September 11, 2012
Law turned to promoting culture
Maori lawyers have been encouraged to use their skills to promote Maori development.
Maori Law Society co-chair Tama Potaka says international guests at the first World Indigenous Lawyers Conference in Hamilton were impressed with the progress Maori had made through using the law.
But they reminded Maori that lawyers are there to support indigenous development, not be the main act.
“Maori identity, Maori culture, Maori social and economic development is probably more important than the niceties of the law and if we can use the law as a vehicle or a tool to promote those aspects then that would be to encouraged and it would be a good thing,” Mr Potaka says.
The hui was valuable for giving Maori lawyers a view on how indigenous law in overseas jurisdictions was moving in different ways than in New Zealand.