Please join us for this special noon-time Environmental Forum as Doctor Te MarieTau presents The Quiet Revolution: How Neo-Liberal Economic Theory Contributed to Greater Maori Independence.

Te Maire is the FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor at Stanford and the director of the Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury. He took up this position in 2011, having previously been a Senior Lecturer in History at the University. Te Maire belongs to Ngai Tahu, the principal tribe of the South Island, and lives in Tuahiwi, the largest village of that tribe. During his years as an undergraduate and later as a postgraduate student at Canterbury, Te Maire helped iwi leaders with their land claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, with a particular emphasis on traditional food-gathering practices. As a specialist historian on oral traditions, tribal genealogies and indigenous knowledge systems, Te Maire was used as an expert witness and historian for the settlement of the Ngai Tahu Claim - the largest settlement in its day between Maori and the Crown for lands wrongfully taken. Since then he has had a number of publications dealing with oral traditions and the relationship between indigenous knowledge systems and how they intersect with western science.


Over the last 30 years Māori tribes groups have reestablished themselves upon the social, political and economic landscape of New Zealand.  New Zealand businesses and tribal corporations regularly engage with each other. Co-governance models between tribes, the Crown and local authorities are being developed and modeled throughout New Zealand.  The change in New Zealand has been dramatic –yet it has almost been a ‘Quiet Revolution’.  This situation would never have been imagined during the mid 20th century and it is doubtful whether the activist movements of the 1960s could have even imagined the political influences Maori now have.  Historians tend to locate the return of tribal groups to the rise of the civil rights /activist movements of the 1980s.  Yet this is unlikely.  It is more probable that the principal factor that led to tribal groups gaining more ground in New Zealand was the introduction of neo-liberal economic theory by the 1984 Labour Government whose intellectual base was influenced by the Thatcher Government and the Chicago School of Economics. It was these schools of thought that caused this ‘Quiet Revolution’.  The introduction of this economic model by the Labour Government led to the creation of tribal corporations, which instinctively understood the relationship of 'less government' to Maori Independence.

Lunch will be provided