A Māori Constitutional Tradition

18 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2014 Last revised: 12 Oct 2016

See all articles by Carwyn Jones

Carwyn Jones

Victoria University of Wellington, Te Herenga Waka - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2014


This paper tentatively sketches the outline of what might be described as a Māori constitutional tradition. The paper describes some key aspects of Māori law and philosophy that influence the development of Māori constitutional thought and practice. It examines the role of key principles such as whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, mana, tapu and utu that underpin Māori law and constitutionalism. These principles set the foundation for Māori forms of social organisation, the responsibilities and accountabilities of leaders, and the exercise of legal and political power within Māori society.

Keywords: Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Mana, Tapu, Noa, Utu, Constitution, Māori culture, Māori law

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Jones, Carwyn, A Māori Constitutional Tradition (2014). (2014) 12 NZJPIL 187-203, Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 135, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2538900

Carwyn Jones (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Te Herenga Waka - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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