Carolyn

Massey University

Morris

The Politics of Palatability
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ABSTRACT

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This paper seeks to explain the absence of Maori food in the public culinascape. Drawing on the work of Heldke and Hage, I develop an analysis in terms of a politics of palatability.There are few Maori restaurants because there is not a clientele.There is a limited Maori clientele because Maori as a group lack the economic resources to support restaurants and, unlike migrant ethnic groups, have many other sites of community.There is a limited Pakeha clientele because Pakeha do not enjoy Maori food. This dislike of Maori food is, I argue, a social taste, that can be understood in a context where Maori demands for rights on the basis of their indigenous status have disturbed the ways in which Pakeha belong to the nation. Following Harbottle, I argue that Maori have a “spoiled identity” for Pakeha, and that this can be read both as a sign of Maori subordination and as a sign of Maori power.What this analysis suggests is that the public culinascape can be read as a map of the field of race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand. Keywords: restaurants, Maori, ethnicity
Food, Culture & Society

Introduction ::

On Friday nights, after a hard week of academic toil, we adjourn to our staff club for a few collegial drinks. Some evenings, if the conversation and wine are flowing, we then decide to go out to dinner. Usually, because it’s cheap and there’s no need to book, we choose an “ethnic” restaurant. We can choose Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Moroccan and Burmese. We cannot, however, choose Maori: there are no restaurants serving the food of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. This generally unremarked state of affairs is what this paper seeks to explain: the absence of Maori food in the public culinascape.1 There are a number of Maori cultural experience ventures which combine storytelling, dance and food whose market is international tourists, but few restaurants whose imagined clientele is the New Zealand public. “Tell me what you eat: I will tell you what you are” (Brillat-Savarin 1994 [1825]: 13) has become a cliché because it succinctly expresses the central tenet of the social science of food—that the food we eat and the way we eat it are diagnostic of wider social and cultural processes. I suggest that what we do not eat may be equally revealing of who we are. I explore a number of explanations for the absence of Maori restaurants: the lack of a Maori cusine, the lack of a Maori clientele on account of economic status and the
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:: Carolyn Morris DOI: 10.2752/175174410X12549021367983

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availability of culturally marked food in other venues, and the lack of a Pakeha clientele because of the perceived unpalatability of Maori food. I argue that this unpalatability reflects the spoiling (Harbottle 2000) of Maori - keha, the result of recent decades of political action designed identity for Pa to challenge Pakeha cultural and political dominance. Hage (1998) and Heldke (2001) argue that majorities’ appreciation of the food of ethnic minorities constitutes a relation of domination in which the Other is positioned as consumable, as assimilable. I draw on their insights to consider the situation of an indigenous people. I argue that the position of Maori as 2 as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, makes tangata whenua, them ultimately unassimilable, and it is this cultural and political unconsumability that makes their food unpalatable.

Restaurants and Identity ::

The premise of the social science literature on public eating is that restaurants are about more than simply consuming food, they are “total social phenomena” (Beriss and Sutton 2007: 1)—sites for the reproduction and transformation of individual and group identities along dominant axes of social division: class, gender and ethnicity. A recent survey of the ethnographic literature on restaurants (Beriss and Sutton 2007) shows that while earlier analyses concentrated on the social relations and dynamics internal to restaurants, more recent studies “push the analysis beyond the doors of the restaurant to look at the wider sociocultural landscape in which restaurants are set” (Beriss and Sutton 2007: 7). The focus of much of this work has been on ethnicity, on how different ethnic groups are positioned and operate in the restaurant industry (e.g. Lovell-Troy 1990; Harbottle 2000) and on how place identities are produced through these restaurants (e.g. Girardelli 2004; Zukin 1995). There is a smaller body of literature on restaurants and “public ethnicity” (Lu and Fine 1995: 536), how ethnic identities are constituted through interactions in the public spaces of restaurants (e.g. Davis 2002; Ferrero 2002). Lu and Fine argue that ethnic identity is the product of “interactions with other groups” (Lu and Fine 1995: 535), and that “the survival and modification of ethnic culture in public life is made possible largely through the continuity of ethnic food in restaurants and fast-food establishments” (Lu and Fine 1995: 539; see also Abarca 2004; Davis 2002). This paper considers the relationship between restaurants and ethnic identities, but focuses on a group whose food does not appear in the public culinascape. The situation I explore differs from other analyses of ethnic restaurants in that Maori are not a migrant group, but are indigenous, and I will argue that it is this status that accounts for the absence of their food in the public culinascape, and what makes this absence significant.
The Politics of Palatability ::

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Maori Food in the Public Culinascape ::

When people ask me what I am working on, and I tell them “the absence of Maori restaurants,” responses are of a kind. People say, “yeah, now that you mention it…,” then advance their own theory of why this might be. The common argument is that Maori have little distinctive food, and what they do have is not “nice”; therefore there is no basis for a restaurant. A Pakeha -ori restaurants because man articulated this position: “There are no Ma Maori don’t have any food. They’d eaten the moas3 and most of the morioris,4 and if the Brits hadn’t arrived when they did, they would have - starved to death.” He admitted that hangı5 was Maori food, but, he said, -ngı isn’t Maori.” New Zealand has (and “most of the food that goes into ha had) no native land mammals bar a few small bats, and so the common - hangı meats of beef and pork, and introduced vegetables such as pumpkin and potatoes were not considered by him to be Maori. A middle class friend, who considers herself liberal, said in somewhat hesitant tones, “well, Maori - food, hangı and that, its just not very nice food, is it? Its not healthy, it’s fatty, and it’s boring. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant to eat that.” From an anthropological perspective, the explanation that there are no Maori restaurants because Maori food is not nice does not stack up. We know from all of the writings on food that what tastes good to a particular person or group has little to do with either individual preference or the food itself, and that what we like to eat is instead a fundamentally social and cultural matter, deeply intertwined with other aspects of the social order. The perceived notniceness of Maori food is a social, not a physiological, taste. The explanation of the lack of restaurants in terms of the absence of the basis for a Maori cuisine is also inadequate. Maori cuisine could be based on a number of things. First, indigenous food, foods that are native to New Zealand, that were eaten by Maori before colonization, and, possibly, are not available anywhere else in the world. This includes a wide range of plants and vegetables, berries, seafood, fish and marine mammals, and birds. Fuller (1978) and Riley (1988) list many foods eaten by Maori in the past that are not widely eaten today. Their list includes plants such as fernroot, tı or cabbage tree, nikau palm, raupo (bulrush) a wide range of fungi, types of orchid, gourd, and a range of nuts and berries. Lizards, rats and insects such as huhu grubs6 are not widely eaten nor are many of the birds such as kereru (wood pigeon) that would have been eaten in pre-colonial times. Some indigenous foods that are still eaten are generally regarded as Maori food and are eaten mainly by Maori. These include shellfish such as pupu and pipi, - -kina (sea eggs), tuna (eel), tıtı (muttonbirds), and vegetables such as puha (sowthistle), pikopiko (fern shoots) and karengo (seaweed). Other foods such as paua (abalone), kuku (green lipped mussels), toheroa (a shellfish), whitebait, koura (crayfish) and ku mara (sweet potato) have been
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incorporated into the Pakeha diet and have come to be understood as New -ori food. This is also the case for New Zealand fish. Zealand rather than Ma However, these foods could be classified as Maori food. There are also foods that have been introduced by Europeans and incorporated by Maori into their diet. These include wheat, pork, beef, mutton, chicken, potatoes, corn and pumpkin. What makes such food Maori is the way in which it is combined with other foods, or the way in which it is cooked, so that methods - such as hangı, boil-up, or processes of fermentation like that used to make kanga wai (fermented corn) can also transform non-indigenous food into Maori food. Beaton, describing accounts of Maori food from the writings of early European settlers through to contemporary cookbooks, has demonstrated the “existence of a distinct Maori culinary tradition in contemporary New Zealand” (Beaton 2007: 131), “a continuous and evolving tradition [dating] back to first contact with Europeans” (Beaton 2007: 75). Thus, there is the basis for a Maori cuisine. Despite this, Maori food as Maori food has not entered the New Zealand public culinascape to any great extent.7

What would make a restaurant a Maori restaurant? The answer to this is a -ori food, does things in the restaurant in a “Maori” restaurant that serves Ma way (whatever that might mean), and explicitly advertises itself as a Maori restaurant. There are, and have been, as far as I can ascertain, few restaurants that meet these criteria. Those that have existed range from - takeaways (generally serving hangı) to fine-dining restaurants. In this section I consider three Maori restaurants, none of which still operates: Kai in the City, Te Ao Kohatu and Te Waka a Maui. An examination of these restaurants illustrates the ways in which Maori food is currently incorporated into public cuisine and provides the basis for a consideration of why there are so few of them.

The Presence of Maori Restaurants ::

KAI IN THE CITY

:: Kai in the City8 was established in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, in 2003. Its website outlines the restaurant’s aim—to make Maori food, and -ori culture, available to the public: through food Ma

KAI in the City is a whare kai (café/wine bar) that provides a real New Zealand dining experience based on traditional Maori values. Our food, wine, and décor all have enlightening stories about the tangata whenua, their lands and their seas.
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The food at KAI in the City aims to promote the best qualities of modern cuisine with the traditional foods and flavours of Maori. Our food is best described as being “Fine New Zealand Cuisine.” From time to time KAI in the City will host events to promote food, occasions or people important to Maori, events that will give members of the public access to specific Maori foods or people. One such event held monthly, is the Tepu Rangatira where the public can share a meal and conversation with a well known Rangatira or leader. The concept is based on a famous whakatauaki [proverb], “Ko te kai a te rangatira he korero” meaning “The food of leaders is discussion.” (www.kaicity.co.nz) According to a review of Kai in the Bay in Cuisine magazine (Burton 2003), the restaurant attracted “middle-class Pakeha liberals” and “the capital’s -ori Elite.” Customer reviews of the restaurant on the Dineout website Ma (www.dineout.co.nz) note its “warm and welcoming” atmosphere where the staff “make everyone feel like family.” The website of Kai in the City emphasizes that this service reflects Maori cultural values: Our service is based on Manaakitanga [hospitality]: the best of service provided on our marae—friendly, efficient and comfortable. We were taught to enjoy look after manuhiri [guests], especially the older ones, and going the extra mile to make them feel special. (www.kaicity.co.nz) This Maori atmosphere is created by the host who “cheerfully takes a moment to greet all” and by the music. On the night I dined there, the owner sang in Maori while we ate, and when some friends went they were asked to join in with the singing of “Pokarekare Ana.”9 The group singing was mentioned in several Dineout reviews. Some comments were positive: “Our favourite part is when the owner (we think) came out and sang songs on his guitar!!! We are not sing along types but this was great. The whole restaurant was singing… He was genuinely interested in us.” Others were more ambivalent, the critique softened by humor and the use of an emoticon: “The singing and story telling was good, but I think it would be more suited for tourists as when I recieved [sic] my food all I wanted to do was eat it, not sing to it :).” Dineout reviewers understood that the restaurant offered more than just food—Maori culture was on the menu as well: “It was really cool to learn so much about Maori culture” and “definitely a place to impress your overseas visitors but also good to take your kiwi friends to celebrate just a little bit of Maori culture.” One reviewer, however, also noted that it was possible not to experience the restaurant in this way: “A great evening out where you are made really welcome, can join in or not as you wish, and if you want to can go away well fed and still as monocultural as you like.”
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The menu at Kai in the City exemplifies one of the ways in which Maori food appears in the public culinascape. When I ate there we were encouraged to order our food in Maori, and there were cards on the tables which contained the phrases necessary for this. The meal is structured by Euro-American culinary codes: entrée, main, dessert, cheese and coffee, served with wine; yet it is Maori food because it is made of indigenous ingredients, contains Maori herbs, or is cooked in a traditional Maori way, as illustrated by examples from the menu: • Kuku Mamoa: gently steamed mussels in a creamy kawakawa (Maori pepper, or bush basil) broth • Tuna: Hangi and oven-baked eel fillet on a hangi vegetable crush with a basil, lemon and caper dressing • Titi: Roasted mutton bird with kowhitiwhiti (watercress) stuffing served on herb roasted taewa (Maori potato) with a red wine jus • Hangi: Manuka infused reme (lamb) cutlets and heihei (chicken) on hangi veges with a thyme and red wine jus • Kaanga Reka: Fermented corn with manuka honey and cream. Dineout reviewers commented favorably on the food: “My ‘hangi’ (lamb cutlets with hangi vegetables/chicken) with a tasty sauce would have impressed in any restaurant. Nga Tihi (cheeses) came properly aged, garnished, and in generous proportions.” Kai in the City’s food was contrasted favorably with other Maori food they had eaten: “The food is excellent—I had the hangi and this bore absolutely no resemblance to my last hangi from the earth in Ohariu Valley some decades ago—smoked cabbage and chicken and rather burnt spuds is my recollection. The hangi at Kai in City is far removed from this memory.” However, because of the food’s quality its authenticity was questioned—note the quote marks in the following statement: “Nice tasty food with pacific rim influence as well as ‘authentic’ Maori food. Puddings not authentic but adapted ones such as tiramisu (converted into a Maori name) but delicious. Wine10 made by Maori group also good value.”

