Kōrero Tahi: Talking Together
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Korero Tahi: Talking Together is a handbook and companion piece to Dame Joan Metge's earlier work Talking Past Each Other. In Korero Tahi she presents a procedure for managing group discussion which borrows from and draws on Maori tikanga (protocol). It is designed for use in settings where Maori from different iwi or Pakeha from different ethnic groups are present and committed to working together but it could be used in a wide range of contexts such as conferences, workshops, and community discussions. Korero Tahi is based on Metge's own experience of observation in Maori settings and on discussion with Maori experts and working with Maori groups. A practical guide in a wide range of contexts, it also has a wider implications for the whole of society.
pattern In all discussions intended to reach decisions, Māori aim to achieve consensus, that is, a unified, collective agreement. ‘Achieve’ is the operative word here: consensus has to be worked for through a process that demands goodwill, patience and freedom from time constraints. In their early speeches, speakers pool all the information they hold relevant to the matter in hand. Then, using whakawhitiwhiti kōrero, they set out a range of different options and scenarios and argue their
broader questions, for example, the differences and similarities between the concepts of partnership and cooperation, and the usefulness of these terms in discussions about the Treaty of Waitangi and national and local relations between Māori and Pākehā. If participants have been divided into small groups, they should be brought back together in a plenary session. Each group might be asked to share one or two of the best stories contributed and/or their ideas on the broader issues. The
revered member and advisor. With the wealth of her scholarship and experience, her profound knowledge of Te Ao Māori enhanced as it is by an enchanting deference and respect for Māori cultural traditions, Dame Joan is an exemplar for those whose vision it is to see Māori and Pākehā working together as equal partners for a common purpose: a noble cause for which she has devoted much of her life. This beautiful and truly seminal book puts forward a practical mode of ‘managing discussion’ with the
occasions, for exploring issues, making decisions, resolving disputes, investigating wrongdoing and restoring damaged relationships and social order. Māori discussion processes are clearly shaped by and for the spaces available on a marae complex: the open space between gateway and meeting house (the marae ātea), the interior of the meeting house and the dining hall. When meeting on their own, without visitors, the people of a marae commonly hold formal, serious discussions in the meeting house
utilisation of alternative procedures incorporating many insights derived from the tikanga Māori. Perhaps just as importantly, it offers us all ‘a way of doing partnership as well as talking about it’. Ko Dr. Dame Joan Metge He whaea rangimarie, aroha, wairua pono. Kia hora te marino Kia papa pounamu te moana Kia tere te kārohirohi May the calm be widespread May the sea glisten like the greenstone And may the shimmer of summer dance across thy pathway. M.J.A.(Mick)BROWN HOANI