MAOR107-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Aotearoa: Introduction to Traditional Maori Society

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


A comprehensive introduction to: the settlement of the Pacific, Polynesian navigation, star paths, renaissance of voyaging. Maori astronomy, new year stars. Creation myths, Skyfather, Earthmother, gods, origins of life and death. Demigods - Maui, Tawhaki,Whaitiri. Oral traditions, first arrivals, canoe ancestors, explorers, romance, sexual imagery, war. Spiritual beliefs, mana, tapu, makutu black magic witchcraft. Maori geography of New Zealand, greenstone trails, forest lore, pa and settlements, meeting houses, sacred rituals and protocols. Social structure, tribal organisation, leadership, marriage, sex, death. Fortifications, warfare, weapons, canoes,cannibalism. Wood, bone, greenstone carving, tattoo and moko. Performing arts, haka, contemporary themes. Ngai Tahu traditions.

The Treaty of Waitangi was the blueprint for the formation of early New Zealand, it has a contested, complex, and rich place in historical and contemporary New Zealand society. If you want to understand the Treaty of Waitangi and contemporary events like 40,000 strong protests, why there are treaty settlements, and whether there really is such a thing as ‘Māori Privilege’; this is a great introductory course that will give you the knowledge and tools to understand the relationship of the Treaty in Māori issues.

• At one point the Treaty of Waitangi was legally considered a ‘simple nullity’; something that can be disregarded. What is the significance of the Treaty in building New Zealand society, why was it needed and what authority does it have contemporarily?
• Media around Māori Treaty settlements often split the country, challenging a perception of equality. What relationship does the Treaty have towards race relations in past and present New Zealand?
• By the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi there were more literate Māori than settlers. By the late 1950s Māori were numerically outnumbered and considered a dying race. What changes occurred in Māori society pre and post signing of the Treaty and why?
• What were the effects of assimilation and integration of Māori into a western society and are they still in effect today?
• At one point the Crown considered New Zealand too costly to send support for colonisation. What changed and why? What is the basic formula of colonisation, the narratives and goals?

The themes in this course include
• The relationship between settler and Māori before the Treaty of Waitangi
• The Treaty and the transfer of power
• Colonisation, narratives about the colonised, and the effect on Māori identity
• Māori Spirituality as a political movement of protest
• Indigenous autonomy
• The Māori renaissance and Treaty settlements
• Contemporary issues

Course Goals
• Introduce the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles
• Examine the impact of the Treaty on contemporary New Zealand
• Investigate colonisation in New Zealand and the impact on Māori and identity
• Review Māori political and spiritual response to the Treaty

Learning Outcomes
Students will
• Openly discuss common understandings of the Treaty, cultural encounters, race relations and    stereotypes in an open environment on a pathway to attain considered opinions
• Gain introductory knowledge to the Treaty of Waitangi, its principles, and the impact on                 Māori
• Begin to appreciate how the Treaty has shaped New Zealand and race relations
• Have a greater understanding of New Zealand history

Why this Paper?
Students taking this paper may be interested in the following career pathways
• Policy analyst in Māori and Government organisations
• Community development roles especially within Māori and Iwi sectors
• Professional social services, education, health sector roles interfacing with Iwi and Māori organisations.
• Kaupapa Māori research
• Police
• legal
• Librarian

Transferrable Skills
This course contributes to the development of the following transferable skills
• Critical thinking
• Self-awareness
• Communication
• Indigenous world perspective
• Cultural awareness

Learning Outcomes

The course focuses on Māori culture, histories and traditions. The course aims to provide a basic understanding of concepts that establish a Māori world-view; and to provide a comprehensive introductory historical, cultural and social overview of Māori society, using a topic-by-topic approach with regard to the following:

1. Polynesian Origins and Navigation
2. Astronomy
3. Oral Traditions
4. Tikanga Māori
5. Social Organisation and Structure
6. Spiritual Beliefs and Customs
7. A Māori Geography of Aotearoa New Zealand
8. Environmental Knowledge
9. The Symbolism of Land and Meeting Houses
10. Warfare, Weapons, and Cannibalism
11. Performing Arts
12. The Arts of Weaving, Carving and Tattoo
13. Leadership
14. Ngāi Tahu tribal traditions


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Hamuera Kahi


Emma Maurice and Jess Maclean


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Online Quizzes - 3 30% There will be fthree on line quizzes posted on LEARN fortnightly relative to the previous weeks lectures and readings. Each quiz/task will be worth 10%
Take Home Test 1 20% This test will cover material from Term 1. The format of the test will include both short and long answers.
Research Exercise 20% The main aim of this task is to find three appropriate resources on the following Maori concepts. 1. Mana 2. Tapu 3. Utu. Students must outline and identify the key points of each resource. Furter details will be given in week 5.
Take-home Test 2 30% The test will focus on material covered in Term 2. Further details will be given in week 10.

Online quizzes:               Due: Week 4, and 8                 20%    
There will be two on-line quizzes posted on LEARN fortnightly relative to the previous weeks lectures and readings. Each quiz will be worth 10% of the total course grade.

Take Home Test 1           Due:               25%
This test will cover material from Term1. The format of the test will include both short and long answers.  The test will be distributed online and students will have 5 days to complete and submit the assessment.

Research Exercise:          Due               30%
The main aim of this task is to find three appropriate resources on the following Māori concepts:  Mana - Tapu - Utu
Students must outline and identify the key points of each resource.  Further details will be given in week 6. The word count for the assessment is 1,500 words. An essay writing guide is available on LEARN, which will help with formal writing conventions.  

Take-home Test 2:          Due:              25%
This test will be an online submission test. The questions will go online at the same time for each student. Each student will then have five days to complete and submit the assessment.The test will focus on material covered in Term 2.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Ka'ai, Tania; Ki te whaiao : an introduction to Maori culture and society; Pearson Longman, 2004.

Walker, Ranginui; Ka whawhai tonu mātou = Struggle without end; Rev. ed; Penguin, 2004.

Additional Course Outline Information

Grade moderation

Grade Scales:
Grade GPA Marks
A+ 9 90 - 100
A 8 85 - 89
A- 7 80 - 84
B+ 6 75 - 79
B 5 70 - 74
B- 4 65 - 69
C+ 3 60 - 64
C 2 55 - 59
C- 1 50 - 54
D 0 40 - 49
E -1 0 - 39

Late submission of work

Late Penalties
Late assignments will receive a 5% of 100% deduction for every day that the assignment is overdue.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that those students who hand their work in on time are not disadvantaged

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Aotahi School of Maori and Indigenous Studies.

All MAOR107 Occurrences

  • MAOR107-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020
  • MAOR107-20S1 (D) Semester One 2020 (Distance)