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Te Upoko o Mata'oho (Mangere Mountain): the performative tensions of a living museum.

The development of an education centre in the early 1980s as a living museum at Mangere, South Auckland, Aotearoa (New Zealand), began with the purpose of enabling members of the local tribal group, or iwi, to tell their own stories about work, being and colonisation. It was to reflect their ongoing struggle to be able to live and work as recognised as iwi, to talk and show, in a living form, how their ancestors grew crops, lived and sustained family relationships, whanaungatanga. The story of the living museum shows how their important beliefs, their tikanga, and their rights under the Treaty of Waitangi create tensions for local government policy and the civic development of Auckland. The market-based approaches and procedures of local government in the twenty-first century do not readily accommodate collective ways and Maori process. This paper examines the ways that this community volunteer-based organisation, grounded in principles of reciprocity and collectivity, has been shaped, through performative requirements, as a market-modelled organisation.

This article examines the development of the education project to create a 'living museum' at the important historical site of Te Upoko o Mata'oho, (1) also known as Mangere Mountain, in Auckland, New Zealand. Te Upoko o Mata'oho is one of the best preserved of Auckland's many volcanoes. This area was once a highly cultivated and strategically developed pa (fortified village) for local Maori. The local Maori people (iwi), called Waiohua, and archaeologists and geologists suggest that Te Upoko o Mata'oho and its surrounds was once home to around 2,000 people, making it one of the largest precolonial Polynesian settlements in the world. (2)

The education project was conceived in the early 1980s in order to conserve Te Upoko o Mata'oho and tell the wider population the stories about the mountain, its environs and its people. Protecting the mountain's heritage was intricately enmeshed with making public the archaeological, geological and environmental histories. This also demanded dissemination of its social histories--stories of reciprocity, redistribution and communal obligations, and also of land confiscation and dislocation. Such a project would recognise history as a living storied process. It was made possible through the energy of Susan Bulmer, archaeologist for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and community leaders, (kuia), the late Mahia Wilson and Bea Kerr of Waiohua. Under this leadership, a reciprocal partnership, called The Accord, was drawn up between Waiohua, the government conservation department, the local Manukau City Council and the local college of education. (3)

The stories the project highlights are of Waiohua, the mountain being central to their economic and cultural survival. They are not rural Maori and their stories are of their ongoing struggles to remain visible, and to maintain autonomy over their land and their labour. In fact, the education project is a current response to such struggles and provides an example of the potential for cooperative ventures between local Maori and interested Pakeha (European settler) institutions to establish unique educational reminders of the past. In this article, I demonstrate how stories about work and labour in the early years inform the current project. I also suggest that the traditional organisation of work at Te Upoko o Mata'oho is a goal of the work of the participants in the education project. However, the tensions experienced by the participants in the project, particularly the challenges of retaining the integrity of such projects in the face of political and ideological constraints, continue to shape the project and the mountain, illustrating the tensions of a 'partnership organisation' in a continually changing political context.

'Exhibiting' or Re/Presenting History?

From the early years of Pakeha contact in New Zealand to the present time, the culture and cultural knowledge of Maori have been represented in a number of ways that have reflected attitudes to: Maori as a 'racial' and/or ethnic group; and understandings of, and status attributed to, culture as patterns of behaviour, beliefs, institutions, arts, cultural knowledge and/or other products of work and thought. (4) In his comprehensive historical study, Conal McCarthy looks both within and beyond the world of museums to examine how Maori culture has been displayed as curio, specimen, artefact, art and taonga (treasure) in a variety of contexts. An important feature of McCarthy's work is his concern to make visible Maori resistance to ways in which their cultural knowledge has been exhibited. (5) The education project at Te Upoko o Mata'oho re/presents the history of Waiohua as a 'living museum' through which Waiohua can tell their own stories and employ their own people. The meta- narrative of the history behind this living museum project is that of continued resistance to external imposed changes to their being, and the ongoing need to assert their very existence.

The idea of a living museum is considered in the work of Peter Davis, (6) where he suggests a deeper version of a museum than just a collection of artefacts. It provides an opportunity for a broader, deeper understanding of cultural heritage. In the project under discussion, the establishment of a living museum was an explicitly educational and political project, seeking specifically to undo the social loss of memory surrounding the settlement of Auckland by both Maori and Pakeha in relation to the initial occupation of the local people, Waiohua. Russell Jacoby calls this social loss of memory 'social amnesia', which occurs when the social and economic dynamic of society drives aspects of history from the collective mind and therefore allows a certain version of the past to rule unchallenged. For this to be transcended, according to Jacoby, 'it must first be remembered'. (7) The education project shares history as it is remembered by Waiohua, using active learning processes as its base. The educational aim is to make public the knowledge usually only recognised by historians and anthropologists. (8) Thus visitors get to experience things such as making tools, shaping a digging tool, working in a garden, cutting flax or weaving a food basket, and walking and sharing knowledge. In the examination of the work of the community through history, and the work of the participants in the project, this article is also an example of the boundary crossing between Museum Studies and Labour History that has provided a rich basis for understanding the complexities of work relations in specific contexts. (9)

The Mountain and Her People: The Story for a Museum

The volcanic cones across the Auckland isthmus stand out as islands of green projecting from the city and its suburbs. In the past, the inhabitants of Tamaki Makaurau (the Maori name for Auckland) terraced these cones for gardens, residences and also for defence, turning them into palisaded pa. Te Upoko o Mata'oho, the head of Mata'oho, is at the top of the Manukau Harbour in South Auckland, a volcano which erupted approximately 18,000 years ago. Today the South Auckland area is the major industrial area of Auckland with meatworks, port and factories surrounded by working-class dormitory suburbs mainly built since the 1950s.

The first geological survey of the area in 1856 was undertaken by Hochstetter, the Austrian geologist, on behalf of the Auckland Province. (10) Along with his geological data, he marked the volcanic shores around Mangere Mountain, directly across the harbour from the newly established Port of Onehunga, as places of Maori settlement, notably the tribal lands of Ngati Mahunga (written across the survey map as Nga Te Manunga), one of the sub-groups of Waiohua, thus specifying for them their existence.

