Kia tū ko taikākā: Let the heartwood of Māori identity stand - An investigation into the appropriateness of the legal definition of ‘Māori’ for Māori
Māori are not a homogenous people. In contemporary society Māori come in all different sizes, shapes, colours, social conditions, cultural affiliations, religions and opinions. Given this diversity there are thus some complex and often controversial issues involved in determining who should be able to qualify as being Māori. Despite this complexity the law sets out who can qualify as being ‘Māori’ in one clear and concise sentence. Currently, this definition in general encompasses anyone with Māori descent. The main thesis of this dissertation is to determine whether this legal definition of Māori is appropriate for Māori. Ultimately, it is concluded that there is a more appropriate definition of ‘Māori’ that could be employed within the law. However, Māori need to take a more active role in controlling this definition.
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Māori Studies
Degree Discipline: Te Tumu - School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies
Keywords: Maori; Māori; Maori identity; Māori identity; law; Maori law; legislation; Maori legislation; legal definition of Maori; whakapapa; Maoritanga; maoritanga; self-identification; ethnicity; blood quantum; positive discrimination; Te Tumu; Natalie Coates
Research Type: Dissertation
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours), in Māori Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.