On Wednesday 7 June 2023, the New Zealand Asian Lawyers ran a second wānanga on “Tikanga and the Law”. It was an extraordinary combination of different expertise, experiences and viewpoints. The combination was very successful in helping to work through the difficult issues that tikanga and the law can raise, as well as providing insights into the richness that tikanga brings to the development of the common law and how statutes can be interpreted for the benefit of all New Zealanders, as well as Māori. There was an audience of 200 physically present and online.
Grateful thanks to Karen Feint KC, Annette Sykes, Matanuku Mahuika, Natalie Coates and Kingi Snelgar for providing us with their expertise, experience and insights.
Huge thanks to Bell Gully and Buddle Findlay, who sponsored the event and ensured that the speakers were able to be present at the Wānanga. It was great to have all the speakers there.
The powerpoints will go up on to the Superdiversity website and the Public Law Toolbox Chambers website, as the NZ Asian Lawyers website is still being worked on.
We are currently working on capturing and publishing the many valuable insights that were shared – watch this space.
The first Wānanga will be published in the Amicus Curiae special section, “Tikanga as the First Law of New Zealand Law: the need for a system-wide cognitive shift: Ko te tikanga Māori te mana tuatahi o Aotearoa: me tōrua marire te au whakaaro o te pūnaha ture nui tonu” on the 26 June 2023. We will let you know when it is published Māori, te reo Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, is limited. Some of us are migrants and are learning all of this anew. For all those practising within Aotearoa New Zealand, it is critical that we expand our understanding of tikanga to recognise when it is relevant in the cases we are arguing, and to respect and acknowledge tikanga when doing so.