main interest is to see that our young people
get a better deal (May Adlam 1984: 3).
These concerns and recommendations are emic in
that they are the people's own expressions, their
primary source being the Maori people, educators and
parents. They stem from 144 years of Pakeha influence
in the education of their youth. Statistics suggest that
this influence has not always been entirely positive.
The recommendations made in no way advocate separatism.
They are a call for the opportunity for Maori people to
attain educational, social and economic equality in
New Zealand society. The Maori people realize that their
culture and that of the Pakeha can no longer be separated
into two discrete entities. Over 170 years of coexistence
and cooperation has resulted in much cultural exchange
between Maori and Pakeha societies. The Maori people do
not appear to be seeking to change this, but would like
to see an increase in Pakeha awareness of the Maori
culture. Equal opportunity for Maori youth in the educa-
tional arena is a good starting point.
To look closer at the issues involved, I have
categorized them in the following headings:


63
1. repression of the Maori culture,
2. the functional breakdown of the Maori
kinship system,
3. the Maori language,
4. cultural differences in cognition,
5. the effect of the school environment and
the curriculum,
6. teachers and teacher training, and
7. evaluation and assessment mechanisms.


CHAPTER VI
CAUSES OF MAORI STUDENT FAILURE AND
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONSTHE CULTURAL
PERSPECTIVE
Repression of Culture
New Zealanders generally agree about the con-
tinued existence of a phenomenon called "Maori culture,"
but the meaning they ascribe to this varies widely,
especially between Maoris and Pakehas. For most Pakehas,
Maori culture includes the Maori language, arts and
crafts and Maori customs, such as hangi (earth ovens),
carved meeting houses, tanqihanga (mourning wakes) and
the concept of tapu (taboo). This view of Maori culture
interprets it as pertaining to the past rather than the
present, and to a private part-time sector, rather than
referring to a holistic view of life. Maoris intuitively
reject the Pakehas1 view of their culture, with its
emphasis on the past and a few incidental activities.
For the Maori, culture is a concept of present experience,
encompassing a wide range of behavior, including everyday
practices as well as ceremonial ones. Most important,
it includes not only outwardly visible forms, but also
deep inward ideas and values. Pakehas tend to associate
Maori culture primarily with the artistic, intellectual


65
and ceremonial aspects of social life, in contrast with
everyday life at home, at play and at work. It is
often interpreted in terms of only observable objects
and activities, underestimating, if not ignoring the
importance of beliefs and values. Such a narrow defini-
tion of culture is inadequate and dangerously misleading
(Metge 1979: 4-5).
Maori people insist that the concept of Maori
culture should involve the whole of life, and inward
ideas as well as outward forms. The Maori belief in
spirituality, wairua is a powerful one, with this realm
of existence being just as meaningful and important as
its material counterparts (Pere 1982: 12-15). To this
end, Metge (1979 : 5) defines Maori culture as "the
system of symbols and meaning shared by those who
identify themselves as Maori at any given time." This
definition approaches the Maori culture in terms of a
living people, instead of a static entity rooted in the
past. Maori culture should be viewed as a dynamic
on-going process of creative adaptation to a changing
environment, as it has been ever since this group of
Polynesians first settled in New Zealand.
Maori culture today includes many elements that
are also part of the Pakeha culture. These are usually
defined as belonging only to Pakeha culture and adoption


66
of them by the Maori is widely interpreted as assimi-
lation. While these shared elements may appear alike,
closer examination reveals that they do not hold the same
meaning for Maori and Pakeha. Maoris have taken many
elements into their own on-going system of symbols and
meanings, re-working and re-interpreting them in the
light of their own goals and values, and making them very
much their own. In speaking English, Maoris often use
distinctive grammatical constructions, speech rhythms
and imagery, and give many words a different range of
meaning. Many Pakehas fail to appreciate these differ-
ences or their origin in a different view of the world.
They normally assume that in the areas of common expe-
rience there is only one cultural code, the Pakeha one.
They fail to see that Maoris may give other meanings to
shared words, objects and actions, and may have other
priorities and goals in relation to them. Maori
behavior is usually judged by Pakeha standards, and all
too frequently is viewed as deviant, sometimes admired,
but more often seen as inferior, to the "proper way."
The differences are usually attributed to the Maori
personality or social environment, very rarely ascribed
to a lack of understanding or sheer ignorance. On the
other hand, many Maoris are also unaware of how often
common words and actions are interpreted differently by


