If Māori Speak in a Forum that Doesn’t Listen, Have They Spoken at All? A Critical Analysis of the Incorporation of Tikanga Māori in Decisions on Genetic Modification

34 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019

See all articles by Olivia Oldham

Olivia Oldham

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: July 5, 2017

Abstract

Many Māori have asserted that genetic modification contravenes tikanga Māori in a number of ways. The majority of decision-making on genetic modification in New Zealand carried out under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. This paper discusses the ways in which tikanga Māori is incorporated into that decision-making process. It is argued that substantive and procedural barriers have prevented tikanga from being effectively considered. The failure to adequately incorporate tikanga into decisions is argued to be inconsistent with core principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi – particularly partnership and tino rangatiratanga. Attempts have been made to improve decision-making practice over recent years, but the underlying bias in favour of a ‘Western’ scientific world-view has not been adequately addressed. This paper recommends four legal and practical changes which would increase the ability for tikanga Māori to be taken into account.

Keywords: Tikanga; Genetic Modification; Consultation; Te Tiriti o Waitangi

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Oldham, Olivia, If Māori Speak in a Forum that Doesn’t Listen, Have They Spoken at All? A Critical Analysis of the Incorporation of Tikanga Māori in Decisions on Genetic Modification (July 5, 2017). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3415243

Olivia Oldham (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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