Creative Genealogy

Our project Creative Genealogy is about developing the latent potential in Māori youth, creating employment and training pathways in the highly lucrative and high growth creative sectors in New Zealand. In turn helping quantum leap the gap between Creative Culture, Creative Youth and Creative Employment for Māori youth.

The Background

New research from The Nielson Company and Anthony Wilson, cultural expert and commentator, has found a sharp rise in the importance of traditional cultural values among Maori, with three quarters of Maori today disagreeing that traditional values are not really important to them, compared with under half in 2004. Click here to see a summary of Nielson's findings.

Te Take (Purpose)

The many cultures from around the world have their own unique ways of expressing themselves through their works of art. The individually rich cultural practices, values and language often come together as a crescendo of colour form and expression as the artist weaves his or her magic to produce their creations.

The Māori culture is one such culture absolutely boiling over with creativity, ingenuity and expert craftsmanship. We don't need to look far for examples of this historically.

The term Creative Genealogy implies that creativity may be hereditary or come from an original source passed down or encoded in our genes.

"So given Māori come from such a rich cultural context, why is it then that Māori do not feature highly in the artistic and commercial creative sectors?"

Have Māori been disconnected from their creativity? Perhaps! One thing is for sure there is a growing number of Māori who are disconnected from their culture, so maybe what we are witnessing is a disconnection from knowing "who they are", "where they come from" being okay with themselves.

Does creativity have value in today's society? Creativity and the creation of intellectual property moves Māori into the knowledge economy. NZ as a whole is considering what its strengths are in a competitive environment. Māori/NZ cannot compete globally in the labour market. Our traditional industries of forestry, fishing and the likes are under huge strain competitively and sustainable.

With a reasonably low cost entry arguably Māori have unlimited supply of creativity from a super rich cultural creative source. However this needs to be matched with a commercialised value system.

From an artistic expression point of view even fewer Māori are recognised and valued for their art. With greater emphasis being placed on our craftsmanship.

To whom does the creative industry have most opportunity? Māori population statistics show that 62% of the population is under the age of 35. With a large proportion between the ages of 15-25.

Targeting Māori youth then is the key for our project. Statistics also show that group to be in trouble with the law, have minimal education and many suffer from low self esteem. For more information click here.

Cultural Experiences
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Education Provider
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Urban Marae
Awataha Marae is based on the North Shore in Auckland.  We exist to help people realise their potential and to bring together people of all cultures. Kotahitanga encompasses all we stand for - we invite you to join us.
Awataha Marae
58 Akoranga Drive
North Shore City  0627
Ph. (09) 486 5467