67
Pakehas. This often results in misinterpretation and
misunderstanding between the two social groups (Metge
1979: 4-6).
Maoris themselves use the term "Maoritanga" in
preference to "Maori culture." This is used in two
ways. First, it stands for a general attitude of pride
in being Maori and of identification as "te nagkau
Maori" (the Maori heart) or "te wairua Maori" (the Maori
spirit). Thus a person is said to have kept his/her
Maoritanga or to have lost it. Second, "Maoritanga" is
used to refer collectively to nga tikanga Maori (Maori
ways), those ways of looking at and doing things which
Maoris consider to be distinctively or characteristi-
cally Maori. In this latter interpretation, the term
Maoritanga is more narrow in its scope than the anthro-
pological definition given above, but emphatically
includes those Maori ideas and values which underlie
and find expression in all kinds of behavior, including
those shared with Pakehas.
The concept of Maoritanga refers to an ideal
system. There is no monolithic Maori. Individuals
vary widely in the extent to which they are consciously
aware of, act out and live up to their ideal patterns.
For Maoritanga, the normal range of variation, both in
understanding and practice, has been greatly increased


68
by contact with Pakehas and the Pakeha culture. In
personal interactions, in school, in the mass media,
Maoris are continually and subtly made aware that
Pakehas place relatively little value on Maori ways and
require at least outward conformity to Pakeha standards,
as a basis for acceptance and upward mobility.
Increasing numbers of Maoris, especially urban dwellers,
are growing up and living in situations where oppor-
tunities to experience Maoritanga in depth are restricted
or lacking. While the proportion of Maoris who are well
versed in Maori ways is decreasing, it does not
necessarily follow, as many Pakehas assume, that
Maoritanga itself is diminishing in content and
importance, nor that it will die out in a generation or
two. This has proved to be wrong in the past and will,
I am sure, prove wrong in the future. Maoritanga is
stronger at present than it has been in the last half
century (Metge 1979: 4-9).
How a society selects, classifies, distributes,
transmits and evaluates the educational knowledge
it considers to be public, reflects both the
distribution of power and the principle of social
control (Bernstein 1971: 173).
Many would argue that the present New Zealand
education system subverts the aims and aspirations of
Maori education, and in doing so, reinforces Pakeha
dominance within New Zealand society. New Zealand's


69
education system appears to be based on Pakeha interests
and Pakeha-determined goals. Thus, Maori intervention
in the arena of education can be viewed as a threat to
or by those intent on maintaining Pakeha dominance in
the society. For many years, the blame for the Maori
failure in schools has been laid with the Maoris and
not with the education system itself. Past attempts to
incorporate Maoritanga into the system have merely
served to accentuate the differences between the two
cultures and made little progress towards multicul-
turalism. While there is no doubting that the two
cultures are very different, the education system has
served as an arena of culture conflict since coloniza-
tion in 1814. Maoris claim that they have been
excluded, denied and had their language suppressed.
The irony of this accusation is that many Maoris
complied with this policy, thinking that the learning
of English and adoption of Pakeha ways would help them
to succeed in New Zealand society. Apirana Ngata, a
leading Maori, seeing the danger of this, urged his
people to retain their Maori ways and not relinquish
them totally in their efforts to succeed in a Pakeha-
dominated world.
Some Maoris see the Pakeha as "gatekeepers"
where the elite in society have control of the power