One of the markers of Maori identity, then and now, has been their ability to trace (preferably by recitation of chants) ancestral genealogy or whakapapa from particular canoes and landforms, in the process marking ancestors, marriages, offspring, events, mountains and waterways that form tribal history. In their particular philosophical view, Maori are not separate from nature or the natural world. They are part of the natural world because they are all born of Papatuanuku (the Earth Mother). The idea of being born from the earth is the foundation for whakapapa and relates the environment with people. (11) Waiohua identity is thus bound into Auckland's volcanic cones and the extensive gardens that surrounded them, together with the Manukau harbour and the land portage--Te Toi Waka (the dragging place for canoes)--between the two Auckland harbours, the Waitemata and the Manukau. This portage from east to west was a main highway throughout pre-European times and access to the Manukau Harbour gave canoes access to the wider west coast as well as through another small portage to the Waikato River, and so to the interior of New Zealand. These historical stories give shape and meaning to the lives of Waiohua. They form their whakapapa, on which they draw in their goal to be enabled to live as Maori. Decision-making in the hapu (sub-groups) of Waiohua continues traditionally to be consensual and cooperative.

How Waiohua Lost Their Land Holdings: 'Freed from Land'

The relationship between Waiohua and their lands was disrupted, firstly, by the movement of Ngati Whatua onto the Auckland Isthmus in the 1790s and, secondly, by Ngapuhi (northern iwi), the musket wars of the 1830s, and, finally, by the conflicts between the Crown and Waikato iwi during the 1860s. (12) Nevertheless, Waiohua still claim identity through their places, in particular most of Auckland's volcanoes and the Manukau Harbour. Their claim is through ahi ka, that is, through rights of continued residence. While the various aspects of this history were often ignored or denied by Pakeha and other Maori, still Waiohua continue to tell it, and make submissions to central government and local councils. (13)

The Treaty of Waitangi signed by the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840 guaranteed the chiefs full 'exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates, Forests Fisheries and other properties'. (14) This specifies that Maori would only sell land to the Crown, articulated as 'the exclusive right of preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon'. The third article of the Treaty guarantees to all Maori the same rights as those guaranteed to all other British subjects. (15) However, in the framework of British laissez-faire capitalism, the Treaty gave the Crown a monopoly access to buy and sell land, while the harbours and foreshore became part of the Queen's Chain. In this way, land and labour in Aotearoa became commodities under Pakeha jurisdiction. Following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and on an invitation from Ngati Whatua, Governor Hobson moved the capital of New Zealand to Auckland. It was believed by the iwi at the time that Pakeha troops would help protect them from further Ngapuhi raids.

European settlement of Auckland from the 1830s to the 1850s was heavily dependent on Maori support and their labour. (16) Local iwi developed their gardening and fishing skills into an efficient production and trading process, growing vegetables, raising pigs, and smoking and drying fish to barter and exchange. The flow of British immigrants to Auckland following the Treaty signing was, in Hazel Petrie's words, 'paralleled by the immigration of Maori from the hinterlands as nearby tribal groups acquired rights to reside and cultivate in the Auckland Area under the mana of the local iwi'. (17) As Petrie demonstrates, there was considerable trade between Maori and the European residents. She cites a report of the Auckland- owned fleet which by 1 January 1853 numbered 118 vessels of 10-43 tons, of which 37, including the two largest, were Maori owned. (18) Maori provided food--mainly potatoes, kumara, wheat, pigs and fish--and most of the smaller transport around the harbours, as well as providing labour for the newly arrived settlers. (19) This time of prosperity for Waiohua finally ended in 1863 in war.

From the 1840 on pressure for land for European settlement grew rapidly with settlers seeking to have Maori land liberated from tribal arrangements to enable free ownership. The Province of Auckland became the model of economic liberalism with 'landsharks' everywhere. (20) As John Logan Campbell, a member of Auckland's first merchant firm Brown and Campbell, wrote to his father shortly after arrival, 'the whole and entire object of every one here is making money, the big fishes eating the little ones'. (21) The creation of Kingitanga (the King movement) under Te Wherowhero in 1858 was an alliance of most of the North Island iwi to organise resistance against this European push for land. (22) Although Auckland settlers tried to whip up controversy about Kingitanga as a challenge to British sovereignty, for Maori their movement was an important means to whaka kotahitanga (make unity), an endeavour to create some order in the chaos caused by British settlement. In fact, they set out the following goals for their king:
   Firstly ... to hold the mana or prestige over the land; secondly,
   mana over man; thirdly, to stop the flow of blood (intertribal
   wars); fourthly, the Maori King and the Queen of England to be
   joined in concord and God to be above them both. (23)

Maori refusal to continue to sell land to the government was the prime cause of the Waikato War in 1863. The people in Waiohua settlements around Mangere and Manurewa (South Auckland) were given an ultimatum by Governor Grey: become loyalist Maori to the Crown--kupapa--or be declared rebels on the side of the Maori King and face confiscation of their lands. (24) In spite of attempts by some of their people not to take sides and to continue as gardeners and traders, and thus maintain ahi ka, most chose to move to relatives in the lower Waikato, between Port Waikato and Pokeno. The government then quickly moved to confiscate their land, through the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863, whilst the Kingitanga including many of Waiohua gathered under their King Tawhiao and retreated south to the remote King Country. According to Gorst, the arguments used in justification of these land clearances concerned 'punishment' of 'hostile natives' and highlighted the intentions of the government. (25) The confiscations were for clearance and settlement as part of the requisite conditions for a successful market economy. In effect it enabled the replacement of Maori communal organisation and ownership with private ownership and economic organisation around primary production for commodities. The canoe portage became the site for meat processing works, and associated industrial and chemical plants.

