Based on recent developments within the Maori Affairs Department in New Zealand, efforts to reconcile the contrasting principles of bureaucracy and Maori aboriginality are examined. Evidence suggests the establishment of Tu Tangata as framework for Maori policy administration initiated a series of organizational shifts with respect to philosophy ("cultural-based community development"), structure ("indigenization"), style ("decentralization") and commitment ("devolution"). But while these attempts at debureaucratizing the Maori Affairs bureaucracy are shown to have not gone unnoticed, problems of considerable magnitude remain. Of particular relevance in precluding accommodation are the imperatives of bureaucratic logic which appear to be inconsistent with the aboriginality of Maori nationalism ("tangata whenua o aotearoa"). To the extent a "middle way" between the organizing principles of bureaucracy and Maori aboriginality is elusive-despite efforts at conciliation-constitutes one of the major themes of this paper.

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