Why is it called a hui?

The organising group had a lively debate over whether this event should be called a hui, a convergence, a conference etc.
Before coming to a decision we had a few big discussions. The following are some of the issues raised.

Some members of the organising group felt that as the word hui is a te reo maori word and it should only be used when referring to a meeting that follows Maori tikanga.
People felt it would be inappropriate and tokenistic to follow the tikanga of a certain Iwi or Hapu (for example the local Hapu of the area where the venue will be held) without having a relationship with said group.

Some felt that the word is often used in Aotearoa to mean simply a meeting, and that it would not be inappropriate to use the word hui to describe such an event as this.
Some grew up having the word Hui used to describe any get together fron an official meeting to a barbeque, and felt that for them not using their language would be silly, especially in the context of a political gathering with an emphisis on decolonisation.

Also, there was concern that hui and other Te Reo words have been appropriated by Pakeha and Tau iwi people/groups who use them without respect for the cultures and peoples they come from. For example, some people were upset when, in the past, events have been called ‘hui’ despit haveing been pakeha-dominated and lacking in analysis of racist and colonialist power dynamics.

We discussed that many Maori (including the two Maori wimmin in the organising group) feel that if non-maori want to learn our language they need to learn about our tikanga, our culture and our struggles and be willing to support us in out struggle for indigenous rights and freedoms.
We realise that not everyone who attends the hui has time to commit to Tino Rangatiratanga, but we think attending the decolonisation workshop and talking about racism and white privilege is a really good start.

Some felt it was the right of maori in the group to decide how to use their language.
Some thoughtpakeha and tau iwi should have equal responsibility with maori to deal with the issues and find a solution for this particular situation.
We decided that as there is, of course, no position of Maori as a whole we would respect the right of maori in the group to make the decision.

we’re keen to hear your feedback!
What do you think?


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