Seizing the Cultural & Political Moment & Catching Fish: Political Development of M?ori in New Zealand, the Sealord Fisheries Settlement, and Social Movement Theory

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Social Science Journal


Environmental Policy and Decision Making


Why did M?ori issues and treaty grievances become politically salient in the 1970s? I argue that contemporary social movement theory, which examines both political opportunities and the use of cultural resources by emerging movements helps to answer this question. A unique moment coalesced in the 1970s and 1980s, bringing together favorable political and cultural variables for M?ori not altogether present in previous eras. I locate the negotiation of the 1992 Sealord Fisheries Settlement in this cultural and political moment and evaluate the social and political consequences for M?ori and the New Zealand Government.