Taiapure - recognition of Rangatiratanga?
The right of control and access to New Zealand's fisheries resource has long been a subject of debate between Maori and Pakeha. Under Article II of the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi, te iwi Maori were promised te tino rangatiratanga or chieftainship over their taonga, which included the fisheries resource. Subsequent legislative and government action since the signing of the Treaty has undermined and in some cases denied this fishing right. The Taiapure provisions legislated by Part IIIA of the Maori Fisheries Act 1989 appear as an attempt to rectify previous policy decisions. They wish to recognise rangatiratanga and secure the fishing rights in relation to Article II of the Treaty. This study assesses whether the Taiapure provisions do in fact fulfil this objective, in policy terms and in terms of a te iwi Maori perspective. By applying an analytical framework, which exposes the underlying structural logic of the provisions and its inability to link with the surrounding context, and by taking a case study approach, which reflects te iwi Maori perspectives, the Taiapure provisions are shown to fall short of fulfilling their objective. Recommendations for rectifying this shortfall are then offered, and a practical option for the future is suggested as an 'ideal' for which to aim.... [Show full abstract]