70
and they alone are determining who succeeds and who
fails. This system is seen to ensure that the Pakeha
child succeeds at the expense of his/her Maori counter-
part. This gatekeeping role is viewed by some as the
main cause of the overrepresentation of Maoris in the
lowe.r socioeconomic groups, unemployment lines and
institutions such as prisons and mental hospitals.
Because upward mobility in the terms of the majority
culture is so very difficult, many relinquish this
quest and are subsequently left feeling inadequate and
hostile. This is further complicated by factors such
as racism and suppression of identity. Poor achieve-
ment among Maori students is often explained in terms
of "limited language" and "limited experience." These
concepts and opinions merely perpetuate negative stereo-
types of Maori students (Simon 1984: 1).
Vaughan (1964: 48), in a study of ethnic aware-
ness using pictures and dolls, discovered that Pakeha
children could accurately sort ethnic categories as
early as five and six years of age. Conversely Maori
children mostly identified themselves as Pakeha up to the
age of seven and in some cases, nine years of age. In
interpreting this phenomenon, Vaughan suggested that
cross-ethnic identification was not adequately explained
merely as a misconception of reality, but arose from an


71
awareness that to be Maori was undesirable and inferior
and to identify with things Pakeha was considered
desirable and superior.
Walker (1966: 114-19) suggests that as teenagers,
Maori children come to realize that their identity is
primarily a physical thing, and discover that they
lack the cultural background that should be aligned with
their Maori appearance. They also realize that the task
of transcending social, cultural and ethnic boundaries
is beyond them. Then, and only then, do they accept
their identity as Maori but not without a sense of
alienation, hostility and loss, stemming from a lack of
recognition and positive valuation of their ethnic and
cultural identity (Walker 1966: 144). Such individuals
are in reality marginal, in that they no longer feel
totally comfortable in either Maori dr Pakeha culture.
Marginality results when individuals are forced to reject
parts of their racial and ethnic cultures in order to
experience "success," thereby creating problems for
both individuals and society. Ethnic peoples of color
experience special problems because of physical identi-
fication. Many marginal individuals change their world
view, values, speech and behavior. This often results
in alienation from their own cultural communities, and
because of their color, discrimination may aid in


72
causing alienation from the mainstream culture as well
(Banks 1981: 26-27). Because they are not steeped in
Maoritanga, they do not consider themselves to be
adequate Maoris and because of their skin color, they
are not Pakeha. There are many Maori children who
could be referred to as "brown-skinned Pakehas." Many
have little knowledge of the Maori culture, and it is
only their phenotype which deems them Maori. Many of
these children reside in the city, and urbanization is
often blamed for this loss of cultural self-awareness,
and their resultant marginality. This identity crisis
is said to be part of the reason for truaancy, drop-
outs, unemployment and overrepresentation of Maoris in
institutions. However, there must be for some the
phenomenon of "bi-cultural behavior." That is, some are
quite capable of participation in both Maori and Pakeha
society. The bicultural individual is often one who
mediates or brokers between the two sectors.
Urbanization or the urban environment is often
cited as a factor contributing to the academic under-
achievement of Maori students. In the towns and cities
they have become removed from these Maori institutions
which form the basis of the Maori culture. Expressions
of family and group solidarity are very powerful and
all-encompassing in Maoritanga. It has been said that


73
at the very heart of Maoritanqa is a powerful sense of
value and belonging among people. Pakeha civilization
has broken and scattered Maori families, just as it has
Pakeha families. It has almost buried traditional
Maori kinship terms beneath the names of Pakeha relation-
ships. It has put the Maori social group, that of the
multi-generation extended family, under intense pressure.
In rural areas, this family form still has a chance to
survive. Urban areas do not permit this. Most urban
Maori families merely consist of parents and children
only. While other group forms have developed to fill
these Maori needs, youth clubs, Maori culture clubs,
church and political groups and gangs, none provides the
sense of identity, enculturation in worth of family and
group solidarity, which is encompassed in the Maori
concept of aroha (Gadd 1976: 11-14). Also lost in the
concrete jungle are other important Maori concepts such
as wairua (spirituality) and turanqawaewae (a place
upon which one can stand and know that one has the
right to stand). Although urban marae are beginning to
emerge and provide some of these- needs, their effect is
not as profound as those on native land in the rural
areas.
New Zealand has been internally viewed as being
a monocultural society with no such thing as a completely


