Sunday, 6 May 2007

About the conference

‘Sweet As?’ Ethnic* and Pākehā New Zealanders talk identity and
dominance in a colonised land

9-10 June 2007, St Anne’s Hall, Newtown, Te Whanganui a tara (Wellington)

Cost: $25 low wage, unwaged, student: $55 decent wage:
$170 if your work is paying/government

This conference is about examining dominant culture:
  • how it works
  • how it affects the way we think about ourselves (whatever our ethnicity), and
  • how it impacts on ‘race’ relations in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
The aim is to create discussion across communities, community workers, activists and academia.

Some conference themes:

  • Kiwi identity: is our national narrative exclusionary?
  • The concept of the ‘indigenous Pākehā’
  • The political uses of national identity and race/ethncity
  • Tauiwi responsibilities – what are they?
  • Whiteness and white dominance in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Moving beyond ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘biculturalism’?

How did it come about?

This conference came out of a couple of workshops organised on Asian New Zealand experiences and Tiriti o Waitangi issues/tauiwi responsibilities. When a smaller group started to unravel the issues—things like the construction of Pākehā identity and how that influences everyone else, the national politicisation of identity and the lack of crossover between those working on Māori and Ethnic interests— we decided we needed a forum for more in-depth discussions.

Why are we doing it?

First of all, we want to talk about these topics with other people and get new ideas. Second, although the themes described above are very seldom talked about publicly, we feel they actually underpin the way race relations work in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

What do we hope to achieve?

Although we don’t expect this conference to come up with any solutions or grand plan, we do hope it will start more people talking, thinking and writing about dominant culture issues and their effect on Māori and ethnic communities and interests.

We also hope it will be an opportunity for different groups of people, ethnic community workers, those working in the Pākehā anti-racism movement, academics, and government officials, to hear each others ideas.

* "Ethnic" is used to describe those of a non-Western European ethnicity, excluding Māori. (This is the current standard usage and is used in that context.)
** Note that we've had feedback about our use of this term. See the discussion thread Use of the word "ethnic" for the comments.

For more information email

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This so-called conference is a load of bollocks, though it appears a "nice" way of trying to make money out of the few fools that might attend (there are more fingers in a hand than potential attendees, I suspect).

As P.T. Barnum said " a sucker is born every minute".

Time for you people to get a real job and face the world.