November 10, 2017
Tikanga sought in treaty settlements
The author of a new book on treaty law wants to see more tikanga Maori reflected in treaty settlements.
Dr Carwyn Jones’ New Treaty, New Tradition: Reconciling New Zealand Society and Maori Law won the Te Korero Torangapu – non-fiction politics section at this year’s Massy University Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards.
The Victoria University law lecturer says the treaty of Waitangi sets out key ideas on the relationship between Maori tino rangatiratanga and kawanatanga or state authority which allow for flexibility as society changes.
Neither the treaty nor tikanga Maori are stuck in the past, but speak to modern circumstances.
"One of the things I think is important to focus on is how we are recognising and acknowledging Maori law and tikanga and one thing I tried to tease out in the book is thinking about what is happening to tikanga or where is tikanga being applied or stretched or tested as we go through this settlement process," Dr Jones says.
He would like to see constitutional change that better reflects the indigenous sources that sit in the New Zealand constitution alongside ideas from the common law and Westminster traditions.
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