74
separate Maori culture and way of life. There are
important Maori values, institutions and behaviors
which have been combined with elements of the majority
culture to form a distinctively Maori identity in our
society. Pakeha culture cannot hope to meet all the
needs of the Maoris. In Pakeha culture the individual
is perceived as separate from the group. This is
diametrically opposed to the philosophical view of the
Maoris, who place greater emphasis on the group.
Related to this ideology is the aspect of competition.
This is not an important concept at all in the Maori
world view. Ranking and grading is foreign to Maori
beliefs. The education system has been accused of making
little allowance for different methods of operating
and of learning in a school environment. Maori students
do not function well in an education system which is
geared to an individualistic, competitive approach. The
Maori tradition is an oral one, a culture of the spoken
word. One cannot learn anything significantly Maori
from a book. Talking and listening play a very important
role in the Maori culture. Practice, not theory, is
their methodology for learning about the world.
The Pakeha culture has also failed to adequately
acknowledge many Maori values, beliefs and other aspects
of their worldview. Maori cognitive process differs


75
quite markedly from that of the Pakeha. Feeling and
thinking go together in the Maori ideal. There is a
dislike of emotionally cold, analytical, logical reason-
ing which divorces reaction from action, feeling from
response and passion from ideas (Gadd 1986: 14-15).
Maori thinking tends to be realistic, not dealing very
much with pure academics, fantasy or fiction. The
Anglo-European dominated eudcation system deals with
theoretical approaches, and sometimes nebulous, intangi-
ble concepts, and the fact that it is difficult for
Maori children to understand these, subsequently impedes
their progress. Pakeha misinterpretation often occurs
in relation to areas of Maori culturally influenced
behavior such as their ability to vocalize emotions and
thoughts, their sense of humor, their sensory perception
and their sociability. On the part of members of the
dominant society, more cultural awareness, understanding
and flexibility are required, if the education system
hopes to provide adequately for the needs of Maori
students.
In comparison with their Pakeha counterparts,
Maoris, when viewed collectively, have a dispropor-
tionately limited share of the material benefits avail-
able in contemporary New Zealand society. The causes
for this disadvantage can be sought in the social,


76
political and economic environments. In New Zealand,
the route to the advantaged occupations is clearly
defined. For most, it is through education. Generally,
the higher one's educational achievement, the greater the
likelihood of employment. Statistics show that level
of attainment is significantly lower for Maori students.
However, not all Maoris are disadvantaged, and not all the
disadvantaged are Maoris. Cultural difference is
probably the most appropriate term to use in investiga-
tion of this education problem. Some aspects of Maori
culture are simply incompatible with the present school
environment and with academic and vocational success
(Adams 1973: 63-67). This does not imply that any one
culture is at fault, but clearly that mutual communi-
cation and subsequent change must occur if the situation
is to be remedied.
Maoris often undergo dual enculturation and
Maoris who have been extensively exposed to Pakeha
culture still find that the source of their cultural
identity is in their associations with the Maori
subculture. A Maori individual has a personal choice
about whether a Maori or Pakeha defined behavior fits
a particular situation. However, acting as a member
of a particular culture or subculture is not simply a
matter of will (Gadd 1976: 19). It is very difficult


77
to escape from the cultural environment in which you
grew up, and for many Maori children, this was a mixture.
Their culture today is neither Maori nor Pakeha, and
herein lies the problem. The solution is not a simple
one, as there are varying degrees of Maoriness in every
individual as well as various tribal affiliations.
There is no monolithic average Maori child who could be
singled out and studied.
The past cannot be relived and changed, so
negativism and backward glances will solve little. What
is needed is positive and constructive criticism of the
system with recommendations for improvement. Gadd
(1976: 20) suggests that the fact that Maori students
are failing in the education system is actually evidence
that Maori culture is still vigorous and influencing
ways of learning and behaving. Maori culture continues
to exist and thrive in most areas of New Zealand. There
are still rural heartlands where Maoris are in the
majority and provide spiritual refreshment for their
urban kin. Maori families tend to congregate in certain
urban areas, sometimes due to socioeconomic status, and
discrimination in housing but often by choice. Many
Maori cultural institutions and events still occur, for
example, huis and tangis. I feel it is wrong to suggest
that Maoritanga is dead, it continues to live and thrive.


