Chapter 18 - Abstract and author bios

18. Being pre-Indigenous: Kin Accountability Beyond Tradition

Paul Tapsell

This chapter offers a glimpse into being pre-Indigenous in the Māori cultural heritage sector of New Zealand museums. Through taonga it provides an insider perspective of the challenges and opportunities of being Māori since British colonization (1840 Treaty of Waitangi) up to Te Maori in the 1980s; the bicultural influence of Te Papa/Museum of New Zealand on urban Māori identity formation; and the twenty-firstt century emergence of Indigeneity and Iwification, directly challenging tribal marae (source) communities. ‘Being pre-Indigenous’ is essential reading for anyone seeking to better understand and/or engage Indigenous peoples in and beyond museums worldwide.

Paul Tapsell is Chair of Māori Studies and a former Dean of Te Tumu, the School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, at the University of Otago. Paul’s Māori ancestry originates out of the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions. His research interests include Māori youth identity in twenty-first-century New Zealand, role of cultural heritage and museums in nation states, and taonga trajectories in and beyond tribal contexts. Paul continues to build on his past museum experiences at Rotorua Museum (curator), Pitt Rivers Museum (doctoral research), post-doctoral studies (CCR/ANU) and Auckland War Memorial Museum (Director Māori). He is a former co-Chair of Museums Aotearoa and sat on Te Māori Manaaki Taonga Trust. Today he serves on the Otago Museum Trust Board, Pukaki Trust, Sir Hugh Kawharu Foundation, Te Potiki National Trust and as an Eisenhower Fellow (NZ). Paul’s most notable exhibitions are The New Dawn (1991), The Legacy of Houmaitawhiti (1993–1997), Ko Tawa – Maori Ancestors of New Zealand (2005–2008) and Te Ara – Māori pathways of leadership (2010–2014). His publications are not only academic in nature, but also include very accessible books on taonga and leadership (Pukaki, 2000, Ko Tawa, 2006, The Art of Taonga, 2011, and Te Ara, 2013) and most recently a digital web service, designed to assist urban-raised Māori youth reconnect to their ancestral communities (