By Liz Charpleix, University of New England, Australia
Whanganui River at Pipiriki, December 2014 © Liz Charpleix
The recent election of Labour politician Jacinda Ardern as Aotearoa/New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister since 1856 has caught the world’s attention, for reasons ranging from the personal to the political. One of the planks in her party’s policy platform is ‘Clean rivers for future generations’, an appropriate goal for a nation that markets itself as ‘100% Pure’ and ‘the home of Middle Earth’. In pursuing this policy, the party has declared that they intend to ‘work with iwi [people who share a common ancestor] to resolve [Waitangi] Treaty water claims in a manner that respects iwi’s mana [authority], and restores the mauri [life force] of our rivers and lakes’ (Labour, nd).
Given that Aotearoa/New Zealand was colonised on the basis of a treaty signed by Māori chiefs and the English Lieutenant-Governor…
View original post 732 more words