78
Part of the solution to Maori underachievement
in the education system lies in greater cultural aware-
ness by both sectors of society, a two-way process.
While the Pakeha must achieve a better look of under-
standing of things Maori, so too must the Maori look at
the Pakeha culture. To be Maori is still to put people
first in a scale of values; in your concerns and actions;
to be Pakeha is to be more individualistic, to be self-
reliant, ambitious and competitive. These are broad
generalizations, but serve to highlight the different
emphases of the two concerned cultures of New Zealand.
It is true that the education system is monocultural in
its bias but greater awareness of Maori culture in the
past ten years has resulted in the beginnings of change.
Gone is the suppression of culture, language, and
identity. Awareness of cultural diversity has served
to encourage greater understanding, respect and a view
that diversity is enriching. These changes have caused
educators to look at the differing views of success
stemming from both Maori and Pakeha perspectives. Maori
views on this are contrary to the Pakeha opinion. Thus,
theeducation system must look to make allowances for
differing interpretations of education, its purpose and
contribution.


79
In an effort to do just that, more Maoris are
being consulted on the subject of education and policy-
making. The acknowledgment that an education system
designed to preserve Western traditions may not neces-
sarily meet the special needs of culturally different
groups, is a step in the right direction. From aware-
ness comes change and progress. Many Maoris are
becoming more politically active in the areas of educa-
ation. Tired of the slow progress, concerned parties
have organized huis to discuss concerns and make recom-
mendations for change.. If the educational needs of
Maoris are to be well met, then Maori and Pakeha
educators, politicians and the community must look
closely at the educational philosophies, teacher training,
curricula,classroom strategies and environmental climate
of the schools, and Where necessary, make adequate
changes. The role of schools is not merely to impart
intellectual information. They should help students to
co-exist with others, and grow in self-knowledge.
Maori children especially need to develop their self-
confidence and self-respect as well as their intellect
(He Huarahi 1980: 7). Pakeha children need to develop
a greater awareness of Maori culture, values and ideals.
It was, until recently, felt that the major
responsibility for helping young Maoris to realize their


80
full potential lay with the education system. Today
there has been a shift, with employers, employment
agencies, community groups and the media all expected
to play their role. For those for whom the school
system has not been adequate, there must be a second
chance through alternative schools, work skills schemes,
pre-employment and vocational guidance. Attitudinal
changes cannot be effected overnight. Awareness is a
beginning, but the process will be long and slow.
Dramatic and rapid results should not be expected.
Also, nothing is gained by publically making threats
and demands, as some of the more militant groups are
doing. Compromise and reason will have more far-
reaching effects. Herein lies another striking cultural
difference which causes problems. The Maori way to
effect change is by full consensus of group members.
All present must agree before any action or recommenda-
tion will be carried. In comparions, the Pakeha way is
that of the majority, so awareness of this difference
will aid compromise and effectiveness at the bargaining
table.
The school can be seen as having a role in
helping children to find and develop their own cultural
identity. Schools should reflect pride in Maori as well
as Pakeha culture identity. Until recently, most Maori


81
students felt that they should leave their Maoriness at
the school gate and attempt to fit in with the Pakeha
ways of the institution. Culture is not something that
can be switched on and off at the sound of the school
bell (Gadd 1976: 38-43). As Witi Ihimaera commented:
It's not easy to reconcile what seems to be ahead
with what I really wantto fight complete Euro-
peanisation. It would be much easier to opt out
and return home where I would not face personal
conflicts of this kind. But I can't turn back.
I wouldn't fit in there (in Gadd 1976: 39).
Marginality is a common phenomenon in Maori youth today.
While there is a strong emotional attachment to things
Maori, education and employment are more geared to a
Pakeha approach. At present if one wants to succeed
in this arena, the course one must take is prescribed.
Young Maoris are beginning to express their views and
opinions. They do not want to return to the old ways,
but ask for a new way more suited to their present
needs. They are asking for self-determination in the
economic, cultural, educational and political fields,
but do not want to become totally independent of either
culture. They see that the Maori and Pakeha cultures
have so much to offer each other. They acknowledge that
for many years the Pakeha has been telling the Maori
what is good for them. Now, they say, the Maori people
want to decide for themselves, and it is their right.
One problem here is that Maoris are not entirely in