For a short period in 1999, a Maori restaurant called Te Ao Kohatu11 operated in central Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest city. The restaurant was billed as “the only Pakeha-style Maori restaurant in the country” (www.travelocity.com), indicating that like Kai in the City it was a fine-dining restaurant. Te Ao Kohatu was partly owned by Tame Iti, a wellThe Politics of Palatability ::

Te Ao Kohatu ::

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known Maori activist.12 A review in The Dominion newspaper described the restaurant: Te Ao Kotahu, in inner-city Auckland’s Karangahape Rd, serves dishes such as muttonbird on a bed of steamed watercress, paua sausage in a cream sauce, kanga pirau (a dessert of fermented corn), roroi (caramelized kumara) and wai kouka (a drink made from the heart of the cabbage tree) … Its style is fine white crockery and waitresses in starched white shirts and long black aprons. Tables are made of rough-sawn tawa13 slabs rescued from the Waimana River near Mr Iti’s Tuhoe home of Taneatua. Prices range from $15 for entrees to $26 for main courses. Mr Iti, who is one partner in the venture, explains that the restaurant incurs high costs paying those who gather the berries and wild plants in its recipes … The café, which incorporates an art gallery, including several of Mr Iti’s own works, is alcohol-free and smoke-free. Those two “filthy colonial habits” have done no good for Maoris, he says. (The Dominion 1999) I have not been able to discover exactly how long Te Ao Kohatu lasted, but it was not for long. I lived in central Auckland during this period and recall talking about the restaurant. My friends and I ate at a lot of different kinds of restaurants, and though we talked about Te Ao Kohatu, we did not go. I remember comments that the food was not “proper Maori food” as it -ori ingredients such as cream— contained what we considered to be non-Ma it wasn’t authentic. Besides, the no-alcohol status wasn’t attractive. However, I now think the reason behind our avoidance of the restaurant was an anxious sense that we would not feel comfortable there. Tame Iti is not a comfortable figure for many Pakeha because of his political activism, and this association did not promise the kind of “friendly atmosphere” Dineout customers encountered at Kai in the City.

Food, Culture & Society

TE WAKA A MAUI

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In 2005, The Christchurch Star published an article in about this research, generating a number of phone calls from both Maori and Pakeha, who told me about a Maori restaurant that had operated in Christchurch in the mid1980s called Te Waka a Maui. A Pakeha woman, Janet, told me that she went to Te Waka a Maui with a group because one of the women “was married to a Maori guy.”14 When they arrived they were served an entrée—“Maori bread, and paua or kina in -ngı, she said, “was lovely, really really nice.” As it was cream, yuk.” The ha - cooked in a gas hangı, she said, the food was “nicer” as “it didn’t have that - smoked taste,” i.e. it tasted like a roast, not a hangı. There was another
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element that made the restaurant Maori—each table had to do “an item”‘— her table sang the inevitable Pokarekare Ana. It was this, she said, which made the evening so much fun, it was “like you were at a party.” Margaret, whose family went to the restaurant because it was “somewhere different,” also talked about having to sing. She said that she thought that what the restaurant was trying to do was to create a Maori atmosphere. Among Maori, she said, meals were “a communal thing, a shared thing,” and the owners were trying to make the restaurant like a “Maori home” rather than a business. I asked a Maori woman, Mary, why she thought Pakeha went to the restaurant. She told me that the owners were aiming at the tourist market and were “surprised by a lot of local interest.” Lots of Pakeha went, she said, and they “loved it.” They loved it “for more than the food,” although the food was “very good,” they liked the “sense of fun.” She said that in Christchurch there “aren’t opportunities to mix with Maori” and so the restaurant provided -ori world, it melded between two worlds.” The “a window into a Ma - restaurant provided safe and accessible access to this world: “steam hangı is -ngı, it’s not too strong.” Moreover, the restaurant good for beginners to ha served steaks and seafood as well, so it was “manageable to all comers.” She said that people in Christchurch were “hungry for such experience,” because in Christchurch there are not many Maori people and opportunities for -ori experience are limited. People went to Te Waka a Maui, she said, Ma because of an “underlying desire to have a cross-cultural experience.” It was an “upper middle class client group who enjoyed Maori culture.”

WHY DID THE RESTAURANTS NOT SURVIVE?

