Kōrero Tahi: Talking Together
Korero Tahi: Talking Together is a handbook and companion piece to Dame Joan Metge's earlier work Talking Past Each Other. In Korero Tahi she presents a procedure for managing group discussion which borrows from and draws on Maori tikanga (protocol). It is designed for use in settings where Maori from different iwi or Pakeha from different ethnic groups are present and committed to working together but it could be used in a wide range of contexts such as conferences, workshops, and community discussions. Korero Tahi is based on Metge's own experience of observation in Maori settings and on discussion with Maori experts and working with Maori groups. A practical guide in a wide range of contexts, it also has a wider implications for the whole of society.
kuia, who calm tense situations. The kaumātua arrange concerted action by means of non-verbal communication. Adapting the Māori pattern for general settings After formally welcoming participants, it is wise to gather them together in one group for an initial briefing session. Here the facilitators come into their own. Working as a team, supporting and amplifying each other’s points, they explain the overall aims of the programme, make sure that participants understand the purpose and parts
departure. The roll of speakers is open, not closed: any or all of the visitors may have their say. They thank their hosts for their hospitality, comment on the happenings of the hui and call the workers (the ringa wera or hot hands) from behind the scenes for special appreciation. One or two of the hosts reply, wishing the visitors a safe journey home. The visitors depart, even, if time presses, before the farewell is completed, and the hosts start cleaning up. Adapting the Māori pattern
but should do so succinctly, placing time limits on themselves. Once a speaker has sat down, he/she must refrain from speaking again until at least two or three others have spoken. Before rising to their feet, speakers should check to see if someone else wishes to speak, defer to others and encourage the diffident. Speakers are encouraged to voice grievances and hostilities. It is acceptable to express strong emotion but personal insults should be avoided if possible. Having expressed
On the open marae and in the meeting house, and when visitors are present, proceedings are conducted with greater formality, and participation is more likely to be restricted to speakers from certain categories, especially kaumātua (of both sexes) and the chosen representatives of whānau and hapū. When visitors are not present, and at certain times during hui (when a kaumātua ‘opens it up’, in the evenings, and on the last night of mourning before burial of the dead), those not old or experienced
used to be common on marae and in such situations as Māori Land Court sittings when Pākehā were present, but the practice has fallen out of favour in the drive to extend use of the Māori language. For venues other than a marae, it would be in the spirit of kōrero tahi to design a welcome ceremony that uses the English language but also recognises the status of Māori as an official language and the presence of speakers of other languages. For example, the Māori language could be used to begin and