Waiohua, by then seen as part of Waikato, suffered almost total loss of their land and economic destruction. On top of on-selling by Ngati Whatua came confiscation by legislation in which their main gardens and cultivation areas, as well as various fishing areas, and wahi tapu (sacred sites) were lost. (26) Thousands of acres were taken, sold or leased by settlers (both the militia and missionaries), with the changed land ownership formally recognised through the establishment of the Native Land Court in 1865. In spite of continuing petitions and claims, the court, based on the British legal system, converted the customary land title to individual title, recognised existing missionary leaseholds and finalised the land alienation.

Being Rendered 'Labour'

When Waiohua returned to Mangere and Manurewa after the Waikato wars, their remaining small land holdings were in 'legal' individual title, and their mountains and fisheries designated Crown reserves. The settlers, including the missionaries, took over their Maori gardens and made farms, often using immigrant Chinese labour from the gold rushes and casual Maori family labour. (27) In order to live, Waiohua provided 'labour for sale' for these farms along with casual labour for the meat-works, the developing industry across South Auckland and the growing infrastructure of transport, quarries and roads of Auckland. Waiohua had become the first of Auckland's Maori working class. In contrast to rural Maori who immigrated to Auckland post World War II, Waiohua were already here, though largely unrecognised as a tribal group. Waiohua formed the core of South Auckland's Maori population before World War II, living in poor circumstances, mainly on low casual wages, renting houses on what was to them their own land. (28) The impact of that alienation has had ongoing consequences for their small communities. The union movement, to which the majority of them belonged as general labourers, shearers, stevedores and meat workers, was only vaguely aware of their concerns as Maori and almost certainly not as Waiohua. (29) Their identity, whakapapa and whangaungatanga (family responsibility) as Waiohua were maintained through their relationship with Kingitanga, through which they continued to protest confiscations and seek appropriate redress through claims known as raupatu. (30)

Theoretically, the impact of these changes may be examined through a lens offered in Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation. (31) Polanyi, like Marx, puts forward the central idea that capitalism is an historical disjuncture. In earlier or non-capitalist economies, the economics of a society such as of Waiohua are embedded in the social relations of that society. In contrast to capitalism, the situation is reversed and social relations become defined by the economic as commodities. Polanyi's view is that capitalism, with an ideal of the 'self-regulating system of markets' (SRM), is not concerned about ideas of 'reciprocity, redistribution and communal obligations' common to most other societies. (32) He argued that the ascendancy of capitalism from the 1830s to 1900s was an attempt to actively destroy these ideas through commodification. The great transformation of society 'born as a mere penchant for non-bureaucratic methods ... [which subsequently] evolved into a veritable faith in man's secular salvation through a self-regulating market', sought to replace all these human modes of interaction with economic market ones, supported by the state in its various forms. (33)

The Polanyi thesis posits that land (nature), labour (people) and money (as capital) are not, in fact, commodities produced for sale. The process of creating a SRM is a political project (economic-liberalism) requiring state regulation and direction. The SRM becomes the answer to every problem. Yet as the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism (in the form of resistance or regulation) is society's natural response. This Polanyi calls the 'double movement': an optimistic response which implies that resistance has the ability to turn back this process of capitalism. Unfortunately, as sociologist Michael Burawoy points out, 'that optimism led Polanyi to believe that never again would humanity indulge in such a dangerous experiment. Yet that is what we now confront'. (34)

It is against this theoretical background that we can consider the case of the Mangere Mountain Education Centre. While there is considerable literature concerning the relationship between the state and Maori, (35) and continuing debate over New Zealand's cultural identity, (36) the relationships between iwi and local government are less considered. This is despite iwi being regionally identified people; much of the current popular debate about Maori-Pakeha relations emerges in the context of local government decisions, as shown below. (37)

Modern Resistance

The indignity and resistance by Waiohua continued as Auckland's expansion in the 1950s and 1960s produced even more land alienation. In Waiohua's view, further confiscations occurred under the Public Works Act 1882 (now the Resource Management Act 1991). Much of it was for Auckland development, 'for the benefit of all', in the popular parlance. Waiohua kept talking and explaining, yet there was removal of road metal and building materials from quarries cut into their sacred mountains, and then ongoing developments for civic Auckland. Parks, sewage ponds, airport development, industrial developments, railways, roads, motorways, bridges and water systems: all these have been possible as a result of the confiscation and commodification of Waiohua land. With every change of government came more civic developments, and more ignored petitions from Waiohua for redress. While various reports were written over the years, the Waitangi Tribunal Report on the Manukau Harbour claim, 1985, known as WAI-8, was the most important for Waiohua. This report publicly acknowledged Waiohua in their resistance and their pain. While the report was about water for the operation of a steel mill, what was at issue for Waiohua was the unfettered right of the Crown to sell rights, to despoil their harbour and to remove their customary fishing rights. As Carmen Kirkwood of Waiohua told the Waitangi Tribunal Commissioners in 1985: 'We did not sell the Manukau Harbour. We did not gift it. We did not have the waters of the Manukau confiscated from us.' The Manukau Harbour, another witness claimed, was 'the greatest acreage' they had left. (38)

Although sympathetic, the Tribunal at that time could not make recommendations to really redress Waiohua concerns. The Tribunal accepted the Crown's right to the Harbour, surrounds and the seabed. Although it did see fit to comment that Waiohua, as claimants, had genuine concerns:
   The claim in respect of current concerns cannot be severed from the
   earlier events of the past. From their one-time extensive lands,
   forests, estates and fisheries all that is left to the claimants is
   a few pockets of land, a severely restricted ability to enjoy
   traditional fisheries, and a legacy of their denigration as a
   people. If that which is left to them cannot be protected for their
   benefit, not as a consequence of a recent environmental awareness,
   but through a substantive recognition of their status as the
   indigenous people, then the pattern of the past, the plundering of
   the tribes for the common good, will simply be affirmed and
   continued. (39)

