Why Australia Trails Us on Indigenous Journey
An exhibition of Australia’s First Peoples art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has stirred discussion of the two nations’ different Indigenous histories, Frances Mao reports for the BBC.
Like Australia, New Zealand is also grappling with a colonial history that has left its Indigenous population severely worse off, and like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Māori are disadvantaged when assessed through markers such as health outcomes, household income, education levels and incarceration rates.
Associated legislation and institutions such as the Waitangi Tribunal – which hears cases claiming breaches of Māori rights as stated in the treaty – have reclaimed for many Māori people land title and fishing rights which have given them a degree of capital far beyond what indigenous Australian groups have, Mao writes.
“It’s also been fundamentally something about not just reconciliation and representation, but about reparations,” said University of Sydney Australian politics expert Dr Peter Chen, who added Australians “haven’t really begun” those discussions.
Original article by Frances Mao, BBC, October 11, 2023.