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Indigenous Women and WorkFrom Labor to Activism$
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Carol Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037153

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037153.001.0001

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Maori Sovereignty, Black Feminism, and the New Zealand Trade Union Movement

Maori Sovereignty, Black Feminism, and the New Zealand Trade Union Movement

(p.254) Chapter 16 Maori Sovereignty, Black Feminism, and the New Zealand Trade Union Movement
Indigenous Women and Work

Cybèle Locke

University of Illinois Press

In 1982, an incident occurred at the Auckland Trade Union Centre in New Zealand. A small group of Maori radicals, called Black Unity, who ran the Polynesian Resource Centre were accused of antitrade unionism and racism and, consequently, were evicted from the Auckland Trade Union Centre with the assistance of the New Zealand police. This chapter explores the radical ideas of Maori sovereignty and Black feminism propagated by Black Unity that inflamed Auckland trade unionists, focusing on the writings of the group's spokeswomen, Ripeka Evans and Donna Awatere. It chapter examines the philosophical position that Maori nationalist members of Black Unity espoused. It explores the historical context for the demand for Maori sovereignty first articulated by Black Unity in 1981; explains why the Maori sovereignty position was also a Black feminist position; and asks what led Maori women to turn with such anger on the radical Left in the early 1980s Finally, it analyzes the longer-term affect of Maori sovereignty demands on the Maori protest movement, the women's movement, the sectarian Left, and the trade union movement.

Keywords:   Maori women, women activists, indigenous women, women's work, labor movement, feminism, Black Unity, Maori sovereignty

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