Reflections on Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonialism in Aotearoa

The Australian Centre thanks Ashley Anderson for the careful and considerate revision of provided captions.

Webinar summary and key themes

A collaboration between The Australian Centre and Tūwharetoa scholar Hemopereki Hoani Simon

13th October 2022

Full Title: Musings and Reflections on Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonialism in Aotearoa New Zealand

In 2014 The Waitangi Tribunal in The Te Paparahi o Te Raki report said that if hapū (clans) and/or iwi (nations) signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi you still maintained mana motuhake (Indigenous sovereignty). This decision questioned the whole basis of the settler colonial state in Aotearoa New Zealand. The then Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson QC immediately moved to deny the findings of The Tribunal. This started the interest and doctoral research of Tūwharetoa scholar, Hemopereki Simon who wanted to explore how this applied to non-signatory groups like his own iwi Tūwharetoa. This in-person conversation between Lorenzo Veracini and Hemopereki Simon seeks to explore Hemopereki's published doctoral research that explores the intersection of mana motuhake (Indigenous sovereignty), settler colonialism, the white possessive, treaty and the collective future of Aotearoa New Zealand. In doing so the conversation will highlight the challenges that face Aotearoa New Zealand to become a better society and the need to recognise and provide for Indigenous sovereignty. These works are key to understanding settler colonialism in the aotearoa New Zealand context. Topics discussed from the publications will focus on biculturalism, settler/invader identity, the responsibility settler/invaders have to decolonisation, Indigenous politics, and alt/far-right thought on Indigenous issues and identity. Lorenzo and Hemopereki will touch on how this material may apply to Indigenous Australia with particular reference to "voice to Parliament" and the Victorian Treaty Process.


Hemopereki Hoani Simon Hemopereki is a Māori (Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Tainui, Hauraki, Mataatua) scholar who is the Honorary Indigenous Research Fellow at The Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies. His academic background is very diverse and he self-identifies as a very interdisciplinary and critical researcher who specialises in Kaupapa Māori Research.

Hemopereki holds a Masters of Philosophy in Resource and Environmental Planning from Massey University and from The University of Waikato a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Indigenous Studies and a Bachelor of Māori and Pacific Development. More recently Hemopereki was the first Māori scholar to be awarded a Research Justice at The Intersection Research Fellow at Mills College in California. He is also a former Pūrehuroa Scholar. It is expected that Hemopereki should graduate with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Indigenous Politics in 2023. His doctoral research deals with the intersection of mana motuhake (Indigenous sovereignty), settler colonialism, the white possessive, The Treaty of Waitangi and the collective future of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Hemopereki has a significant environmental and Indigenous policy and governance background. He is based on his occupied ancestral lands in Taupō, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Associate Professor Lorenzo Veracini is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Australian Centre and teaches history and politics at Swinburne University of Technology. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and settler colonialism as a mode of domination. He has authored Israel and Settler Society (2006), Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (2010), The Settler Colonial Present (2015), and most recently The World Turned Inside Out: Settler Colonialism as a Political Idea (2021). Lorenzo co-edited The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism (2016), manages the settler colonial studies blog, and is Founding Editor of Settler Colonial Studies.