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Elements common to the three restaurants give some indication as to why they have not survived. First, is the difficulty Maori restaurants face in successfully presenting a distinctive and authentic cuisine because of the ways in which local food is classified as Maori or not Maori. For Pakeha, Maori food is not sophisticated food, and the culinary sophistication of the three restaurants challenged this understanding. As discussed above, much food that could be classified as Maori food is not classified in this way. Modified versions of the kind of food served at Kai in the City have found their way onto the menus of many restaurants serving contemporary cuisine. In these restaurants, however, foods tend not to be labeled Maori but are called “Kiwi” or “New Zealand” food. In the last two decades there has been a concerted effort to create a New Zealand cuisine, a cuisine that is distinctive because it is local, but also universal in that it is constructed within international codes for producing fusion food. In this code, the fuser is located in and works from the dominant Anglo-American culinary
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tradition (and is often a member of the dominant culture), while the cuisine that is fused is subordinate (and subordinated by the very process of fusion). “Kiwi” cuisine is structured by Franco-Euro-American culinary codes, and local foods simply function as points of culinary difference. For example, consider this review of CinCin (www.cincin.co.nz), a well-established Auckland restaurant that serves “modern European cuisine combined with New Zealand’s finest products”: It could be any international restaurant with its ritzy décor, set on the harbour’s edge with ferries constantly pulling in and out alongside, but the menu with choices of “hot and sour seafood broth with scallops, Greenshell mussels, hapuku15 and karengo16 linguini” or “warm tartlet of forest mushrooms, horopito,17 feta crumble and asparagus essence” unashamedly suggests to the visitor this is New Zealand. Chef Keith McPhee’s menu at Cin Cin in Auckland is driven by the fashionable influences and techniques of Pacific, Eastern and Mediterranean cooking, but takes advantage of local produce like Greenshell mussels, hapuku and “hot new” ingredients such as karengo and horopito to present a cuisine that’s unique to New Zealand. (Jacobs 2004: 1) Here, in contrast to Kai in the City, indigenous ingredients make Kiwi or New Zealand food, not Maori food. In this context it is difficult for Maori restaurateurs to create a distinct cuisine, as its basis has been appropriated. A second explanation for the lack of Maori restaurants is to do with the kind of “Maori experience” on offer. Kai in the City and Te Waka a Maui, both of which survived for several years, provided an experience of Maori culture that was comfortable for Pakeha, emphasizing cultural practices such as collective singing and hospitality rather than the potentially disturbing confrontation with an uneasy colonial history suggested by Tame Iti’s Te Ao Kohatu. However, that something of this anxiety may have been present in the minds of customers at Kai in the City is illustrated by the number of reviewers who emphasize how they were made welcome and the friendliness of the staff, and my friends and I made similar (relieved?) comments about how nice they were to us after our visit. I do not think that we would make comments like this after visits to other ethnic restaurants—indeed, we continue to patronize a Chinese restaurant where the owner can only be described as rude. However, her unfriendliness does not disturb our comfort in the way that the imagined unfriendliness of Tame Iti did. A third explanation is to do with clientele. People who phoned about Te Waka a Maui explained the restaurant’s failure in terms of the lack of a clientele, both Maori and Pakeha. Alice, a Maori woman, suggested that Maori should have supported the restaurant, but the problem was that
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the Maori community in Christchurch was small. Furthermore, Mary said, - the restaurant was “not cheap,” it was “a posh night out.” The hangı cost around $25 per person—an expensive meal in the mid-1980s. As a result, - Maori did not go. Maori, she said, were used to paying $5 for a hangı at a - fundraiser, and if they wanted “a posh night out,” they wouldn’t eat hangı. As Lucille said: “the domestic market can do it at home,” meaning that Maori do not need restaurants to access Maori food (whatever they consider that to be). Furthermore, she said, “lots of Maori don’t have disposable income” and the restaurant “wasn’t cheap,” so the Maori market was 18 limited. The explanation offered for the lack of a Pakeha clientele was the low - ori among Pakeha. Keith, who went to Te Waka a Maui status of Ma because he had “Maori friends at the time,” said that he has always “been - ori food.” In fact, he told me he was having an eel for interested in Ma lunch on the day he rang: “Maori food appeals to me a hell of a lot … Most kiwis turn their noses up at Maori meals, if you know what I mean.” Ken was blunter: “The most compelling reason for the lack of Maori restaurants - ori amongst the local population [i.e. Pakeha] is is there is no demand. Ma synonymous with shoddy, and people don’t want poor service or bad food when dining.” The clientele of Kai in the City and Te Waka a Maui were from the middle classes, where people who Heldke (2003) calls “food adventurers” are to be found. Food adventurers seek out “the new, the obscure and the exotic,” desiring “authentic experiences of authentic cultures” (Heldke 2003: 2). Abarca suggests that when cultural insiders deploy authenticity it can be read as “an act of cultural resistance against mainstream hegemonization” (Abarca 2004: 5), and that even “pseudo-ethnic” food, food modified to meet the tastes of cultural outsiders, can be interpreted “as a subversive act to prevent cultural appropriation” (Abarca 2004: 9) through the retention of “authentic” food for the community itself. However, when outsiders deploy authenticity, the situation is different. Food adventurers regard with disdain and reject food that they consider has been modified to meet the tastes of cultural outsiders,19 defining such food as inauthentic. However, while food adventurers seek the exotic and the authentic, there are limits to this desire. Lu and Fine (1995; see also Davis 2002) note that in order to be successful, Chinese restaurants must present food and dining experiences that are “simultaneously exotic and familiar” (Lu and Fine 1995: 536) and provide a comfortable experience of the Other. This is a fine line to tread for ethnic restaurateurs, because the category of the desirable exotic constantly shifts as food adventurers, pursuing novelty as a strategy for the accrual of cultural capital, define cuisines as fashionable or not. Food adventurers certainly exist in New Zealand, and I confess I am one myself. However, eating Maori food does not appear to provide a cultural
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capital boost among New Zealand food adventurers.20 Why not? First, in Aotearoa New Zealand Maori are not exotic, they are indigenous. I suspect that one of the reasons that Te Waka a Maui worked in Christchurch is the lack of actual Maori in Christchurch—Maori are more exotic in Christchurch than places like Auckland as they are not so actually present. Second, is the issue of authenticity. Friends who went to Kai in the City e-mailed me about their experience: The food was very, very good. John’s mutton bird was cooked extremely well, according to our friend who had eaten it before when it was prepared more “traditionally.” I can’t say that there was anything especially Maori about my snapper—except that it was served on a bed of kumara and other vegetables. It was sophisticated food that anyone familiar with Euro-American cuisine would have enjoyed. This illustrates the dilemma Maori restaurants face. In the Pakeha -ori food, and, what does exist, is imagination, there is little authentic Ma regarded as unpalatable. If the food is cooked “traditionally,” if it is authentic, it will not be so nice and so it is likely to be rejected. However, “sophisticated” food is not “especially Maori,” not authentic, and so there is no particular reason to eat at that restaurant. Discourses of authenticity imply “the existence of a ‘pure’ cultural essence, from which any departure is a debasement” (Jackson 1999: 101), and serve to keep groups “within welldefined cultural, social and economic boundaries” (Abarca 2003: 19). The demand that foods (and cultures) meet the criteria of exoticness/authenticity is one of the practices through which the ethnic other is kept firmly in their culinary and cultural place. What these appearances tell us is that Maori restaurants do not prosper because of the difficulty of carving out a distinctive cuisine, and because there is a limited clientele. Maori clientele are limited because they lack the economic resources to support restaurants, and because, unlike migrant groups, they do not need such places as cultural resources. Pakeha clientele -ori food desirable. are limited because many do not find Ma