82
agreement themselves about what should be done and how
it should be done. The Tu Tangata Movement was a step in
the right direction. Set up in 1977 by the Department
of Maori Affairs, it proffered a personal as well as
national ideal: The Stance of the People. Its broad
objectives were fourfold: (1) to improve Maori educa-
tional attainment, (2) to provide opportunities for
self-fulfillment within the community, (3) to raise the
socioeconomic status of the Maori people, and
(4) kokirito advance. Cultural, social and economic
development programs all aimed at improving the status
and self-image of the Maori people were set up. The
program also increased awareness within the education
system of the capabilities of Maori youth.
A more recent innovation has been the advent of
taha Maori, a term which encompasses such criteria as
Maori philosophy, mythology, traditions, values, and
worldview. There has recently been a very strong drive
by educators for schools to introduce taha Maori into
many aspects of school life. While this was not a new
concept, it was hoped that a new approach would succeed
where previous ones had failed. This effort has met
with varied success, but has served to provide some
Maori students with an increased self-esteem and pride.
The effort, of course, is dependent upon the school


83
principal, as to the emphasis given to taha Maori, the
Maori dimension, in his/her school. Not all Maoris
and educators are convinced that Maoris really do have
a negative self-image, and they see taha Maori as a
vehicle by which Maori youth can get closer to their
origins and knowledge of their culture. If they acquire
greater awareness of their identity and history, Maori
youth may be more ready to exchange views with others.
Taha Maori also provides the non-Maori personnel with a
greater understanding of what a Maori is or should be.
As related before, urbanization is seen as a
major problem for Maoris. The move from a rural to
urban community has caused dislocation and an accompany-
ing loss of pride. Those who had status in a rural
community are now lost in the concrete jungle and many
find this disorienting. Many are working-class people
who see little hope of upward mobility for themselves
or their children. In the last decade, the development
of urban maraes has, in some ways, filled that gap and
provided a need for many urban Maoris. The maraes
provide an arena for the celebration of many Maori
occasions and a gathering place for Maori people of all
ages. It also provides a sense of family which is
missing for many city Maoris whose kin are still in
rural communities. In the educational arena the maraes


often serve as places of learning, not only of things
Maori, but also of skills that may help provide employ-
ment for their members. The maraes are used by all New
Zealanders, not exclusively Maori. In this way non-
Maoris can see Maoritanga in action and learn what the
continued existence of the marae and Maori culture
actually means to the Maori people.
The existence of a subculture means that there
are other factors at work within and between individuals
apart from those experienced by the majority of society.
Aspects of the Maori subculture with major causal
significance vis-a-vis education appear to be:
(1) Arohathe concept of family and groupthe
importance of close, personal relationships, the value
of sharing, greater emphasis on group membership and
enterprise over purely individualistic ambitions, and
the importance of the peer group. (2) Korerothe Maori
culture's orientation toward and preference for the
spoken word, the frankness and openness of personal
interchange and the importance of marae ceremonial and
oratory and oral traditions. (3) Turangawaewaea place
where one can stand and know that one has the right to
stand. It is basically a matter of identity, of
belonging, a freedom to speak and be heard.
(4) Wairuaspirituality and respect for the environment


85
that is, recognition of a spiritual element, of a force
outside the individual and beyond the person's control,
but influencing that person's responses. Many of the
rules in Maoridom acknowledge the presence of wairua.
A marae is tapu and the etiquette observed on the marae
is an acknowledgment of the presence of wairua. Emotion,
feeling, and respect for sharing and the thoughts and
vocations of others. (5) In relation to thought,
Gestalt thinking is favored. Maori thoughts are usually
accompanied by emotion. Cognition is realistic and more
concerned with the present; short-term goals are favored
and attitudes towards everyday concepts like time and
work may differ from Pakeha concepts. (6) Manaprestige,
respect, influence. Mana is received from others, and is
never earned by "taking." Mana is earned through aroha
those who give are ultimately recognized for these
qualities. A school can develop mana as can a class, a
teacher, or a student. These concepts are major percep-
tual and behavioral influences which have come from within
Maoritanqa. Their acknowledgment and constructive
utilization in the school environment can only serve to
enrich the experiences of both Maori and Pakeha.
While Maori and Pakeha are the two majority
cultures, New Zealand society today is essentialy multi-
cultural, with an increasing proportion of Pacific


