Robert Consedine was raised in an Irish Catholic 'community' in the working-class Christchurch suburb of Addington. From his involvement with the civil-rights movement in the United States to international relief aid visiting of Third World countries, Robert has witnessed the struggle for human dignity in some of the most marginalised environments in the world. Jailed for two weeks for his involvement with the anti-Springbok tour protests of 1981, Robert was deeply affected by stories from Maori prisoners, stories reflecting every kind of dispossession: disconnection from family, land, language, culture, unemployment, abuse, violence, low self-esteem and personal and institutional racism.
Subsequently, Robert and Trish Consedine with the support of a network of Maori and Pakeha were inspired to set up Waitangi Assocaiates-an organisation that uses a combination of innovative educational strategies to assist the people of New Zealand in learning about and creatively confronting our colonial history. Robert has delivered Treaty education workshops in over 200 New Zealand organisations and transported the workshop model to Canada and Australia.