These recommendations to ministers of the Crown and local government were clearly about a breach of the Treaty guaranteeing Maori rights to their lands, fisheries and sacred places. Yet the recommendations were not implemented except for the return of a small urupa (cemetery) and land block around the Pukaki Lagoon and the establishment of a mana whenua (people of the land) consultation committee in the Manukau City Council. (40) Subsequently, in the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990s, local government was relieved of any further responsibility for the matter, as local government was made not subject to Treaty claims. The airport and sewage treatment plants that were built on this land were corporatised and then airport shares sold. Waiohua continued raising their concerns and their ongoing petitions just became part of the apologies from Queen Elizabeth to Tainui Waikato in 1995. (41)

Establishing the Mangere Mountain Centre as a Legal Entity

Mahia Wilson, the kuia who pushed so hard for the establishment of the education centre at Te Upoko o Mata'oho, was clear that telling the stories of the Mountain and harbour was integral to the story of Waiohua. She felt that this would be a place where the knowledges of all communities in this location could be shown, and in which the unity of the natural and the human would be openly acknowledged--the estuarine harbour as habitat for seafood, wading and migratory birds, extensive shell- fish beds and those marine dwellers that inhabit mangrove forests, the insects and creatures on the mountain, and the surrounding historical communities of people and nature. Her dream for the Mountain Education Accord was to create more understanding about the importance of reciprocity and tikanga, the importance of work in the community, and make visible that made invisible in the past. As Mahia Wilson explained:

The connection of our people with the land is through our whakapapa, korero--our stories. By telling our whakapapa (relationships) with the places and about what was there, by talking our ... korero (stories), we give our connections to these places, and this relates us to others. The stories are how we relate to one another and how we move our tikanga (knowledge) on through our children. (42)

However, in order to achieve trusteeship of the mountain, it seemed necessary to emphasise its scientific, archaeological and conservation values. So the original Mountain Education Accord became underscored by other purposes that reflected archaeological protection and a conservation focus. Then in 2001, in a naive bid to gain access to more funding, the original Accord project was converted into a legal charitable trust, and I became the inaugural Chair at Mahia's request. The Trust documents set in place some processes for developing a relationship for telling the stories of the mountain. However, because these documents were not comprehensively developed, they did not clearly establish a Maori mode of organisation. (43) This left the way open for Pakeha institutions to exert pressure to fill in the gaps. To understand the vulnerability of Maori processes and practices requires understanding of the dominant political and economic ideology of the time. In essence, the initial understanding of a Treaty relationship organisation became superseded by short-term expediencies.

Understanding the Market Environment

During the 1990s, New Zealand's local government environment changed from one which encouraged cooperative community ventures to being a market-based system where management of public funds was actually based on individual contractual arrangements. The Fifth Labour Government (1999-2008) extended the neo-liberal regime applying to local government. (44) This change created a great deal of concern among Maori. As Janine Hayward points out, Maori and local government have participated over the years in a developing relationship, albeit often unwittingly. (45) She asks: 'Is local government a Treaty partner?' The relationship between Maori and local government is not well documented, yet it is of utmost importance because of the regional base of the iwi. (46)

The result of the changes for the Accord project was that it became a state-registered 'charitable' enterprise, employing mainly local iwi volunteers on minimum wages through grants. Although the original project participants were experts in archaeology, local histories, education and tikanga, none had experience in the business world and now needed to grapple with all of the corporate requirements of a profit-making enterprise. The partnership organisation, based on particular Maori ideals from the past, was constantly under threat from hegemonic processes, as neo-liberal policy imperatives imposed 'performative' managerial requirements from well-meaning funding bodies or local managers, in spite of a supportive council supposedly in a mana whenua partnership relationship. Local government did not really attempt to integrate Maori process, ways of doing things or Treaty principles into its structures other than providing a forum for consultation: it expected Maori enterprises to fit into its processes. For the Trust, having to conform to expectations in relation to measurable outputs--such as numbers of visitors, stories recorded and extra funding achieved--had significant implications for the employment relations. (47) The organisation centred on the Trust Board of volunteers had become an entrepreneurial business with a voluntary Board of Directors focused on the generation of income through the indigenous coordinator/CEO.

This, I argue, presents a new form of Maori alienation: in the past was land confiscation, and the present neo-liberal one is the drive to create competing capitalist enterprises, which generate measurable outputs, income and an individualist culture. Both forms are designed to undermine Maori concepts of reciprocity and balance. Capitalism does not come ready made. It is part of an ongoing set of global processes that moves in waves and depressions as it is played out in particular ways and specific places. Currently, marketisation and market-based models of contract are the norm, forcing a redesign of the welfare state and its underpinning ideals through a new system of management of public finances through contractual arrangements of voluntary sector involvement.

In spite of the Labour-Alliance Government's return in 1999, neo-liberalism continued to form the overriding meta-narrative, with the ideal of the SRM as the controlling frame. Health, education and other social services are now well established in this market model through contracting out the state's responsibility, often to particular ethnically based community groups. The consequential pulling back of government leaves spaces to be filled by private enterprise or quasi-private enterprises. At the same time, various charitable organisations have been reconceptualised as 'service' providers. (48) The market model postulates the separation of funders from service provisions as well as a separation of governance (Boards of Trustees or Governors) from operational activities (managed by a CEO). In accepting funds towards income, the organisation generally must redesign itself to conform, thus making the Board responsible to the funding agency for the provision of services that are performed in accordance with contract. The CEO is responsible to the Board and staff or volunteers are responsible to the CEO. This top-down model creates tensions for any organisation based on voluntarism, equality and cooperation.

