Listening to Papatuānuku: A Call to Reform Water Law
The recent legislative recognition of the Whanganui River as its own legal entity is acknowledgement of significant positive transformation for Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental laws. Enabling this new respectful engagement are modern Treaty of Waitangi reconciliation settlement statutes between the Crown and Māori. These settlements are endorsing Māori tribal visions for knowing and caring for Papatūānuku (our Earth mother) and reasserting a founding place for tikanga Māori (Māori law) to once again guide regional natural resource governance and management. This new national recognition of tikanga Māori for the environment ought to be at the forefront of any significant foreseeable review and reform of the principal national statute concerning natural resources, including water: the Resource Management Act 1991.
Publisher: Royal Society of New Zealand
Keywords: Environmental law; New Zealand; Tikanga Maori; Resource management law; Treaty of Waitangi
Research Type: Journal Article