86
Islanders, along with other cultural groups. Plural
social integration and multiculturalism is seen by
Renwick (Nga Tumanako Report 1984: 11-12) as an ideal to
be sought after. People who strive to achieve this
ideal, value critical diversity for its benefits to the
community as a whole. They foster attitudes of respect
for other cultures, through knowledge, familiarity and
awareness. Many Pakeha New Zealanders feel uncomfortable
with mutliculturalism as an ideal to be actively sought.
They are uncertain of themselves in unfamiliar cultural
situations. They exhibit the very anxieties that Maori
and members of other minority cultures have frequently
experienced in Pakeha societal settings. Pakeha atti-
tudes are, however, beginning to change. As an ideal
and a social objective, the concept of multiculturalism
is receiving increasing attention.
For many Maori people, multiculturalism is not
an immediately attainable goal. They are suspicious of
the term, in the light of their past and present expe-
riences with the Pakeha culture. The most important and
urgent task in their view is biculturalism, the building
of a better working relationship between the two main
cultures of New Zealand. Once this is achieved, then,
and only then, do they feel that attention should be
turned to multicultural endeavors. This view is perhaps


87
somewhat hypocritical in that active refusal to recognize
other cultures is the very action of which Maori accuse
the Pakehas. Justification for this opinion is made on
the basis that Maoris, as the indigenous people, should
receive prior rights over those who have arrived in New
Zealand more recently. Thus, it appears that Maori-
Pakeha bilingualism and bicultural education system are
the immediate aims in New Zealand society, due mostly
to a louder political voice of the Maori population and
lesser pressures from other minority cultures.
Functional Breakdown of the
Kinship System
Many Maoris claim that their kinship system based
on extended families and integrated communities has been
broken down by participation in the Pakeha colonial
system. The strongest Maori institutions are family
and wider group solidarity. Every family member is
considered valuable and is drawn into the total life of
the family by a powerful sense of belonging. The
extended family, however, is family by a powerful sense
of belonging. The extended family, however, is no
longer the most frequent form. A functional breakdown
of localized Maori kinship networks has occurred and
continues to occur.


88
Urbanization, participation in an industrial
economic system., technological advance and increasing
mobility have been blamed for the weakening of the
Maori kin network. In the past, all members of an
extended family lived close to one another and shared
a marae, which served as a forum for the reinforcement
of. family and community values and lifestyle. Maoris
grew up as part of, and among their own people. As
they grew, they absorbed all the warmth, knowledge and
kinship that was Maori. Because tribal affiliation
and loyalty was important, every member played an
important role in the total system. It is claimed that
Pakeha civilization has undermined kinship ties and
scattered Maori families. The extended family has been
placed under intense pressure. Accompanying the
increasing dysfunction of disintegrated family system is
a weakening of the strength of Maori society as a whole.
Some feel that the problem in the cities is that urban
Maoris have too few interactions with friends and kin.
Urbanization has resulted in adoption of the Pakeha
kinship system, one which is foreign to the Maoris and
does not meet their personal and social needs. Many
Maoris feel that they do not benefit from the present-
day "ideal" of the nuclear family. They experience
loneliness and a sense of isolation. The Maori view is


89
that a full expression of family life goes beyond the
immediate family to the extended family, more distant
kin and fellow members of the tribe. Many find it
difficult to cope adequately alone.
Linked with the breakdown of the extended family
is concern regarding present-day Maori child-rearing
practices. Parents are often cited as the reason that
Maori children are underachieving at school. Lack of
interest, support., encouragement and guidance are all
seen as contributing factors. Failure in the education
system is often attributed to the low level of academic
attainment of parents. Maori parents, it is claimed,
provide little intellectual stimulation of promote
little vocational aspiration among their children. No
provision is made in many Maori homes for homework.
Children are expected to play an active role in the day-
to-day running of the household. Babysitting, chores,
cooking, part-time jobs all make what some claim as
unnecessary and unwarranted demands on their time.
Many Maori parents are said to be suspicious and nega-
tive about education, and that this attitude is
perpetuated in their children. There clearly needs to
be systematic research in this area in order to know
whether these claims are true and, if so, to be better
able to plan effective programs to deal with home
learning problems.


