Archives - ‘New Zealand’

Nearly end of Work Term

March 31, 2009 | Rachel, Intern, Government Department processing Maori Land Applications

My work term is coming to an end! One week from tomorrow will be my final day as an intern at the Waitangi Tribunal. Although I have gotten used to living in the city and working every weekday, it will be a really nice change to begin my travels to the South Island, followed by Melbourne, next week.

One of the final projects I have been working on is with a senior colleague named Barry. Barry took me under his wing and spent much time explaining and dissecting for me (sometimes in a slightly complicated manor) his topic of research. Basically Barry was focused upon a very significant figure of New Zealand history named James Busby. Busby wrote much correspondence to the Colonial Offices prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, so I have spent some hours transcribing old English texts into document registers.

One aspect of this position that I have really enjoyed are the weekly Maori singing classes - ‘Waiata’ (means ’song’ in Maori). Wednesday mornings a few tribunal members group together and receive singing lessongs from traditional Maori songs by a Maori man. He also gives language lessons after singing, which I tried one week and really enjoyed!

This week I am mostly focusing on completing my report for this course. It’s a long task but I’m enjoying reviewing the term piece by piece.


Four Weeks Done Already!

February 27, 2009 | Rachel, Intern, Government Department processing Maori Land Applications

I am now four weeks into my placement with the Waitangi Tribunal, and things have been running very smoothly. My supervisor is a Senior Research Analyst, so most of the work I’ve done so far has been reading about different claim submissions, putting together packages of images or research volumes through scanning and photocopying, and assisting the other researchers by compiling Record of Inquiries with indexes for easy research. The first few weeks I spent a lot of time reading about the Tribunal as well as about the Treaty of Waitangi in order to familiarize myself with the approach.

I am very excited to be travelling to Ohakune (about a 4 hour drive north of Wellington) to listen in on two days of Hearings. Hearings are the third phase in the Tribunal’s approach to claims submitted and include cross-examinations of the claimants’ technical witnesses and of the claimants’ non-technical witnesses. There is also plenty of evidence presentation and background information given by the various parties (claimants, Crown, and Tribunal). I think the most fascinating part will be the first afternoon where we get to partake in a powhiri (welcoming ceremony from the Mäori to the visitors) at the Maungarongo Marae. The ceremony is very sacred and will include strong symbolic connections between the visitors, the hosts, and our ancestors. There will be songs and dances performed, as well as kai (food) for a feast at the end.

Outside of work I am beginning to familiarize myself much more with the city, and I’m looking forward to continuing my day-trips on the weekend to various parks and historical sites. I will update soon as to how the powhiri turns out and my thoughts on the proceedings.


First Week in Wellington

January 31, 2009 | Rachel, Intern, Government Department processing Maori Land Applications

Hi! My name is Rachel and I’m in my third year at the university. Since I’m also in the coop program I decided to do my second placement away from Ottawa - in Wellington, New Zealand. I arrived here on Monday and although I’ve been in the city for less than a week I already feel pretty well adjusted! I don’t start my placement until Monday February 2nd, but I decided to come a week early in order to get a good feel of the city and attempt to conquer the time difference.

So far I’ve done a lot of ‘touristy’ things - I took a tour around the city and the bay and got to see some great views along the coastline (as well as learnt some interesting facts about the filming of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy), took the cable car, visited the Te Papa Museum (New Zealand’s national one), got a pass at the local swimming pool, explore the Botanic Gardens, just to name a few. Today I went to the beach and definitely over did it, especially coming from the snowy land of Canada! I don’t know an awful lot about the type of work I’ll be doing other than that it is with the Waitangi Tribunal and the department that I’m in deals with Maori land claims. I hope to find it interesting since last placement I worked in the land claims section of Indian and Northern Affairs in Gatineau, also my Major is Anthropology and my Minor is Aboriginal Studies. I’ll be sure to give this blog an update once I’ve begun next week.

Lovely to read about everyone’s travels and I’ll check back often for updates!