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Indigeneity as process: Māori claims and neoliberalism

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In this article I use ethnographic material drawn from research with Māori to focus critical attention on the structural conditions that both enable and disable the reproduction of indigeneity in New Zealand. I conceptualize indigeneity as process, as intertwined with property struggles, as dynamically constituted and reconstituted in relation to the prevailing political economy, as facilitated and inhibited by state institutions, and as both primordial and contingent. I argue that in New Zealand, a particular type of indigeneity is rewarded, one that is most closely aligned with neoliberal architecture and although indigeneity may potentially co-opt neoliberal spaces, there are costs associated with this engagement.
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Keywords: Māori; Treaty claims; indigeneity; neoliberalism; property rights

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, University of Hawai'i, Hilo, Hawai'i, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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