June 07, 2022
Tikanga Māori target for top tauira ture
The winner of one of this year’s New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Scholarships wants to look at how tikanga can be incorporated into New Zealand law.
The award will help Josie Te Rata from Ngāti Raukawa to study for a Master of Laws degree in North America.
She graduated from the University of Otago in 2017 and is a senior solicitor at Wellington kaupapa Māori law firm Whāia Legal.
Ms Te Rata says the New Zealand legal system is on the cusp of a significant transformation as courts become increasing willing to recognise and enforce tikanga Māori, both as an independent source of law and as part of the values of common law.
That raises questions about constitutional arrangements and about how tikanga can maintain its integrity if it is to be interpreted and applied by largely non-Māori institutions.
The other scholarship went to Charlotte Agnew-Harington, a junior barrister for Michael Heron QC at Britomart Chambers in Auckland and a tutor in law at the University of Auckland, who wants to study how litigation can remedy bias in public decision-making.