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What’s Māori about Māori Education? The Struggle for a Meaningful Context – Wally Penetito (2010)

'What’s Māori about Māori Education' is a story about what it feels like to be Māori in an education system where, for more than a century, equality, social justice and fairness for all New Zealanders has been promised but not adequately provided.

Publication details

Penetito, W. What’s Māori about Māori Education? The Struggle for a Meaningful Context. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2010.

About the book

Wally Penetito’s What’s Māori about Māori Education? is a study of the recent history of schooling and education policy for and by Indigenous Māori in Aotearoa. The book’s central aim is to illuminate how the state has been able to constitute Māori subjects within the confines of an education system designed for Pākehā New Zealanders. To do this, he analyses four “mediating structures”: education reports, formal consultations, Marae on university campuses, and Kaupapa Māori based schooling; that have structured Māori schooling over the past five decades.

Penetito argues that these mediating structures establish limits on the degree of structural change that Pākehā will allow to occur within New Zealand’s education system. Personal anecdotes from his educational experiences and Penetito’s extensive professional and academic career add nuance and detail to the analysis. Wally Penetito is a Professor in Māori Education at Victoria University, Wellington.

Further information 


This publication is part of the series Te Takarangi: Celebrating Māori publications - a sample list of 150 non-fiction books produced by a partnership between Royal Society Te Apārangi and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.