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Jade Eikman-Dodd

Jade is presently undertaking research in the College of Asia and the Pacific at Australia National University.

Research project title: The Terra in our Mist: A Terra-torial Ethnography of the Children of the Mist

Jade explains:

"This research aims to bring together the tribal histories of Ngai Tuhoe, an activist and traditionally outspoken Maori tribe of New Zealand's Eastern Bay of Plenty, with specific reference to Ngai Tuhoe's relationship with the land and environment since time immemorial. Ngai Tuhoe means the Children of the Mist, which makes reference to the tribes creation narrative stipulating that their ancestors were born of the mist. This is reflected by Ngai Tuhoe's surrounding environment, which is prone to inland fog and mist. Mapping the history of the tribe's relationship to the land helps make sense of their fierce resistance to colonisation and the presence of the Crown throughout the 1800s to today. I will achieve this through several in-depth interviews and conversations with people from Ngai Tuhoe. This background helps to contextualise and explain the 2007 anti-terror raids codenamed 'Operation 8', violently executed by the New Zealand Police, which disproportionately targeted Ngai Tuhoe and struck significant fear into the community. I hope to explore that this represents the most recent chapter of colonisation in New Zealand's history, in which Ngai Tuhoe were reminded of the Crown's ultimate authority as the principal governing body of the country. I will also critically discuss the role of the media in the 2007 raids, explaining how the historic stereotype of the criminal Maori male (similar to other indigenous groups worldwide) contributed to the 'selling' of the raids to the New Zealand public. Finally, I hope to show how engagement with communities at the grassroots levels, as reflected in my study, can be viable alternatives in pursuing national security."

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