[Iag-list] Pre-conference NZGS/ IAG Conference event: ‘Indigenous environmental rights, activism and cultural resurgence in urbanising areas’

Sandra Potter sandra.potter at anu.edu.au
Wed Apr 25 21:04:51 AEST 2018

Pre-conference NZGS/ IAG Conference event: ‘Indigenous environmental rights, activism and cultural resurgence in urbanising areas’
Hi all,
As co-convenors for the IPKR Study Group, Warrick and I have been assisting Brad Coombes (School of Environment, University of Auckland) with organising a themed event/workshop that will precede the combined NZGS/IAG conference in Auckland on July 12-14.

Activities will be offered on July 10 and 11, with an overnight stay at Makaurau Marae (http://www.makauraumarae.co.nz/ ) on July 10. Wai o Hua are the mana whenua here and as custodians of Makaurau Marae, are designing and will oversee the various activities that are planned. The marae is close to Auckland Airport, so participants may meet at the airport during the morning and be transferred to the marae in one group.

A tentative agenda is as follows:

  *   Powhiri (midday, 10 July, Makaurau Marae) and kai. Ideally, all participants will attend this greeting and introduction to the marae and its people. Mihi whakatau (less formal encounters) have been negotiated for those who can only attend at others times, but a collective showing at commencement is highly desirable.
  *   Walk-n-talk and marae-based discussion with SOUL (Save Our Urban Landscapes – http://www.soulstopsha.org/ ) and others about encroachment of Special Housing Areas; cross-cultural activism; urban wellbeing initiatives; and, the defence of heritage values at Ihumaatao and the Otuataua Stonefields. Recently, SOUL brought its cause before the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and will also report on that experience.
  *   Dinner in wharekai before transferring back to the whare tupuna for a panel discussion then to whakamoe (sleep – advance warning: that will be in a highly communal setting). Panel discussion: urban Indigeneity and urban planning. This will include debate amongst Maori planning practitioners and will also include break-out discussions for all participants.
  *   Guided walk-n-talk (mostly using the Watercare Coastal Walkway – https://www.watercare.co.nz/Help-and-advice/Environment-and-community/Coastal-Walkway ) about planning/Indigenous rights and issues associated with Manukau Harbour, implementation of the Manukau Treaty settlements, environmental restoration and urban sprawl. Wai-o-Hua has been at the forefront of Maori environmental activism for several decades and this exercise will give them the opportunity to showcase the outcomes of their Treaty settlement.
  *   Poroporoaki (farewell - late afternoon, 11 July). Transfers provided to central Auckland for the conference’s opening plenary.

Who for?

Those attending the NZGS/IAG conference and who have an interest in Indigenous communities, social wellbeing, environmental rights and cultural resurgence will be the main beneficiaries. This should not be seen as something limited to ‘Indigenous geographers.’ Every effort will be made to make this appealing to inquisitive graduate students, and we also envisage that this will be a family-friendly event.


The fee for overnight accommodation, meals and transfers will likely be no more than NZ$100, which includes an individual koha (‘contribution’) towards the work of the marae. Efforts are also being made to subsidise the cost further and to implement waged/unwaged, family and academic/community differentials. Brad is working towards having the NZGS website handle sign-ups, deposits and final payments, and is happy to handle any queries. If you would like to be included on an email list to register your interest, please email him at b.coombes at auckland.ac.nz<mailto:b.coombes at auckland.ac.nz>

Additional Information

Makaurau is well-suited to hosting breakout sessions, so there will be provision for an IPKRSG-IAG business meeting. If other sub-groups want to develop their own break-out session, workshop or recreational activity, that can likely be arranged (after lunch on the 11th appears to be a suitable time). There should also be time for private contemplation or recreation, and others have already shown an interest in a nearby winery or anticipate completing more of the coastal walkway system.


Sandy Potter and Warrick Nerehana Fort

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