Nz Maori - 3 Social Issue Which Affect Nz Society Today

In this essay I will discuss the three social issues of racism, Te Reo Māori and poverty which are affecting New Zealand society today, making specific reference to Treaty documents and the story of the Treaty of Waitangi.   It will also outline the changes I have experienced in relation to my understanding of these issues and how they will impact my practice as a counsellor and as a New Zealand resident. (71)

Racism - In the nineteenth century, a reoccuring dominant theme was the issue of 'race', as it reflected the policies of the empires and colonies that were being established at the time.   'Race' was used as a way to justify the European dominance and exploitation of others, and to identify the superior and inferior races so colonists could impose their own institutions and beliefs onto others.   'Races', however, do not exist because they are a social construction which has been made important through our social beliefs and values (McLennan, G., McManus, R. & Spoonley, P.   2010. p.234).   As a result, we have racist ideas instilled in us from an early age, and can be given importance, even though there is no scientific basis for it (Rooney, A. 2007. p. 5).

Uninvited early European settlers felt superior toward the indigenous people of New Zealand because they believed they had a more developed culture.   It was expected that the original inhabitants of this country would fit in with the European way of doing things, in the belief that they were being 'civilised'.   Calling them 'savages' or 'natives', led to an 'us and them' attitude, which still exists today (Rooney, A. 2007. p 5).

Personal racism diminishes another person in their own eyes, destroys their sense of self worth, as well as denying them access to resources and opportunities in society (Connell, S.J. 1987).   Cultural racism is harder to see because we see Pakeha values, beliefs and systems as 'normal' and every other culture, including Māori culture, as different (Connell, S.J. 1987).   One...