What the Mangere Mountain group is experiencing can be encapsulated in what Stephen Ball describes as the 'terrors of performativity'--modes of regulation in which measurement by external agents is used to shape organisations to conform to a private-sector contractual model. As Ball explains:
   [P]erformativity is a technology, a culture and a mode of
   regulation that employs judgments, comparisons and displays as
   means of incentive, control, attrition and change based on rewards
   and sanctions (both material and symbolic). The performances (of
   individual subjects or organisations) serve as measures of
   productivity or output, or displays of 'quality', or 'moments' of
   promotion or inspection. As such they stand for, encapsulate or
   represent the worth, quality or value of an individual or
   organization within a field of judgment of knowledge. (49)

Focused on short-term performance, this model stands in stark contrast to the Maori reciprocal collective model developed on the creation of ongoing relationships and community organisation. The voluntary Trustees, shaped by these unrecognised expectations, were rapidly becoming the Board of Directors in the mirror image of a private sector company. They found themselves responsible for the functioning and organisation of a stand-alone business through the performance of their agent, the minimally paid indigenous coordinator. They were required to maintain their base line annual funding from local government through developing strategic plans, and elaborate business plans with appropriate performance indicators. The requirement to act as a small to medium business enterprise (SME), reliant on enthusiasts with few business skills and little knowledge, all created strains on the voluntary Trust members as they endeavoured to negotiate their way through the complex learning processes of marketing a business. The business is judged successful through its performance. That performance is measured by the ability to attract paying customers that is achieved, in effect, by marketing and selling a story. The costs of that business were balanced by the payments received. In the process, the responsibility of local government as the inheritor of the decisions of the 1863 Auckland Provincial Government, which were to sustain and develop this particular project as a particular benefit for Waiohua, was expeditiously off-loaded.

Developing the Centre

Nevertheless, much progress has occurred since 2003. With some support from Manukau City Council (MCC), the quarry buildings, previously tractor sheds for the MCC, were refurbished as a display and education space. A children's bush garden began the regeneration of the quarry. Education programmes were established by the Trust and the Centre formally opened in 2003. The old water pump shed, once supplying water to the surrounding settler market gardens, was earmarked to create an historical display about water. Fences were erected and more gardens marked out. The first major task was to secure external funding to employ an appropriately qualified teacher and to educate a number of people to be volunteer guides. The Ministry of Education's 'Learning Outside the Classroom' (LEOTC) initiative provided limited three-year support.

The appointment of a qualified teacher was a requirement of the LEOTC grant, and she and the volunteer guides very rapidly became engaged adult learners themselves in a wide number of areas. Stories were developed to reflect and bring together the local knowledge and the school curriculum of the funding regime. Resources were created to support activity-based real-world learning which was integral to the teaching philosophy. This enabled visitors to enjoy a variety of learning experiences. Of importance was a walk around the mountain, listening and engaging in conversations as they went. But it was considered equally important by the iwi staff that visitors should have the opportunity to 'do'--to experience the amount of effort Maori had used in creating tools, in digging and planting the gardens. Through their own personal education, their communications with community elders, and their learning and teaching interactions with visitors, the staff gradually became more knowledgeable themselves about the mountain's history. This was not a formal learning process, much more of an osmotic one. Informal learning--learning through conversations--became a major means of sharing knowledge. Integral to the work was an understanding of the basics of radical learning that linked the newly gained knowledge to some ideals for social purpose. (50)

Because the Mangere area was important historically for food growing, both for Maori and the later colonial settlements, the gardens became a major part of the development. Many of the plants and much of the early knowledge were under threat of extinction. Maori varieties of kumara (sweet potato), for example, had to be retrieved from a seed bank in Japan, and much of the growing knowledge had to be obtained from kaumatua (community elders) or from detailed anthropological research. There is now a developed bush garden containing named native plants and a worm farm. The Maori heritage garden grows old varieties of vegetables, kumara, hue (gourds), taro, rewai (potatoes), maize, and kamokamo (marrow). These form a living botanic collection using, as far as possible, traditional methods of cultivation and fertilisation. A particular feature that we tried to follow was that Maori used fallow systems and developed fertility through composting dried plant material, shells and ash, particularly from kowhai--a legume. In recognition of traditional Maori gardening practice, excreta, such as sheep or cow manure, is not used. For Maori, Pakeha use of excreta for food gardens was particularly disgusting and broke their laws of tapu (restriction).

These gardens are significant in a number of ways. They provide food for local consumption and sale, they are a means of preserving and passing on knowledge of gardening practices, and of maintaining the DNA of heritage vegetables, and of establishing a basis for further research. There has also been added a demonstration garden for some Maori medicinal plants which provides people with information about their uses. Recent developments include a named collection of flaxes (Phormium tenax) planted to preserve the different varieties used for weaving, rope making and cloth. This supports school visits with hands-on technology workshops in Maori tool making and gardening developed through the Anthropology Department at the University of Auckland. These sub-projects are accompanied by a small booklet sold at cost to visitors. (51)

Waiohua believe that they survived as an identifiable group from early times through continuing to tell their stories and through their adherence to a cultural mode of behaviour called whakaiti (humility) and manaakitanga (hospitality)52 that they draw from Tawhiao of Kingitanga. This means welcome is foremost and they tend to shy away from, or gloss over, the really emotionally painful aspects of their history, leaving this for others to interpret and talk about, or as usually happened, to ignore or deny. It therefore became important to teach the guides ways of talking about the history with which they could feel comfortable. This was to enable all visitors to the Centre--Pakeha, other ethnicities and other Maori--to understand just how the history had been created. This recognises history is not only that recorded in books, but also consists of the stories of those who hold and share the memories.

Meeting the Demands of 'Performativity'

Unfortunately, the importance of remembering stories or their legitimation as 'history' is not understood or accepted by funding agencies, particularly under the current regime of marketisation. Funding is based on accessing grants for specific projects but gaining such funds requires understanding of the process and the ability to write complex applications. This process demands much time and effort from volunteers who are working on minimum or no wages. There is little recognition by government officials that the process is dependent on having someone with the time and expertise to write grant applications and who can also understand the consequences of the performance milestones demanded. There is an assumption that there are required levels of both capability and capacity in community organisations. An additional issue is that the funding bodies may provide support for some of the operations of the organisation, but not for administration or grant writing, or for the performance audit requirements usually demanded.

