4 Sep 2014

Hawai'ians praise Maori assertiveness

7:36 am on 4 September 2014

A Hawai'ian academic says his people need to learn from assertive qualities Maori have, in order to help revitalise indigenous values.

About 300 Maori leaders and academics gathered at Te Pae Roa hui in Auckland to talk about the challenges Maori face, and about the future.

Keawe'aimoku Kaholokula is a professor at the University of Hawai'i and chair of the Department of Native Hawai'ian Health.

He said in terms of the indigenous global whanau, Maori are much further down the road than others, primarily because of the political and legal mana the Treaty of Waitangi has provided.

But Mr Kaholokula said it was impressive that there was such a sense of assertiveness and mana expressed by Maori. He said in Hawai'i indigenous people were still emphasising passive values.

He said it was important to bring back empowering values in order for his people to be more defiant and move forward.

Mr Koholokula said traditions were slowly being revived, such as the lua, an ancient Hawaiian martial art, and that would help bring back that assertiveness.