Tikanga is a Māori concept incorporating practices and values from mātauranga Māori, Māori knowledge. — culture, custom, ethic, etiquette, fashion, formality, lore, manner, meaning, mechanism, method, protocol, style, customary law.Tikanga is translated into the English language with a wide range of meanings
Māori scholar Hirini Moko Mead states that tikanga can be viewed from several perspectives. One view is that tikanga Māori 'controls interpersonal relationships' as it guides the interactions of meetings, and provides identity to individuals. Another view is through ethics, that tikanga Māori is a practised code of conduct. The word tikanga is derived from the Māori word tika meaning 'right' or 'correct' so it follows that it involves moral judgements about what is the right way of doing something.
Lawyers view tikanga Māori through the lens of customary law, which comes from an authority rather than a normative system.This is being tested in the New Zealand judicial system through a few legal cases. For an interpretation of the conflicts between Tikanga Maori and Western/Pākehā jurisprudence, see the case of the burial of James Takamore (2011). In the course of her judgement on that case, Chief Justice of New Zealand Sian Elias stated that "Māori custom according to tikanga is... part of the values of the New Zealand common law." Justice Joe Williams has written and studied tikanga and the New Zealand law. In his future vision there is a phase "when tikanga Māori fuses with New Zealand’s common law tradition to form a hybrid law of Aotearoa that could be developed by judges, case by base."
From about the 1980s the word tikanga it began to appear in common New Zealand English. This can be attributed to the Māori renaissance as well as acts of the New Zealand government including the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 and the Resource Management Act (1991) that include the need for consultation with local iwi (tribal) representatives.
On 2 July 2011, the Waitangi Tribunal released its report into the Wai 262 claim, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei ("This is Aotearoa (New Zealand)").The report considers more than 20 Government departments and agencies and makes recommendations as to reforms of "laws, policies or practices relating to health, education, science, intellectual property, indigenous flora and fauna, resource management, conservation, the Māori language, arts and culture, heritage, and the involvement of Māori in the development of New Zealand’s positions on international instruments affecting indigenous rights." The second volume of the report contains a glossary of te reo Māori terms, including:
An example of applied tikanga is an approach by Māori weavers in the gathering of traditional materials such as harakeke. One tikanga is to never cut the inside leaves of the plant, the names of these leaves are the rito and this is metaphorically linked to growth of humans. Practically it ensures the life cycle of the plant, that the harvesting of the fibre doesn't kill the plant and it also connects the value of the resource to the people that use it.
Māori, also known as te reo, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori-language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.
Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand. It was originally used by the Māori people in reference to only the North Island but, since the late 19th century, the word has come to refer to the whole archipelago. Several meanings have been proposed for the name; the most popular translation usually given is "long white cloud", or variations thereof. This refers to the cloud formations which helped early Polynesian navigators find the country.
The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs (rangatira) from the North Island of New Zealand. It has become a document of central importance to the history, to the political constitution of the state, and to the national mythos of New Zealand, and has played a major role in framing the political relations between New Zealand's government and the Māori population, especially from the late-20th century.
Māori culture is the customs, cultural practices, and beliefs of the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand. It originated from, and is still part of, Eastern Polynesian culture. Māori culture forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture and, due to a large diaspora and the incorporation of Māori motifs into popular culture, it is found throughout the world. Within Māoridom, and to a lesser extent throughout New Zealand as a whole, the word Māoritanga is often used as an approximate synonym for Māori culture, the Māori-language suffix -tanga being roughly equivalent to the qualitative noun-ending -ness in English. Māoritanga has also been translated as "[a] Māori way of life."
Taonga or taoka is a Māori language word which refers to a treasured possession in Māori culture. Due to the lack of a direct translation to English and the significance of its use in the Treaty of Waitangi, the word has been widely adopted into New Zealand English as a loanword. The current definition differs from the historical definition, noted by Hongi Hika as "property procured by the spear" [one could understand this as war booty or defended property] and is now interpreted to mean a wide range of tangible and intangible possessions, especially items of historical cultural significance.
The Māori language revival is a movement to promote, reinforce and strengthen the use of te reo Māori, the Māori language. Primarily in New Zealand, but also in places with large numbers of expatriate New Zealanders, the movement aims to increase the use of Māori in the home, in education, government and business. The movement is part of a broader Māori renaissance.
The Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand, signed by a number of Māori chiefs in 1835, proclaimed the sovereign independence of New Zealand prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
The Waitangi Tribunal is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. It is charged with investigating and making recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown, in the period largely since 1840, that breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi. The Tribunal is not a court of law; therefore, the Tribunal's recommendations and findings are not binding on the Crown. They are sometimes not acted on, for instance in the foreshore and seabed dispute.
Claims and settlements under the Treaty of Waitangi have been a significant feature of New Zealand race relations and politics since the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. Successive governments have increasingly provided formal legal and political opportunity for Māori to seek redress for breaches by the Crown of the guarantees set out in the Treaty of Waitangi. While it has resulted in putting to rest a number of significant longstanding grievances, the process has been subject to criticisms from a number of angles, from those who believe that the redress is insufficient to compensate for Māori losses, to those who see no value in revisiting painful and contentious historical issues. The settlements are typically seen as part of a broader Māori Renaissance.
The Māori Language Act 1987 was a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of New Zealand that gave official language status to the Māori language, and gave speakers a right to use it in legal settings such as courts. It also established the Māori Language Commission, initially called Te Komihana Mo Te Reo Maori, to promote the language and provide advice on it. The law was enacted as the Maori Language Act 1987 and originally written without macrons.
The law of New Zealand has its foundation in the English common law system, inherited from being a part of the Commonwealth. There are several sources of law, the primary ones being statutes enacted by the New Zealand Parliament and case law made by decisions of the courts of New Zealand. At a more fundamental level, the law of New Zealand is based on three related principles: parliamentary sovereignty; the rule of law; and the separation of powers.
The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of waka (canoe) voyages between roughly 1320 and 1350. Over several centuries in isolation, these settlers developed their own distinctive culture, whose language, mythology, crafts, and performing arts evolved independently from those of other eastern Polynesian cultures. Some early Māori moved to the Chatham Islands where their descendants became New Zealand's other indigenous Polynesian ethnic group, the Moriori.
The Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 is an Act of the New Zealand Parliament created to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. It was brought in by the fifth National government and creates a sui generis property class for the marine and coastal area, in which it is vested in no one. This is in contrast to the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 in which the foreshore and seabed was vested in the Crown.
Sir "Sidney" Hirini Moko Haerewa Mead is a New Zealand anthropologist, historian, artist, teacher, writer and prominent Māori leader. Initially training as a teacher and artist, Mead taught in many schools in the East Coast and Bay of Plenty regions, and later served as principal of several schools. After earning his PhD in 1968, he taught anthropology in several universities abroad. He returned to New Zealand in 1977 and established the first Māori studies department in the country. Mead later became a prominent Māori advocate and leader, acting in negotiations on behalf of several tribes and sitting on numerous advisory boards. He has also written extensively on Māori culture. He is currently the chair of the council of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
The burial of James Takamore was a bicultural family conflict and legal precedent in New Zealand, reflecting the tension between Māori tikanga and English-based common law. James Takamore was born into the Whakatohea and Tūhoe iwi in the Bay of Plenty but lived as a Pākehā with his Pākehā wife in Christchurch, returning to the North Island only twice in 20 years and expressing to third parties his non-identification as Māori. A dispute arose whether he should be buried in Christchurch, as his wife intended, or in the traditional urupa of his family.
The judiciary of New Zealand is a system of courts that interprets and applies the laws of New Zealand. It has four primary functions: to provide a mechanism for dispute resolution; to deliver authoritative rulings on the meaning and application of legislation; to develop case law; and to uphold the rule of law, personal liberty and human rights.
Rawinia Ruth Higgins is a New Zealand Māori academic of Tūhoe descent, whose research focuses on language and culture.
Sir William Te Rangiua "Pou" Temara is a New Zealand Māori academic. He is professor of Te Reo, Tikanga and Philosophy at Waikato University and a cultural authority on whaikōrero (oratory), whakapapa (genealogy) and karakia. Prior to working at Waikato, he taught at Victoria University of Wellington and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Mana motuhake is a phrase in the Māori language that means self determination, with the principle being autonomy and control. It is sometimes translated to the concept of sovereignty. There was a New Zealand political party called Mana Motuhake that was registered from 1980- 2005, and the Māori Party have a policy called the Mana Motuhake that was announced in 2020.
Sir Joseph Victor Williams is a judge and the first Māori person appointed to the Supreme Court of New Zealand. He is of Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa descent.