Even more significant than the difficulties in gaining funding are the continual tensions between the goals of the various funding bodies and those of the iwi, for whom time is often limited and whose aims are different. At least two funding applications were turned down or cut back because the funders did not support 'salaries or wages', even for kaumatua. These issues underscore two major challenges that community education programmes have always faced--finding cheap, highly skilled and motivated organisers/educators, and marking out the distinct yet acceptable characteristics of learning in order to be a worthwhile category for funding. (53)

The legal status of the Trust has created its own difficulties. It removes the direct responsibility or obligation of local government to support the initiative, and undermines the notion of a 'partnership organisation'. Funding has to be applied for competitively, and detailed documentation kept and audited for the Charities Commission. Funding applications are now developed in terms of employment skills or easily achievable short-term outputs. As a community organiser put it:
   We have to spend so much time doing the funding applications, and
   establishing the budgeting and reporting as well, that now we
   haven't any resources for the programme. We need almost a full-time
   accountant and a grant writer. Our people are not interested in
   becoming number crunchers or funding seekers. They just want to
   work with people, but we do need that funding to continue. (54)

Yet community education, be it environmental or social, has a longer time-frame, and is primarily a volunteer-based structure, with the intention of building networks and better understanding for some dream of a better society. (55)

The time taken in dealing with back office administration and documentation has had an impact on the participants. The originally motivated people in the community became more cynical, and the competent volunteers with the desired network connections and enthusiasm to drive new developments have become harder to enthuse. There is only so much one can do on minimal wages and dreams.

Despite these difficulties, considerable outcomes have been accomplished: building the gardens; developing programmes; and organising volunteers and guides. These were minute achievements compared to the establishment of the centre as a business on limited funds, a process which required a steep learning curve. Gradually it became clear that one of the most important tasks that the iwi needed to learn for the success of this project was to develop their own business skills and their own high level accounting and marketing capability. In essence, they had to become entrepreneurs within a model of collegial whanaungatanga of contracted out capitalism. Yet the task was unremitting. In other words, the iwi were shaped into becoming entrepreneurial, learning to run the business for themselves, or they would have to face the reality of contracting out their own knowledge to others. They were shaped by external forces into becoming commercial players in the context of a market regime, subsidised for a limited time by some local government funding and with no guaranteed long-term future. Thus we moved along ... often from small crisis to smaller crisis, usually over building iwi capability for particular business skills, meeting deadlines or providing specific reports. (56)

Enterprise Culture versus Collective Cultures and Whanaungatanga

Today, in spite of development and training about mana whenua by the Manukau City Council, there is limited awareness amongst many of its managers and politicians of this particular history and very little understanding of the needs Waiohua feel for redress. The annual budget round puts all Maori needs together as something to be cut back. In 2010, on the eve of a new identity for Auckland local government with the combination of eight local councils to form Auckland Supercity, another recolonising history is emerging: 'Ngati Whatua owned all of Auckland'. Again, Waiohua feel they are written out of history. (57)

To return to my thesis: what Waiohua have lived through in the last 150 years has been an example of what Karl Polanyi describes in The Great Transformation. They were separated from their land by the use of imperial force and legal fiat between 1843 and 1863. They came back to their land to find that, in spite of maintaining ahi ka, their land had been taken from them, with their major mountains such as the one they named Te Upoko o Mata'oho under government ownership. As a people they became virtually landless, providing wage labour for the development of Auckland capitalism. Their small remaining acreage around their various customary fishing spots was gradually whittled away, sold off to pay rates or taken for public works.

Yet from 1900 onwards, in concert with the boom and bust cycle of the New Zealand economy, through changing governmental structures, Waiohua have survived, and retreated, maintaining their identity through their consideration of their tikanga and whanaungatanga--consideration of the obligations to ancestors, family and visitors. They have maintained their beliefs in reciprocity, obligation and social approbation--manaakitanga. These continue to offer some refutation of neo-liberalism or, in its present form, the enterprise culture of performativity. In particular, Waiohua in their own beliefs continually refute the following economic ones:

* that paid labour is the only form of value in a society

* that paid labour is for individual personal gain, and

* that the market economic system is the only measure of progress.

However, any resistance is not total. The idea that a self-managing market will create drivers for efficient and effective implementation of progress to political goals may be a fiction. But it is a very powerful fiction. The development of capitalism may be an uneven process but the ideal of the self-regulating market is intense. When there is resistance, there are sometimes opportunities through which some counter-structures may rise.

Identifying this opportunity is what Polanyi says creates the double movement. The logic of the free market produces a social requirement to create some form of social intervention in order to prevent social disorder. In New Zealand this has been occurring through the Maori renaissance and the transfer of state funds to Maori through the Waitangi Tribunal process. However, in terms of cultural production and organisational reproduction, these new Maori organisations are strongly capitalist. They are developed to channel and protect income, and distribute proceeds in a particular way.

The future of the Waikato-Tainui dream for their collective economic self-sufficiency is still unfolding in the structures of Waikato-Tainui corporation: (58) the Treaty settlement structure that Elizabeth Rata describes as 'neo-ttribal capitalism'. (59) Princess Te Puea Herangi, who began the renaissance for Waiohua and Waikato-Tainui, said in 1926: 'He ai ki enei korero: i te moemoea au, naku anake i te moemoea tatou na tatou katoa. When I dream alone it is my dream. When we dream together it is our dream'. (60)

The Mangere Mountain Centre stands as a place in which the stories of resistance of Waiohua can be told to visitors and to schools. It is in the telling of stories that working people, Maori and non-Maori, build their memories and their possibilities for the future. The resistance to the market economy that may be created by such stories has to be truly informed, recognising both the reality and the consequences of the commodification of land, labour and money.


* I would like to acknowledge the very helpful detailed comments for improvement by the two anonymous referees, and the organisers and participants in the Red and Green and In-between Conference held at Griffith University (South Bank Campus), Brisbane, February 2010. I also want to thank elders of Waiohua, and Dr Maxine Stephenson and Associate Professor Harry Allen for their suggestions that improved this article.

