What could a post-pandemic Aotearoa look like?

By Micah Thompson

A campaign has been launched by the Iwi Chairs Forum to gauge what a post-pandemic Aotearoa could look like.

Professor Margaret Mutu says COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to reimagine the future of the country.

Mutu says for over a decade they have been doing work on constitutional transformation although the talk has been going on inside the Māori world for the last century. However, the campaign is targeted for the whole country as she says, “Māori talked a great deal about it over the decade, we’d like the rest of the country to join in.”

“We have seen a shift in the way things are done in respect of Māori communities during this pandemic, and it is a transformational shift,” Mutu adds that Māori knew charge needed to be taken which was shown by their exercising of mana and tino rangatiratanga in respect of whanau, hapū and iwi.

Mutu continues by saying, “Māori can make our own decisions for ourselves and we can look after ourselves provided we have the resources to do so.”

The proposed goal is to get the country talking about the fact that we do need to change the constitutional makeup of the country. The effect of the current constitutional arrangement goes beyond and Māori as there a lot of other people included.

 “We want people to think about what it is they want to have in this country.”

Mutu provides an example of their purpose with a statement saying, “All whānau communities and people will achieve their potential.”

A Māori constitutional convention is being organised for the end of the year in which the information of this campaign will be taken to and further steps to progress this transformation will happen.