Riding the Waves
Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, Edited by Lisa Ford and Tim Rowse, 2013
14 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2014 Last revised: 10 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2013
This paper considers the role of Māori law and legal traditions in New Zealand public life. The first part of the paper provides a brief historical overview of the role of Māori law in New Zealand. Though Māori law, or tikanga, has been severely affected by the introduction of a colonial legal system, it has survived and continues to play a role in the regulation of social behaviour and interactions in New Zealand. Healthy legal cultures are never completely static and Māori legal traditions have constantly adapted and developed in response to changing circumstances. The second part of the paper considers the way in which tikanga is continuing to develop, in particular in the context of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. The settlement process, and especially the establishment of formalized tribal governance entities, illustrates the ways in which tikanga is adapting to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Keywords: Idigenous cultures, colonial legal system, bicultural, Māori, Treaty of Waitangi, Treaty settlement
JEL Classification: K10, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation