Cultural Taxation: Myth or Reality? Research in Progress


This presentation discusses the rationale and proposed research methods of a research project currently under development in Christchurch, New Zealand. The primary objective of this study is to document the experiences of Maori academics working in mainstream tertiary institutions. Of particular interest will be whether these academics experience any form of cultural taxation and to what extent. This study will identify the ways in which these academics are affected by cultural taxation and discuss the prevalence of the phenomenon. The impetus for this study is twofold. Initially this research draws on my personal experiences and observations having worked in mainstream tertiary institutions for the past 17 years. During this time I have witnessed and personally experienced many aspects of cultural taxation on a regular basis. Often these 'acts of taxation' are located within the parameters of cultural customs and protocols. Secondly, having undertaken research in 2011 I identified that Maori teachers in English medium Eurocentric settings are often faced with significant challenges. These challenges, although not limited to, include intercultural misunderstandings and the additional cultural expectations and responsibilities placed upon them from senior management and non-Maori colleagues. These additional expectations and tasks all impact on the wellbeing of Maori educators. All teachers interviewed in this study identified feelings of exhaustion and 'burn out' resulting from the ongoing cultural taxation that they had experienced in their respective schools.

Author Information
Toni Torepe, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Education and post-colonialism

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon