Exploring Māori legal traditions: Te hōpara i ngā tikanga ture Māori

I ēnei tau tata nei, kua tipu te mōhiotanga kāore i te whāiti te ture Māori ki ngā tikanga e whakaaehia ana e te pūnaha ture kāwanatanga. He tikanga anō ā te iwi Māori mō te waihanga ture me te whakatau raruraru i mua o te taenga mai o te pūnaha ture kāwanatanga o Aotearoa, ā, e mau tonu ana i tēnei rā. E mau tonu ana ngā tikanga ture Māori i roto i tētahi pūnaha ture Māori ake.

Mā te takuhe Marsden Fast-Start ka āhei a Tākuta Carwyn Jones o Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture o Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui ki te hōpara i te whakamahinga o te ture Māori mai i roto. Ka arotahi ia ki te whakaatu i ngā mātāpono ture Māori mai i ngā āhuatanga ahurea whānui pēnei i ngā waiata, ngā whakaaro, ngā karakia me ngā kōrero pūrākau.

E whakaatu ana ēnei puna i ngā tauira o ngā mana me te whakatau tikanga (me ngā here ki ngā mana ture), otirā ngā tino āhuatanga o te whitiwhiti ā-ture, tautohe, whakaaro aroraru, me ngā tikanga rerekē mō te ūruhitanga me te rongoā. Kei roto ko ngā tikanga katoa e pā ana ki tētahi pūnaha ture pakari.

He tino painga tō te kaupapa nei ki te tino whakanui ake i te whai wāhitanga o te ture Māori ki te whakamana i ngā hapori Māori. Mā tēnei anō ka āhei te pūnaha ture kāwanatanga ki te whakarite i ngā take ture Māori ki tētahi tikanga pai ake ki tērā e whakamahia ana i tēnei rā.

Exploring Māori legal traditions

In recent years, there has been growing recognition that Māori law is not limited to practices that the state legal system recognises. Māori society has law-making and dispute resolution institutions which both predate the New Zealand state legal system and continue to operate alongside it. Māori legal traditions exist as part of a distinct Māori legal system.

Dr Carwyn Jones from Victoria University of Wellington’s Law School will use a Marsden Fast-Start grant to explore the operation of Māori law from the inside. He will focus on identifying Māori legal principles from within a range of cultural expressions such as waiata (songs), whakairo (carvings), karakia (prayers/chants), and kōrero pūrākau (stories).

These sources reveal particular patterns of authority and decision-making (and constraints on legal authority), particular forms of legal communication, argument and reasoning, and distinctive mechanisms for enforcement and remedy. They comprise the full range of mechanisms that we associate with a well-developed legal system.

This project has the potential to greatly increase the accessibility of Māori law in a way that empowers Māori communities. It will also enable the state legal system to engage with Māori legal issues in a more sophisticated way than it does today.

Dr Carwyn Jones.

Dr Carwyn Jones.

Total Funding: $300,000 (excl. GST)

Researchers: Dr Carwyn Jones, School of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140

Telephone: (04) 463 6313

Email: carwyn.jones@vuw.ac.nz