Viewport width =
March 10, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Māori Matters

Ka mura, Ka muri.

This proverb represents the beautiful way in which Māori traditionally viewed the future. The idea is that we are all walking through life backwards. We can’t see the future just as we can’t see where we are going when we are walking backwards.

Instead, we look to the past to inform the way we move into the future. We learn from those who have gone before us. We regard the past and present as a single, comprehensible ‘space’ because that is what we have seen and known. We walk backward into the future with our thoughts directed toward the coming generations but with our eyes on the past.

The concept explains a lot about different aspects of the Māori worldview. Tradition and consultation with elders is important whenever a decision is to be made about the future. Whakapapa and ancestry are key parts of Māori identity; who you are now is determined by all of the people who came before. Māori view land as a sacred taonga (gift) and believe we are merely kaitiaki (guardians) of the land. We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.

We can learn a lot about the way we think about the future from this Māori proverb.

Speaking of the future, last Monday we welcomed the University’s new Vice-Chancellor, Grant Guilford, with a powhiri at Te Herenga Waka Marae. It was attended by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Chancellor of the University Ian McKinnon and Auckland University’s Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon.

The powhiri brought together past, present and future. V-C McCutcheon comes from Victoria’s past – he was the Vice-Chancellor here from 2001 to 2004. V-C Guilford will lead the University into a new era. He’s leaving behind Auckland University, where he was the Dean of Science. He will bring the skills he has learnt from his past roles to his new job.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required