Food, Culture & Society

Eating Ethnic Food ::

The literature on what it means for people constructed as unmarked by ethnic difference, i.e. those constructed as white, to consume food marked as ethnic shines further light on the issue of the undesirability of Maori food. Two threads unite the literature: first, that in consuming ethnic food the eater absorbs that culture in a symbolic sense; second, eating the food of the Other is connected with the identity project of the eater. What consumers
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are doing in this eating is expressing a particular self, as “dining out is identity work” (Lu and Fine 1995: 547). In settler societies, those sections of the dominant culture who value cultural diversity “demonstrate to [them]selves and others that [they] are cosmopolitan and tolerant “ (Lu and Fine 1995: 539) by enjoying ethnic food. This “celebration of variety,” Warde et al. argue, is a central element in the expression of social distinction by the middle classes, where enjoying a wide variety of foods is a sign of cosmopolitan sophistication (Warde et al. 1999: 111). Through this practice such eaters distinguish themselves from those other members of society who, only being willing to consume their own food, they consider to be less tolerant. One implication of this is that the consumption of an ethnic foodway by the dominant group indicates their acceptance of that ethnic group. Writing about Chinese in America in the 1950s and 1960s, Inness (2006) noted that they were socially marginalized and subject to racism. However, she argues, it was through food, in this case cookbooks, that Chinese people become more accepted by American society: For mainstream America, accepting a culture is closely connected with eating its foods, so much was at stake when Chinese-American women wrote cookbooks. These books served as conduits to bring two cultures together, leading to a greater tolerance and acceptance of Chinese people… (Inness 2006: 41) In support of this position she notes the correlation between liking a foodway, and liking those people, so that Italian food is well regarded and Italian people are accepted, while Korean and Chinese food, and Korean and Chinese people, are not to the same extent (Inness 2006: 60): “how different foods are accepted in the United States is intimately intertwined with how people have or have not been accepted” (Inness 2006: 60). What this suggests that it is possible to map a particular field of ethnicity and the location of different groups within that field (from the position of the dominant group) by considering how the foods of different groups are regarded. From this perspective, the absence of Maori restaurants indicates -ori are not accepted by Pakeha. that Ma

This leads to the question of culinary absence more generally. Maori cuisine is not the only cuisine largely absent from the New Zealand public culinascape—so is the food of the Pacific Islands. Despite the presence of a significant Pacific Islands population (Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world), there is a notable absence of overtly
The Politics of Palatability ::

The Unpalatable and the Inedible: Who Is Not Eaten? ::

