Exploring Māori Legal Traditions

Maori LawThis site is intended to support discussion of Māori law and Indigenous legal traditions and in particular provides a hub for resources connected to the ‘Exploring Māori Legal Traditions’ project.

One thought on “Exploring Māori Legal Traditions

    Roger Conlin said:
    April 28, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Hi, I’m on my first trip to NZ and so it’s my first encounter with the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori law and overall Kiwi history. To me, it’s a compelling story with lots of international resonance.

    For example, the UK is home to 4 nations with strong and, arguably, incompatible national identities which show no sign of merging – English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish. There are 4 separate bodies of law – i.e. England/Wales, Scottish, Northern Ireland and European Union. There are five parliaments – London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Stormont and Brussels.

    The UK is a kaleidoscope. More specifically, it seems like a potentially interesting case study in relation to Maori/Pakeha law.

    Take a look at the Scottish, for example. They constitute about 8% of the total UK population (less than Maori in NZ). They have the same head of state as the Maori people – i.e. Queen Elizabeth II. And yet there is a Scottish parliament with major tax-raising/spending powers; they have their own legal system and courts and they maintain a sustained push to leave the UK. In other words, an independent Scottish national identity endures.

    Obviously, the existence of internal national borders within the UK is different from NZ. But that’s not necessarily a good reason to reject the notion that that one company/trust/town/whatnot could be covered by Pakeha law and another company/trust/town/whatnot could be covered by Maori law.

    In a nutshell, what the Maori people seek to assert in NZ is modest compared to what the Scottish people already have in the UK.


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