Decolonizing Diversity: Whakawhanaungatanga as an alternative to state managed multiculturalism

Diversity has tended to attract critical scrutiny in scholarly writing in almost equal proportion to the symbolic currency it has acquired in administrative and governmental practice. In this panel discussion, we interrogate how settler-colonial states are ‘performed’ as diverse, and the structures of advantage and disadvantage that remain unaltered in the process. Focusing on Aotearoa/New Zealand, we contend that any approach to intercultural interactions must acknowledge the violence of colonization and the structural racism that shapes the experiences of non-White peoples, and put forward the Indigenous concept Whakawhanaungatanga (the process of establishing relationships) as an alternative to state managed multiculturalism.