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Pacific restaurants. Levenstein, referring to the spread of Chinese food in America, argues that “the adoption of new food tastes is probably facilitated by an absence of low-status people from whose homelands they originate” (Levenstein 1993: 216), and I suggest that it is possible to account for the absence of Pacific restaurants in the same way. Like Maori, Pacific Islanders have low economic status and low social status among Pakeha, and so does their food. A consideration of cultures that do not appear as food, and why this might be, provides further insight into the absence of Maori restaurants. Harbottle’s (2000) work on Iranians in Britain considers a cuisine that is not eaten. Though Iranians were deeply involved in the food trade, they did not participate as Iranians, by selling food in either restaurants or take-out bars that they called Iranian food. For example, kebabs were considered to be Iranian food by Iranians, but they were sold to the British public as Turkish or Middle Eastern, as they perceived that the British public would not eat Iranian food (Harbottle 2000: 87). Iranian identity, Harbottle argued, had been spoiled by political events outside of their control, namely the Islamic revolution of 1979. Tarnished with the brush of Islamic fundamentalism Iran and Iranian people were no longer considered nice in Britain, and in turn their food became unpalatable. A similar process occurred in the United States after 9/11 and the subsequent war in Iraq: sales of all kinds of Middle Eastern food declined and restaurants were attacked (Heldke 2003: 58). Similarly, when France refused to be nice and join the coalition of nations invading Iraq, “French fries” became “freedom fries” in the food outlets of the House of Representatives, among other places (see, for example, www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_fries). It seems that when a society is not nice, neither is their food. The second category of the non-eaten is the Western superpowers, particularly the United States and, until recently, Britain. Harbottle suggests that British cuisine has “fail[ed] to impact significantly at an international level” (Harbottle 2000: 142), but I disagree. Food based on the FrancoBritish tradition, what has come to be called Euro-American food, dominates the global culinascape, from structuring the proper meal at the countless restaurants that serve “contemporary cuisine” to fast food such as McDonald’s. Moreover, and despite its pervasiveness, much of this food is disparaged, denigrated as bland and boring or reviled as chemical-laden junk, considered not very palatable (particularly by food adventurers who distinguish themselves from their lower class compatriots by rejecting the food associated with them). However, though widely consumed, this food is not eaten as American or as British food— we in New Zealand do not say “let’s have American tonight.” Just as British and American whites are unmarked ethnically, so is their food. Euro-American food is “culinarily neutral” (Heldke 2003: 2), not hyphenated, not qualified, just food from which all other food differs to a greater or lesser extent. This culinary code,
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Hage argues, “operate[s] as a form of symbolic violence, setting the parameters of what constitutes food” (Hage 1997: 123-124). The powerful are the eaters, not the eaten, and as such dominant groups are not represented through, or as, food.21 Globally, there is a considerable degree of ambivalence about and antipathy towards America, an antagonism regularly expressed in attacks on McDonald’s outlets. The food of the dominant is not nice because, from the position of the subordinate, the dominant are not nice. Denigration of the food of the dominant is connected with resentment at and resistance to their power—American identity is spoiled because America is powerful. Unpalatability, then, can signify both powerlessness and powerfulness. The third category whose food is rarely eaten is indigenous people. From discussions with American and Australian colleagues, I understand that the situation with Native Americans and Australian Aborigines is similar to that of Maori, in that few if any restaurants sell their cuisine. Instead, some elements are appropriated for building a national cuisine and the rest is regarded as barely edible. To understand the unpalatability of the indigenous it is useful to return to the question of what being eaten as a culture might signify. While Inness’s (2006) analysis implies that culinary palatability equates with cultural palatability, other analysts provide a different reading, suggesting instead that culinary palatability signifies cultural subordination. Such writers contest the notion that the consumption of a culture’s food signals the acceptance of the people of that culture, noting that the enjoyment of a foodway can go in hand with “treating that minority as second-class citizens, and preventing them from obtaining equal access to social, educational, or political life” (Abarca 2005: 7). As Uma Narayan notes, while Indian food has been adopted to the extent that curry has almost become British, actual Indian people have not been made so welcome (cited in Abarca 2005: 7). Moreover, writers such as Heldke (2003) and Hage (1998) are critical of the assumption that underlies the work of writers such as Inness, that the consumption of ethnic food by the majority is essentially benign. Their general argument is that in “‘eating the Other’ … consumers assert their power and privilege over those whose cultures are consumed” (Jackson 1999: 100). Heldke coined the term “food adventurer” (Heldke 2003: 2) to describe her enjoyment of “the foods of economically dominated or ‘third world’ cultures” (Heldke 2003: xv), coming to understand her quest for the exotic and authentic as “cultural food colonialism,” as appropriation (Heldke 2003: xv). Food adventurers treat other cultures “not as genuine cultures, but as resources for raw materials that serve their own interests” (Heldke 2003: 2). It is this, Heldke argues, that marks the continuity between eating the food of dominated cultures and other modes of colonial, and neocolonial economic and political domination (Heldke 2003: xviii).
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Heldke distinguishes between cultural imperialism, which refers to “the imposition of cultural practices by an economic or political power,” and cultural colonialism, “the appropriation of such practices by a power” (Heldke 2003: xviii; author’s emphasis). Cultural colonialism implies that the dominant power may value some aspects of the dominated culture, but, Heldke argues, such valuing is not benign because it constitutes the Other, and their cuisine, as an object whose sole purpose is to enhance the lives of the dominant (Heldke 2003: 21). Australian anthropologist Ghassan Hage makes a similar argument around what he calls “culinary cosmo-multiculturalism” (Hage 1997: 119), a cultural imaginary in which “ethnic cultures are not only not perceived negatively, but actively valued. Embracing such cultures … [is] seen as ‘enriching’ (Hage 1997: 136). Paralleling Heldke, he argues that “enjoying cultural diversity” and “appreciating” ethnic food is a form of cultural capital, through which the white middle classes distinguish themselves from lower class whites (Hage 1997: 125). This imaginary is produced through what Hage calls a “multiculturalism of availability” (Hage 1997: 132), where multiculturalism has less to do with the existence of “different cultural subjects” than “with what multicultural commodities are available on its markets and who has the capacity to appreciate them” (Hage 1997: 132). Like Heldke, Hage argues that in the cosmomulticulturalist discourse of cultural enrichment the ethnic other appears as “an object of experience rather than an experiential subject” with “ no raison d’etre other than to enrich the Anglo subject” (Hage 1997: 136). These discourses of valuing, enrichment and tolerance, which lie at the heart of multiculturalism and which seem at first glance to be positive, are revealed as masking a practice through which cultural domination is perpetuated, “a form of symbolic violence in which a mode of domination is presented as a form of egalitarianism” (Hage 1998: 87). What unites these discourses is a divide between the subject and object, between tolerator and tolerated, valuer and valued, enriched and enricher: Valuing requires someone to do the valuing and something to be evaluated. The discourse of enrichment operates by establishing a break between valuing negatively and valuing positively similar to the break which the discourse of tolerance establishes between tolerance and intolerance. In much the same way, however, as the tolerance/intolerance divide mystifies the more important divide between holding the power to tolerate and not holding it, the distinction between valuing negatively/valuing positively mystifies the deeper division between holding the power to value (negatively or positively) and not holding it. (Hage 1998: 121; emphasis added) In multicultural settler societies, to position oneself as the enjoyer or the valuer of the Other, the subject who is the enriched by multiculturalism, is
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to enact “governmental belonging” (Hage 1998: 45). Hage distinguishes between “passive belonging” to the nation, in which a person considers they belong “in the sense of being part of it … to have the right to benefit from the Nation’s resources, to ‘fit into it’ or ‘feel at home’ within it,” and “governmental belonging” which “involves the belief in one’s possession of the right to contribute … to its management such that it remains ‘one’s home’” (Hage 1998: 45–6). Governmental belonging is the property of those who have the power to have a legitimate view concerning the positioning of others in the nation … the power to have a legitimate view regarding who should “feel at home” in the nation and how, and who should be in and who should be out, as well as what constitutes “too many.” (Hage 1998: 46) Migrants, Hage argues, have passive belonging. Positions of governmental belonging are taken up by whites, who in this fantasy imagine themselves as having the ability to manage and position ethnic others according to their will, to eat the other, or not. It is governmental belonging which is expressed through the discourses of enrichment, valuing and tolerance which constitute multiculturalism. In this imaginary, Anglo subjects are the appreciators, the ethnic other is firmly positioned as the object of appreciation (or rejection). Hage notes that this governmental fantasy is being disturbed as migrants increasingly assert governmental subjectivity, “wanting to be enriched themselves” (Hage 1998: 118). Indigenous people disrupt this managerial fantasy at an even more fundamental level.

In recent decades, Maori have challenged their previously subordinate place in the nation, demanding that the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi,22 under which British colonization of Aotearoa New Zealand took place, be honoured.23 This is not only a claim for redress of particular violations, such as illegal land confiscations, but a claim for Tino Rangatiratanga, a claim for sovereignty. The multiple strategies employed, including public protest, parliamentary politics and the resort to law, are animated by a politics of indigeneity, a “society-bending” politics (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 11) which seeks a way for the peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand to live together “differently” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 12). This is a radical demand that looks to “remake the rules that govern conduct, define status and recognition, and share power” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 10). The Maori assertion of their right to make this demand is based on their indigenous status, on “the grounds of historical continuity, cultural
The Politics of Palatability ::

The Politics of Indigeneity in Aotearoa New Zealand ::