90
As with any group, some Maori parents are very
supportive in areas of their children's education, while
others are very apathetic. Educators feel that there is
an overrepresentation at this latter end of the continuum.
Lack of parental stimulation of intellectual development,
lack of encouragement and involvement can be influenced
by parents' schooling experiences in the past. Some of
them have neither enjoyed nor succeeded in the Pakeha-
dominated school system, so their attitude is affected
by this experience. Ignorance, fear and suspicion of
the education system also affects the involvement of
Maori parents. Educators must look to improve this
situation. While teachers can fulfill certain needs of
students in areas of support, guidance and encouragement,
parental backup is essential if the children are to
reach their academic potential. Communication, education
and involvement of parents can only improve the attain-
ment of their children. Parents must know what the
education system offers and how it can help their
children. Expectations of teachers are sometimes
unrealistic and increased parent-teacher communication
should occur. Not every Maori parent appears to be
dissatisfied with the present educational system. Many
view it as the New Zealand system and one in which all
New Zealanders must work to achieve results. While
individualism and competition may not be traditional


91
Maori values, some Maoris acknowledge that these exist
in today's global society, and if achievement is the
aim, then these values and abilities could be fostered.
Urbanization and increased mobility has caused
the fragmentation and subsequent dysfunction of many
Maori families. Accompanying this fragmentation has been
a move toward a more individualist lifestyle. Despite
this, however, many Maori members of urban society still
cherish the values of a community-based lifestyle. To
enable them to exist and survive with this dual ideology,
is the reinforcement and support that many urban Maoris
receive with regular visits to the rural marae of their
kin. Among present generations of urban-dwelling
Maoris, this contact has decreased, but many still
receive spiritual, ideological and personal support from
such exchanges.
Maori youth, having been raised primarily in
an urban environment within a nuclear family, do not
always accept the marae and larger kin group as readily
as expected. They question the value of the marae, its
etiquette, its spirituality and the power of the elders.
In traditional times, it was the elders who were mainly
concerned with leadership, control, the rearing of the
young and the imparting of knowledge of all aspects of
Maoritanga. In this role, the elders commanded respect,


92
loyalty and love. This is undermined when contact
between the elders and youth is restricted.
Many Maori youth are torn between the socio-
centric orientation of the Maori and the individualistic
outlook of the Pakeha. While the desire to succeed
economically is strong, there remains a strong motiva-
tion for the acquisition of Maori defined status and
prestige, mana in their social and kinship groups.
Maori organizations which enable the acquisition and
exercise of these social attributes may resemble Pakeha
equivalents, yet are often based on kinship principles.
For instance, a sports club may provide an arena for
rising Maori leaders to prove their ability and effec-
tiveness, not only on the sports field but also in the
organization and administration of the club.
It is often claimed that many Maori children
are brought up by their peer group. While this can be
achieved with greater success under the watchful eyes of
kin members, these groups can lose direction in the urban
environment and do not always provide a positive influ-
ence in their outlook and actions. In the traditional
kinship system, this group was closely watched, guided
and influenced by the tribal elders. In the absence of
extended family ties, close at hand, these peer groups
lack guidance and control. Maori social values are


93
instilled between infancy and adolescence. Then the peer
group appears to become even more important among
Maoris than it does among Pakehas, fulfilling an
important role in the provision of social identity.
Maori children are encouraged at an early age towards
independence and self-sufficiency. By age ten, many
children are quite independent of adults' approval,
their satisfactions being derived mainly from their peer
group interactions. At this stage of their development,
Maori children tend to lose some of their uniqueness,
creativity, imagination and flexibility (Gadd 1976:
25). Peer group identification is a strong force which
affects subsequent values, assumptions and attitudes.
The Pakeha-dominated school system sets up competition
between peer group members, and this can place undue
strain on Maori students. Peer group approval is often
deemed more important by Maoris, so subsequently an
individual's performance and competitiveness may be
inhibited.
Adolescent Maoris may have very demanding respon-
sibilities in helping to run the households of their
parents, who sometimes find the complexities of city
life demanding of their time, baffling and have
difficulty adjusting to the absence of the extended
family. Maoris are overrepresented in the lower