Sunday, 6 May 2007

Questions and answers

  • Why isn't there more Māori participation in this conference?
  • Why isn't there more Pacific representation?
  • Why have you used the word ethnic? Isn't everyone ethnic? Is this just going to be another talk fest?
  • Are the discussions really going to open and safe for participants? Can I come for just one day or just part of the conference?
  • Will I get a discount on the registration fee if I just come to part of the conference? Can I invite other people to the dinner?

Why isn't there more Māori participation in this conference?
The focus of this conference is for non-Māori peoples to share views about national identity and dominant culture, and how issues like colonisation and social justice relate to these. We imagine this as initially a tauiwi discussion, in which we need to take responsibility for us relating to injustices regarding colonisation.

So the focus is on us, and what we want and need to do about it, and of course tangata whenua are feeding in as you can see in the programme.

This is such a new area, we really thought it would be most useful to have a two-way discussion among Pākehā and ethnic New Zealanders, before having the three-way discussion that includes tangata whenua.

Why isn't there more Pacific representation?
Yes, we apologise for this. This is our first conference and we're doing this outside our normal jobs, so the planning has been a bit organic. But we are collecting names for future discussions / work. If you know people to add to this list please let us know and we'll make sure to include them.

Why have you used the word ethnic? Isn't everyone ethnic?
This has been a hot topic which we've spent a lot of time on. We've gone with the government useage and the use that's most commonly known - in the absence of any other commonly used word. If you're interested, do come to the conference because it will probably be discussed.

See also the section "Discussion thread on use of the word 'ethnic'", which contains e-mails we've received about this.

FYI: Basically, everyone has an ethnicity, but according to the dictionary, not everyone is ethnic "3. characteristic of or belonging to a non-Western cultural tradition" (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11 th edition).

Is this just going to be another talk fest?
To our knowledge, this is the first time an independent community forum of this type has been held on this topic. The whole idea is that people from different communities, disciplines and standpoints don't just talk, but listen to each other.

We don't know what will come out of it, but we hope the dialogue will encourage broader thought, and lead to more discussion across a greater variety of people.

Are the discussions really going to open and safe for participants?
We've heard some people are worried that the conference might not provide a safe environment to have open discussion.

We are highly aware that we are hosting a range of people from very different environments, and that we need to provide a safe environment for dialogue.

As such, we are appointing session chairs, and overall chairs for each day who will act as discussion moderators. Their specific brief will be to ensure a safe environment for anyone who takes the floor.

Can I come for just one day or just part of the conference?
Absolutely, we'd rather you came for a bit than not at all. But please register so we know how many people to feed.

Will I get a discount on the registration fee if I just come to part of the conference?
If money's a problem then a koha is fine. We're not making money out of this, but we need to cover food costs. All the food, including biscuits, lunch and conference dinner, is covered in the registration fee.

Can I invite other people to the dinner?
Yes, but again, can you please let us know if you're bringing extra people so we can cook more food

If you have a further question please make a comment at the end of this posting.

3 comments:

Ruth said...

This looks great but I am unable to attend.
Will there be papers from this conference posted on this site or elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can't attend either. But would love to read online the results

Organisers: said...

Hi all,

Yes, we will be publishing the papers on the blog after the conference.

We just have to figure out how to do it.

The organisers