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autonomy, original occupancy, and territorial grounding” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 11). As tangata whenua, Maori have a “constitutional status that is distinctive (as original occupants) and distinguishing (as the only minorities with territorial claims)” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 18). Since the mid-1980s, there has been a fundamental reordering of the relationship between the state and Maori, a transformation from a kinship mode to a contract mode, from paternalism to a partnership between putative equals. Maori are no longer positioned as under the care and control of a Pakeha dominated state, as “a historically disadvantaged minority with needs or problems requiring government solutions” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 17), but as an equal partner in a bicultural nation with rights.24 Pakeha have been dislodged from their position as sole possessors of governmental belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand. Maori politics can be read as a claim to governmental belonging. This is not an “us too” claim that seeks a place for Maori in the multicultural smorgasbord as one among many, but a claim for governmental partnership with Pakeha. Božic ´-Vrbanc ´ (2008) analyses the ways in which belonging to ´ic the nation is represented at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa,25 showing how contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand is simultaneously imagined as bicultural and multicultural, as “One Nation, Two Peoples, Many Cultures” (Božic ´-Vrbanc ´ 2008: 210). The peoples are ´ic Maori and Pakeha, united through their positioning as those who will be enriched by the many (Božic ´-Vrbanc ´ 2008: 214). However, though Maori ´ic - keha are united in governmental belonging, the basis of that and Pa belonging is not the same. Tangata whenua “belong to the land by right of first discovery”; tangata tiriti “belong to the land by right of the Treaty” (Museum of New Zealand 1989: 4–5, cited in Božic ´-Vrbanc ´ 2008: 211): ´ic Maori belong as tangata whenua, all others as tangata tiriti (and treaties can be broken, as Maori know well). In this imaginary, Maori belonging - keha—Pakeha are reduced to one of the potentially supersedes that of Pa Many, just one more (however dominant and powerful) migrant group. A placard displayed during a 2004 Maori protest march read “Go Back to England.” In the Maori governmental imagination it is possible to think of - keha home. Pakeha cannot imagine the reverse: Maori, as the sending Pa indigenous people, are home, and home in a way that Pakeha can never be. -ori claims for rights based on their status as tangata whenua have been Ma read as having a greater claim to New Zealand than Pakeha. This has - keha sense of the nation as the place where they profoundly disturbed the Pa are comfortably at home as paterfamilias, resulting in both rethinkings of the basis of Pakeha identity, as in historian Michael King’s Being Pakeha series (King 1988, 1991, 1999) and reassertions of Pakeha dominance, as in Scott’s Travesty books (Scott 1995, 1996). These reactions can be understood as a reaction to a reality that many Pakeha find unpalatable—the loss of the
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power to be appreciative or non-appreciative of Maori. Maori exist in New - keha experience— Zealand as subjects in their own right, not as objects of Pa they are no longer available as a resource for Pakeha cultural enrichment; they are not available for valuing. Whether or not Pakeha enjoy Maori is largely irrelevant. I have argued above that to consume the Other through their food is an act of domination. This mode of domination works through the assimilation of the Other, at both individual and cultural levels. This act of assimilation demonstrates that the incorporated Other presents no threat, either to self or culture. The ability to enact such cultural consumption requires the Other to be consumable, to be an object, and a safe object at that. As Hage writes, “it is fundamentally this sense of safety, the sense that the ‘natives won’t (and can’t) spear you’, that underlies the cosmo-multiculturalist capacity for ‘daring’ and ‘appreciation’” (Hage 1997: 141). Cosmomulticulturalists and food adventurers do not want to experience the cultural equivalent of food poisoning, and so they avoid the unpalatable food of those with spoiled identities. Further, in the governmental fantasy that underpins multiculturalism, if the Other becomes too unpalatable, one can imagine sending them back, just as a restaurant dish that does not meet expectations may be returned to the kitchen to be remedied, or exchanged for something more pleasing. But the indigenous are not just unpalatable—they have proven to be inedible. Strategies of culinary assimilation continue to be pursued through practices of fusion cooking, a code in which Pakeha assert culinary governance and Maori are reduced to an interesting, but not critical, ingredient. However, we see signs that this discourse is being challenged, with restaurants like Kai in the City and cookbook writers like Peter Peeti adopting the fuser subject position, asserting the centrality of Maori food, and assimilating aspects of Anglo-American cooking into their cuisine. Pakeha have not been able to incorporate Maori, who remain irresolutely inassimilable. Maori are the fishbone in the Pakeha national throat, and have improved impossible to dislodge, despite multiple cultural and political Heimlich maneuvers. They may no longer please, but they cannot be sent back. Not only are Maori no longer under Pakeha control, the fear is that the situation may be reversed and Maori will consume Pakeha: alarmingly, protest signs read “trespassers will be eaten.” And of course, in the past, they have (Moon 2008).

Conclusion: Accounting for the Absence of Maori Restaurants ::

In this paper I have argued that the public culinascape of Aotearoa New Zealand can be used to map the field of multiculturalism, and in turn, a
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23

reading of that field provides a series of answers to the question of the absence of Maori restaurants. There is the basis for a Maori cuisine, and this food is served in the few Maori restaurants that have appeared. However, more commonly indigenous foods are classified as New Zealand or Kiwi food and are used as a point of distinction in the creation of a national cuisine. There is a limited Maori clientele for several reasons. The low economic status of Maori as a group means they do not have the money to eat at finedining restaurants regularly, and, if they are to eat out, they may not choose Maori food, as this is everyday food rather than treat food. Furthermore, -ori do not share with migrant groups the need to have restaurants as Ma cultural centers—there are many other sites for Maori community life and cultural reproduction. There is also a limited Pakeha clientele. Maori food is marked as ethnic - keha culinascape, and as such, in theory, should appeal to the food in the Pa food adventurers whose identities as liberal multiculturalists are formed and expressed through the eating and enjoyment of the food and culture of ethnic others. However, what food adventurers seek is the exotic and the authentic. Maori are not exotic and therefore there is limited social cachet in knowing their culture or enjoying their food. Furthermore, “authentic” Maori food is indigenous food that Pakeha find unpalatable. To be classified as Maori, a restaurant must serve authentic food, but what is authentic is not - marketable to Pakeha. Pakeha call the things they like New Zealand food, and the things they don’t like Maori food—and then do not eat it. - keha comfort in migrant restaurants and discomfort around Maori Pa restaurants is revealing of the state of the projects of biculturalism and multiculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. If we only eat the others we enjoy, then this lack of taste for Maori food signals a lack of Pakeha taste for -ori themselves, indicating that Maori have a spoilt identity. Maori identity Ma is spoilt in two ways. The low status of Maori among Pakeha means that they are not considered good enough to eat. However, unlike Iranians in Britain, Maori identity has not been spoiled by external forces. Instead Maori have - keha by not being nice, by refusing to be spoiled their identity for Pa assimilated, refusing to be consumed. If the desire to eat an Other, and the ability to be at ease in that eating, is a sign of domination, then the lack of desire to eat an Other, and the inability to be comfortable in that eating, is, perhaps, a sign of the eater’s waning dominance. The second food cliché is that attributed to Claude Lèvi-Strauss: food is good to think before it is good to eat. Maori are not good to think for Pakeha, and therefore, cannot be good to eat.

