Principles into Practice
Robyn Munford and Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata
This chapter explores community development from a number of perspectives. While the discussion is situated in the Aotearoa/New Zealand context, the principles and issues outlined have relevance for a range of settings and contexts. The following guides the discussion: how are the core values and principles of community development mediated through local contexts? We argue that there are key principles underlying the practice of community development. These have relevance in international contexts and include social justice, redistribution of resources, self-determination and sustainability What is required is an understanding of how these are interpreted within specific cultural, economic, social, political and religious frameworks.
Community development in Aotearoa/New Zealand operates within a bicultural context. Ruwhiu (2001) articulates the meaning of biculturalism and portrays it as the relationship between cultures co-existing alongside one another. In Aotearoa/New Zealand biculturalism has a particular meaning, as it will in other countries. Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) as a constitutional founding document protects the rights of Maori as tangata whenua (the indigenous population and guardians of the land) and validates the existence of tauiwi (others who came to New Zealand after Maori) to live in this land (Munford etal. 2001). Within this context it is about understanding Maori as the tangata whenua and as the indigenous population and understanding how relationships are constructed with others who have come later to this country (tauiwi). Tauiwi embraces a wide range of cultural groups and they in turn will interpret their identities within the context of Aotearoa/New Zealand. In this way multiculturalism and the world-views of all populations living in Aotearoa/New Zealand are built on an understanding of the