28 January – Prof. Paul Spoonley & Dr Ranginui Walker 

Leading Treaty of Waitangi scholar Dr Claudia Orange chaired an exciting and thought-provoking debate on the last 30–40 years of Māori activism.

The two contributors to this debate are Professor Paul Spoonley and political commentator Doctor Ranginui Walker. Professor Spoonley considers the reaction over the last 30–40 years to growing Māori activism, as seen through the lens of a key protagonist – Dr Walker – who will respond. 


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About the speakers

Paul Spoonley holds a personal chair in Sociology at Massey University. He began his academic research in the mid-1970s on local reactions to the arrival of Pacific migrants.Since then, he has researched and written on Pākehā identity, Māori-Pākehā relations, right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. Currently, he heads a major research project on the settlement of immigrants in contemporary New Zealand (www.integrationofimmigrants.co.nz). 

He is the author or editor of more than 20 books, including Mata Toa: The Life and Times of Ranginui Walker (Penguin, 2009). He was the recipient of the Royal Society Science and Technology Medal in 2009, and he will be taking up a Fulbright Senior Scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2010 to research the identities of second generation Latino and Pacific youth.

Ranginui Walker, of the Whakatohea iwi, is an academic, author, biographer, historian, commentator, activist, and iwi consultant. He has been Professor and Head of Māori Studies at the University of Auckland, and since his retirement has been on the Waitangi Tribunal, appointed in 2003. For many years, Dr Walker published a regular column in the New Zealand Listener which educated the public on Māori issues, and formed the basis of one of his first books Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou – Struggle Without End. His many publications now  include He Tipua, his highly acclaimed biography of Sir Apirana Ngata, and most recently Tohunga Whakairo (2008), a biography of the late Paki Harrison (Ngāti Porou), one of New Zealand’s greatest master carvers. Dr Walker received the honour of the Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.

This year’s Treaty Debates will be video recorded and available on Te Papa’s website. Latecomers will not be admitted as Radio New Zealand National will be recording the debates.