Ani Mikaere (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou) is a barrister and solicitor and teaches Māori law and philosophy.

Listen to her powerful address: Striving to become redundant: How the community sector can honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The colonial state of New Zealand has been built upon a foundation of economic inequality, quite literally constructed on lands and resources stolen from tangata whenua in direct breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Moreover, government policy over the past three decades has resulted in an unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, impacting particularly harshly on those already rendered vulnerable by colonisation.

This presentation explores the consequences of this history for community groups who seek to work with tangata whenua in a way that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It suggests that the work of community groups will be done when political power is returned to tangata whenua, rendering support from external agencies unnecessary—in other words, that a commitment to Te Tiriti requires those within the community sector to work towards their own redundancy.

From: Community Waikato