(1.) According to local elder, Maurice Wilson (personal communication, April 2010), Te Upoko o Mata'oho, meaning the sacred head of Mata'oho, is their name which denotes the sacredness of the mountain. Other names used by government officials and local people include Te Pane o Mata'oho (the head of Mata'oho) and Te Maunga o Mata'oho (Mata'oho's Mountain).

(2.) Ewan Cameron, Bruce Hayward and Graeme Murdoch, A Field Guide to Auckland: Exploring the Region's Natural and Historic Heritage, Godwit, Auckland, 2008; Ian Lawlor, Cultural Heritage Inventory: A Scoping Exercise for the Auckland Region, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland, 1991; Susan Bulmer, Prehistoric Polynesian Gardens at Wiri, paper presented to the International Congress of Archaeological and Ethnological Sciences, Vancouver, 1983.

(3.) Joce Jesson, 'Community meets university on Mangere Mountain', in J. Jesson, V. Carpenter, M. McLean, M. Stephenson and Airini (eds), University Teaching Reconsidered: Justice, Practice, Inquiry, Dunmore Publishing Ltd, Wellington, 2010, pp. 60-68.

(4.) Leonard Bell, Colonial Constructs: European Images of Maori 1840-1914, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 1992.

(5.) Conal McCarthy, Exhibiting Maori: A History of Colonial Cultures of Display, Te Papa Press, Wellington, 2007.

(6.) Peter Davis, Ecomuseums: A Sense of Place, Leicester University Press, New York, 1999.

(7.) Russell Jacoby, Social Amnesia: A Critique of Conformist Psychology from Adler to Laing, Harvester Press, Sussex, 1979, p. 5.

(8.) This amnesia also extends to other Maori. In 2003, rather than go through the lengthy reconciliation process of the Waitangi Tribunal, Ngati WWhatua chose to enter into direct negotiations with the Crown for a claim to large parts of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland). The Crown personally knew their negotiators, and gave Ngati Whatua the nod ahead of the other claimant groups. However, the draft settlement precipitated an emergency hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal. Justice Carrie Wainwright, in a lengthy report, recommended that Tamaki Makaurau Settlement be put on hold until the claims of all of the other claimant groups had been heard. She remarked the Crown Process of direct negotiation now shifted from being about reconciliation but had become a process of picking winners, New Zealand Herald, 16 June 2007. Accessed 28 June 2010 at ww.nzherald. &pnum=0.

(9.) The boundary crossing between Museum Studies and Labour History was the subject of a special thematic issue of Labour History, no. 85, November 2003. That volume presents five in-depth articles on this subject. See Bobbie Oliver and Andrew Reeves, 'Crossing disciplinary boundaries: labour history and museum studies', Labour History, no. 85, November 2003, pp. 1-8. Accessed 23 March 2010 at journals/lab/85/oliver.html.

(10.) Charles Fleming, 'Hochstetter, Dr Ferdinand Ritter Von', in A.H. McLintock (ed.), An Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 1966. Accessed 15 December 2009 at en/1966.

(11.) Ahukaramu Charles Royal, 'Papatuanuku--the land--whakapapa and kaupapa', in Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1 March 2009. Accessed 10 January 2010 at

(12.) For a comprehensive discussion of this history, see Paul Moon, The Struggle for Tamaki Makaurau: The Maori Occupation of Auckland to 1820, David Ling, Auckland, 2007.

(13.) Waiohua (and Nga Tai, a related iwi) continue to make representations to every council and government plan change through rights gained through the Resource Management Act 1991, seeking recognition of their existence and their spiritual knowledge. One of the latest was their successful appeal along with other local groups to the Environment Court, (2010) NZEnvC 211, Judgment 22 June 2010 against the proposed Manukau City Council plan change to enable a Marine Village development. This was on one of the estuaries they regard as part of their whakapapa.

(14.) William Hobson, James Busby and James Stuart Freeman, 'The Treaty of Waitangi printed in 1845' and 'Governor (1839-1841: Hobson)', in The Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand, New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. Accessed 10 December 2009 at

(15.) Ibid.

(16.) Much of the social amnesia is generated in schools, where teachers' lack of knowledge, fear or conservatism results in the promotion of a colonial view of history; the 'NZ standard story'. See Tamsin Hanly, Preparing students for a bicultural relationship: Pakeha primary teachers and histories of Aotearoa, MA thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland 2007, especially ch. 7, pp. 150-70.

(17.) Hazel Petrie, 'Maori enterprise; ships and flour mills', in I. Hunter, D. Morrow, H. Petrie, City of Enterprise: Perspectives on Auckland Business History, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2006, p. 37.

(18.) Ibid.

(19.) Ibid, p. 229.

(20.) P. Goldsmith and M. Bassett, Puketutu and its People, David Ling, Auckland, 2008.

(21.) Letters to his father, J.L. Campbell, 1841, cited in R.C.J. Stone, Makers of Fortune: A Colonial Business Community and its Fall, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 1973, p. 45.

(22.) K. Sinclair, A History of New Zealand, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1959.

(23.) Pei Te Hurinui Jones, Nga Iwi o Tainui: Nga Koorero Tuku Iho a Nga Tuupuna: The Traditional History of the Tainui People, Bruce Biggs (ed. and trans.), Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2004.

(24.) John Elsdon Gorst, The Maori King, or The Story of our Quarrel with the Natives of New Zealand, Paul's Book Arcade, Hamilton, 1959 (1864).

(25.) Ibid.

(26.) The Waitangi Tribunal, Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Manukau Claim (WAI-8), Wellington, Waitangi Tribunal, Department of Justice, 1985. Accessed 2 December 2008 at www.waitangi- -5EAFE075D839.pdf.

(27.) The many Maori-Chinese families around Auckland, some which date back to these market garden relationships, are the subject of two recent books, Jenny Bol Jun Lee, Jade Taniwha: Maori-Chinese Identity and Schooling in Aotearoa, Rautaki Ltd, Auckland, 2007 (which focuses particularly on a Te Waiohua linked family); and Manying Ip (ed.), The Dragon and the Taniwha: Maori and Chinese in New Zealand, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2009, which has a wider focus. However, much of the literature about the history of market-gardens around Auckland takes the land ownership question for granted and so renders underlying tensions and struggles invisible.

