Tikanga Māori and state law – an exploration of He Poutama: Part One – Tikanga

12 February 2024

Bell Gully’s Te Paewhiti Ture members, Rachael Brown, Dr Laura Hardcastle, Rhianna Morar (Ngāti Porou, Tapuika, Gujarat), Nikorima Nuttall (Raukawa ki Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere) and Brontë Tuffery (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) have contributed to the first article of a three-part series with the Māori Law Review on Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission’s study paper, He Poutama. 

Our series aims to engage with the frameworks for understanding the interaction between tikanga, common law and statute that have been set out in He Poutama.

In this first of three articles, we consider part one of He Poutama, which seeks to promote understanding of tikanga from a mātauranga Māori perspective.  In summarising Part One, we:

  1. consider how mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems) and pūrākau (traditional forms of Māori narrative that recount creation) underpin understandings of tikanga, including as it applies in a legal context;
  2. provide an overview of the core tikanga concepts identified by the Commission, drawing on explanations by mātauranga experts; and
  3. discuss the Commission’s guidance for tikanga engagement, as illustrated by its six hypothetical case studies. 

You can read part one in the Māori Law Review here.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please get in touch with the contacts listed, or your usual Bell Gully adviser.

Disclaimer: This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.