'Dirty laundry' in Māori education history? Another spin for Washday at the Pā

Georgina Marjorie Stewart, Hēmi Dale


The controversy in Aotearoa New Zealand over the school journal Washday at the Pā by Ans Westra (1964) has given rise to a small corpus of scholarship, but one limited in educational or Māori perspectives, being centred on discussions of art and censorship. To date, Roger Openshaw (2005) is the most prominent educational scholar to write about this fascinating episode in our education history, so some critical analysis from a Māori education perspective seems warranted. This article presents a Kaupapa Māori reading of the book, the controversy, and previous scholarship, which inquires into the larger, ongoing meanings and learnings to be drawn from this controversy.


Ans Westra (photographer); critical discourse analysis (CDA); Kaupapa Māori philosophy; Māori educational publishing; Washday at the Pā (school journal).

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v21i2.268


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015