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Notes
1 The term culinascape derives from Appadurai’s notion of “scapes” (ethnoscapes,

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finanscapes, mediascapes, ideoscapes, technoscapes): “I use the terms with the common suffix scape to indicate first of all that these are not objectively given relations which look the same from every angle of vision, but rather that they are deeply perspectival constructs, inflected very much by the historical, linguistic and political situatedness of different sorts of actors” (Appadurai 2002: 50). 2 Tangata whenua literally means “people of the land,” and refers to Maori as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
3 Moa are a very large, flightless bird, now extinct.

3 Moriori are the Maori of the Chatham Islands, a group of islands off the coast of Aotearoa

New Zealand. In some Pakeha discourse, Moriori are considered to have been the original inhabitants of Aotearoa New Zealand, who were exterminated by Maori. This discourse is deployed to justify and naturalise Pakeha colonization. See King (1989). - 5 Hangı is a traditional Maori method of cooking, in which meat and vegetables are cooked over heated stones in an earth oven.
6 Huhu grubs (prionoplus reticularis) are found in decaying wood.

7 That what counts as Maori food is a matter of classification is illustrated by two recent

cookbooks, Kai Time: Tasty Modern Maori Food (Peeti 2008) and Go Wild: Monteith’s Wild Foods Cookbook (Monteiths Brewing Co. 2007). The two books contain recipes with similar ingredients and similar kinds of dishes, but in Kai Time these are classified as Maori dishes, whereas in Go Wild they are classified as wild New Zealand food.

8 The restaurant was initially located in the suburb of Island Bay and was called Kai in the

Bay. It moved to central Wellington in 2005 and changed its name to Kai in the City. The restaurant was tiny, with just half a dozen tables. Kai in the City closed in August 2008. According to the owner, Bill Hamilton, “he’s proved it’s possible to make a Maori-themed restaurant a success, but his day job and his tribal work mean he does not have the time to devote to the business” (Radio New Zealand 2008). 9 “Pokarekare Ana” is a Maori song that is known by many Pakeha. 10 Kai in the City serves Tohu wine because the vineyard is owned by Maori.
11 There is very little information about this restaurant. The Dominion review calls it Te Ao

Kotahu, but in other places it is named Te Ao Kohatu. Kohatu means stone or rock, whereas the word kotahu does not appear in Maori dictionaries. Therefore it is likely that the restaurant’s name is Te Ao Kohatu. arguably know Iti best for his moko [full facial tattoo] and for his habit of performing whakapohane (baring his buttocks) at protests” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_Iti).

12 Iti’s public profile is demonstrated by the fact that he has a Wikipedia entry: “the public

13 Tawa (Beilchmiedia tawa) is a native New Zealand tree. 14 In this section of the paper words in quotation marks are comments from callers.

15 Hapuku is a fish, also known as groper or grouper.
16 Karengo (Porphyra columbina) is an edible seaweed. 17 Horopito (Pseudowintera axillaries and Pseudowintera colorata) is a pepper tree. Its leaves

are used as a herb.

18 Though there is considerable diversity among Maori, their low economic status as a group

can be illustrated by the usual statistics. In 2007 the Maori unemployment rate was 7.6 percent compared to the economy-wide rate of 3.7 percent (Department of Labour 2007: 1), and as the recession takes hold in early 2009, while the general rate of unemployment is 4.6 percent, the Maori rate is 9.2 percent (Department of Labour 2009: 3). Moreover, “Maori remain over-represented in the lower skilled occupations and under-represented in the higher skilled occupations” (Department of Labour 2007: 5), meaning that Maori income is lower than average. In the five years to June 2007, the average Maori wage rose
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from NZ$14.33 to NZ$17.88 per hour in contrast to the economy-wide rise of NZ$16.71 to NZ$21.41 per hour (Department of Labour 2007: 6). This means that Maori are less likely to have money to spend dining out.
19 By contrast, when Anglo cooks incorporate new methods and new ingredients into their

cuisine, this fusion food is hailed as innovative and signifies inventiveness. Only the dominant can fuse food: similar practices in dominated foodways are regarded as degradation. As such, the ability to fuse, rather than to be fused, can be read as a sign of culinary and cultural power. 20 In Wellington, the seat of government, facility with Maori language and culture has more capital than in other places in New Zealand, which helps explain Kai in the City’s success.
21 Following this argument, the recent revival of English/British food signals a decline in

Food, Culture & Society

English/British power.

22 The Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840 between some, but not all, Maori chiefs and the

British Crown, paved the way for the colonization of Aotearoa New Zealand and eventuated in a settler society. English and Maori versions of the treaty differ. In the English version, the first article of the treaty cedes sovereignty to the Queen. In the Maori version, kawanatanga, translated as governorship, is ceded in the first article. This was a new word in Maori at the time. In the second article, however, Maori retain rangatiratanga, literally chieftainship, but seemingly understood by Maori to mean sovereignty. There is debate as to whether Maori would have signed the treaty had they been asked to cede rangatiratanga. In contemporary use, the demand for Tino Rangatiratanga is a demand for sovereignty. Though the treaty was never ratified, it has substance in New Zealand law, most notably through The State Owned Enterprises Act 1987, which introduced the notion of the necessity of adherence to the “principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” into law (see Orange 1992; The Waitangi Tribunal, www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz). (for a history of Aotearoa from a Maori perspective see Walker 2004). On protest politics more specifically, see Harris (2004) and Poata-Smith (1996). On indigenous politics and the state, see Sharp (1990) and Maaka and Fleras (2005). On cultural politics more generally, see Fleras and Spoonley (1999).

23 These challenges have been on a variety of fronts and have employed a variety of strategies

24 The bicultural state was confirmed by the State Services Act 1988, which enshrined in state

structures and government policy the “Treaty principles of partnership, participation, responsiveness and protection” (Maaka and Fleras 2005: 141). museum.

25 Te Papa Tongarewa, known as Te Papa, opened in 1998 as Aotearoa New Zealand’s national

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