The Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board : an examination of the strategic use of authoritative resources in the exercise of power. (1991)
AuthorsKelly, Stephanie Marinashow all
In 1946 legislation was passed in the New Zealand parliament which created the body now known as the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board. Its function was to administer compensation from the Crown for land purchased in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1990 the Runanga Iwi Act was passed, devolving the functions and responsibilities formerly in the hands of the Maori Affairs Department to tribally-based groups. These groups are referred to as iwi authorities. The Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board made submissions to the Select Committee in 1989 setting out a new tribal structure for Ngni Tahu which could act also as the Ngal Tahu iwi authority. Anthony Giddens and Michel Foucault supply the theory for this research. An attempt is made to move away from the tendency to view power solely in terms of dialectical relationships with the state. For groups such as the Ngal Tahu Maori Trust Board, power to achieve outcomes does not necessarily emanate from the state. Power in New Zealand society is not superstructural to the state, rather, it underlies all social relations. The state is simply one body which exercises power in relationships of domination with various groups in society. The research adopts categories of authoritative resources supplied by Giddens and uses these to examine the strategies and local forms of power relied on by the Trust Board at a time when the entire Maori population, like other segments of the New Zealand population, is being asked to take on greater responsibility to manage their own affairs. Observations made it clear very early that the Trust Board has developed strategies to achieve outcomes, independent of the state. The pursuit of mana and rangatlratanga for the Ngai Tahu iwi began long before the decision was made to disband the Department of Maori Affairs.