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Mistress of EverythingQueen Victoria in Indigenous Worlds$
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Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991401

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991401.001.0001

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Chiefly women: Queen Victoria, Meri Mangakahia, and the Māori parliament

Chiefly women: Queen Victoria, Meri Mangakahia, and the Māori parliament

(p.228) Chapter 10 Chiefly women: Queen Victoria, Meri Mangakahia, and the Māori parliament
Mistress of Everything

Miranda Johnson

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the productive tensions between loyalty and autonomy, equality and status, that emerged from debates within the Māori Kotahitanga or unity parliament in New Zealand in the 1890s. In the context of a national shift to liberalism, and a movement to give women the vote, Kotahitanga leaders sought autonomy from the settler government at the same time as they expressed abiding loyalty to Queen Victoria. Within the parliament, leading Māori women sought to re-establish their status, which had been undermined by actions of the colonial government. They did so by appealing to the Queen as a female figurehead with whom they shared high status as chiefly women. Thus, these female leaders reinvested ideas of ancestral hierarchy in the context of apparently “modern” political demands.

Keywords:   Māori politics, Indigenous constitutionalism, Māori women, female suffrage, Queen Victoria

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