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'The little whare in Waterloo': thinking about Maori in Australia
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 03:06 authored by Innez Haua
One in five Maori now lives in Australia, and the number of Australian-born Maori is increasing, yet most conversations around Maori in relation to indigeneity and identity tend to assume that New Zealand is the only site of Maori experiences. This thesis focuses on a little carved whare, which was built in Waterloo in 1976 as part of a Sydney Housing estate, in order to critically explore the rootedness of migrating Maori and inevitable complexity of Maori self-perception. The little whare also draws attention to Maori interactions with Indigenous peoples and lands in Australia and the ensuing uneasy entanglement of indigeneity, migration, colonisation and identity. Offering an Australian Maori perspective on the topic, this thesis asks how we "think" about Maori in Australia by tracing the resettlement, history, Indigenous intersections and cultural expression of the Australian Maori diaspora and identifies specific elements that merits further research. Ultimately, the insights made visible by a close focus on the little whare invite broader discussions around intersecting indigeneity and the emergence of an Australian Maori identity.