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Peter Meihana

Doctor of Philosophy, (Arts)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The Paradox of Maori Privilege: Historical Constructions of Maori Privilege circa 1769 to 1940

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Meihana's research explored the history of Maori privilege from 1769 to 1940 and included an investigation of official documents, newspapers, and seminal texts. His research demonstrated that contemporary claims of Maori privilege are part of an older discourse, the origins of which can be found in the many ideas about native peoples circulating in Britain during the 1830s. In addition, he showed that the idea of Maori privilege was central to the colonisation of New Zealand, and that claims and assertions of Maori privilege were essentially a paradox; a precursor to land loss, and political, social, and economic marginalisation. Notwithstanding the fact that Maori were stripped of their lands and resources the idea of Maori privilege persists to the present day, a reminder that New Zealand has yet to fully divest itself of its colonial origins.

Associate Professor Geoff Watson
Professor Michael Belgrave

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