(28.) Joan Metge, Rautahi: The Maoris of New Zealand, Routledge, London, 2004.

(29.) Bradon Ellem and Peter Franks, 'Trade union structure and politics in Australia and New Zealand', Labour History, no. 95, 2008, pp. 43-67.

(30.) The Official Website of Waikato-Tainui, Background to Raupatu. Accessed 10 January 2008 at, 2008. See also T. van Meijl, 'The Maori King Movement: unity and diversity in past and presents, Bijdragen tot de Taal, Land--en Volkenkunde, Politics, Tradition and Change in the Pacific, vol. 149, no. 4, 1993, pp. 673-89.

(31.) Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, Beacon Press, Boston, 1944, p. 68.

(32.) Ibid, p. 140.

(33.) See James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009; Chris Rudd and Brian S. Roper (eds), The Political Economy of New Zealand, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1997; Brian S. Roper and Chris Rudd (eds), State and Economy in New Zealand, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1993; Mike O'Brien and Chris Wilkes, The Tragedy of the Market: A Social Experiment in New Zealand, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 1993; Miles Fairburn, The Ideal Society and its Enemies: The Foundations of Modern New Zealand Society, 1850-1900, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 1989.

(34.) Michael Burawoy, 'From Polanyi to Pollyanna: the false optimism of global labor studies', Global Labour Journal, vol. 1, no. 2, 2010, pp. 301-13.

(35.) For example, Richard Hill, State Authority, Indigenous Autonomy: Crown-Maori Race Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1900-1950, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2004; Richard Hill, Maori and the State: Crown-Maori relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950-2000, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2009; R. Boast and R. Hill, Raupatu: The Confiscation of Maori land, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2009; Andrew Sharp, Justice and the Maori: The Philosophy and Practice of Maori Claims in New Zealand since the 1970s (2nd edn), Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1997.

(36.) James Belich and Lydia Wevers, with Richard Hill and Brigitte BonischBrednich, 'Understanding New Zealand Cultural Identities', discussion paper prepared by the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, 2008.

(37.) Janine Hayward (ed.), Local Government and the Treaty of Waitangi, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 2003.

(38.) Waitangi Tribunal (Wai-8), Section 06, pp. 61, 62.

(39.) Manuka Henare, 'Tapu, Mana, Mauri, Hau, Wairua: A Maori philosophy of vitalism and cosmos', in John A. Grim (ed.), Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, distributed by Harvard Press, Cambridge MA, 2001, pp. 197-221.

(40.) Manukau City Council Governance Structures, downloaded 10 August 2010 at www.

(41.) Robert Joseph, Denial, Acknowledgement and Peace Building through Reconciliatory Justice, August 2001. Accessed 20 February 2010 at

(42.) Mahia Wilson, Korero about Mangere, personal conversations with author (1989-2008). Mahia Wilson passed away in January 2008.

(43.) Mangere Mountain Education Centre Trust, Minutes of Meetings, Archival Documents, personal collection.

(44.) Bruce Jesson, Only Their Purpose is Mad: The Money Men Take Over New Zealand, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 1999.

(45.) Hayward, Local Government and the Treaty.

(46.) Ibid., p. 5.

(47.) The original Mangere Mountain Accord Statement (1999) specified a partnership to develop an Education Centre, with an agreement that the local government would provide money for a coordinator. The signing implied a mutual recognition and understanding. However, by 2001 the documents from the Manukau Council as responsible for funding seemed to change the understanding from one of partnership to that of a service function (MCC Service agreement, 28 July 2001). They now required a full audited annual report with record of visitor numbers, and the Occupational Health and Safety plan to be completed before any funding for the coordinator could be released. Moreover, their funding would not cover these requirements, which had to be met by the Centre from its own resources. By 2004, the requirements had tightened further to include, in addition, more information, an annual business plan, external funding gained and numbers of stories developed, Mangere Mountain Education Trust Documents, July 2004, personal collection.


(49.) Stephen Ball, 'The teacher's soul and the terrors of performativity', Journal of Education Policy, vol. 18, 2003, pp. 215-28.

(50.) Frank Coffield (ed.), The Necessity of Informal Learning, Policy Press, Bristol, 2000.

(51.) Mani Barr (with input from Ian Lawlor, Dave Veart, Maurice Wilson and Saul Roberts), I Nga Ra o Mua: In the Old Days: Stories about the Mountain, Mangere Mountain Education Centre, Auckland, 2006.

(52.) Metge, Rautahi.

(53.) Joce Jesson, 'Community education', in M. Thrupp and R. Irwin (eds), Another Decade of Change in Education: Where to Now?, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Waikato University, forthcoming 2010.

(54.) Personal communication, 2007.

(55.) Jesson, 'Community education'.

(56.) Minutes of the Mangere Mountain Education Trust, 2003-08, personal collection.

(57.) See n. 9 above.

(58.) Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated (WTTKI) manages and distributes income for the collective benefit of approximately 57,000+ registered Waikato-Tainui tribal members from that settlement. Website for Waikato Tainui Corporation (WTTKI) accessed 4 January 2010 at www.

(59.) Elizabeth Rata, 'The rise and rise of the neo-tribal elite', Summer Sounds Symposium, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, 2005.

(60.) Waikato Tainui Corporation (WTTKI).

Joce Jesson teaches in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Auckland. Her interests are in adult education policy, educators' work and community education. Her current project is on contingent academic staff and the research/teaching nexus. She is actively engaged in employment relations education with the New Zealand trade unions. She has recently co-edited a book with V. Carpenter, M. McLean, M. Stephenson, and Airini, University Teaching Reconsidered: Justice, Practice, Inquiry.

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Author:Jesson, Joce
Publication:Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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