SAC # 88

Local Landscapes at Otaki, and Maori and the Environment



TIME | 31 May 2010, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | Consumer & Applied Sciences (CAPS) Seminar Room, the building between Archway theatres and the Leith

SPEAKER | Rachael Selby


The first part of this presentation focuses on issues relating to her local landscape at Otaki, and part of her keynote address at the recent NZ Institute of Landscape Architects Conference. This presentation explores ways in which oral history contributes to the gathering of knowledge about local traditions and history and the unexpected outcomes of collecting oral histories. It identifies ways in which relationships between elders and mokopuna have flourished as greater inter-generational respect and understanding has grown during the collection of oral histories. The interviews have inspired young people to restore lakes and streams and wetlands and to learn about their meaning to past generations. The rangatahi interviewees have challenged their whānau, local and regional governments and others about decisions which impact on the environment. The youth have taken responsibility for challenging decision-making processes and working with those who have assumed “authority” to seek better environmental outcomes for future generations. Rachael will also speak briefly about a publication to be launched on June 1 entitled “Maori and the Environment: Kaitiaki”. Published by Huia Publishers, it is a collection of 19 chapters on environmental issues written by 25 Maori researchers from across the country.

About the Speaker

Of Ngāti Raukawa descent, Rachael is a Senior Lecturer in the Social Work and Social Policy programme at Massey University, a kaiawhina at Te Wananga-o-Raukawa and an oral history researcher. Her oral history research has focussed on interviewing Mäori women and on recording the memories of hapu elders and the impacts of environmental changes on hapu and iwi. She chairs the Executive of the National Oral History Association of New Zealand, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board and also the Ngātokowaru Marae Committee as a member of Te Rūnanga o Raukawa. Rachael is a writer and editor who lives in Ōtaki.

Rachael Selby’s talk is the second presentation in this year’s Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai: Te Hao Mātauranga/CSAFE seminar series and is jointly hosted by the Centre for Research on National Identity and the Research Cluster for Natural Resources Law. Following this seminar, at 2pm, tea/coffee and some light refreshments will be provided in the room next door to the CAPS Seminar room.


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