Contemporary Rangatiratanga: Do Treaty settlements enable rangatira to exercise rangatiratanga?
Russell, Darryn John
This thesis asks whether Treaty of Waitangi settlements enable or re-establish Māori rangatiratanga guaranteed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in a contemporary context. It does so by first establishing the pūtake (foundations) of the traditional exercise of rangatiratanga; namely, whakapapa (genealogical descent), mana (prestige, authority, power, sovereignty), hapū (societal community), and whenua (geographical place). In addition, pūtake extended to incorporate kawa and tikanga (cultural lore) and utu (reciprocity). These pūtake were societal pillars for the framework of rangatiratanga. This form of authority was recognised in the Declaration of Independence in 1835. In 1840 the British also recognised the authority of rangatira in the Treaty of Waitangi, and guaranteed to protect rangatiratanga. The Crown failed in many ways to uphold this guarantee after 1840; many policies, laws and actions undermined Maori rangatiratanga. Maori responded to this marginalisation of their authority in a variety of ways, but it was not until the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 that the Crown began to recognise and redress its many Treaty breaches. Through this process the Crown has reached settlements with Maori. Two qualitative cases are discussed based on interviews with contemporary leaders from the two iwi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Whātua. These cases are not a comparison, rather my primary interest is in the Ngāi Tahu case, with Ngāti Whātua providing an alternative experience from an iwi not yet through the settlement process. Ultimately, this thesis concludes that the settlement process does not provide rangatiratanga to rangatira and hapū. The process of settlement is set and determined by the Crown and the requirement for hapū to rearrange into natural larger groupings, dismantles any self-determining framework of the original claimant group. Therefore, the leadership requirement in this post-settlement, namely governance, is not the same thing as rangatiratanga for whānau and hapū. For Ngāi Tahu this means rangatiratanga must be future driven by internal dreams for self-determination.
Advisor: Hayward, Janine; Rewi, Poia
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Department of Politics
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Rangatiratanga; treaty; settlements; Ngāi; tahu; Ngāti; whatua
Research Type: Thesis