The term Māori Renaissance refers to the revival in fortunes of the Māori of New Zealand beginning in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this period, the perception of Māori went from being that of a dying race to being politically, culturally and artistically ascendant.
The roots of the renaissance lie in development during the inter-war period and the Māori Battalion, whose performance in the World War II won them many battle honours and decorations, with more individual bravery decorations than any other New Zealand battalion.
The renaissance happened across a number of spheres, including the revival of te reo Māori with the founding of the first kōhanga reo in 1982 and the passing of the Māori Language Act in 1987; the land-focused māori protest movement, with the Bastion Point occupation in 1977—1978; the Springbok tour which led to international indigenous peoples connections; and the landmark Te Maori art exhibition in which Māori exhibited Māori art internationally for the first time. The culmination has arguably been the Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements starting in 1992, which have addressed the erosion of the Māori economic base.
There is now a wide range of Māori-owned enterprises such as television and radio, businesses and tourist ventures. Additionally, there is significant political representation, and an increasing number of individuals are gaining international reputations for their achievements. Today, Māori people can be found in a wide array of pursuits and activities throughout the country and the world.
People and groups
Started in 1951 Māori Women's Welfare League is organisation that has had the most enduring impact on the Māori renaissance. As perhaps the first national Māori organisation founded on western principals and consistently winning grants and accolades for its work in housing, health, and education, the League demonstrated that western organisational principals weren't anathema to kaupapa Māori—Māori goals and approaches. Women who had gained experience in the League went on to found the Kōhanga Reo movement and Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa.
- Māori Urbanisation and renaissance, Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Accessed 2010-12-17.
- Patrons of Maori Culture: Power, Theory and Ideology in the Maori Renaissance, Steven Webster, University of Otago Press, 1998., Review by Giselle Byrnes, Kōtare 1999, Volume Two, Number Two. Accessed 2010-12-17.
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- "3. Māori renaissance - Ngā tuakiri hou – new Māori identities - Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". teara.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Battle lines are drawn - 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online". nzhistory.net.nz. 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
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