Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Indigenous Peoples and the State

International Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi, 1st Edition

By Mark Hickford, Carwyn Jones


206 pages

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Paperback: 9780367895440
pub: 2020-01-14
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pub: 2018-07-26
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Across the globe, there are numerous examples of treaties, compacts, or other negotiated agreements that mediate relationships between Indigenous peoples and states or settler communities. Perhaps the best known of these, New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi is a living, and historically rich, illustration of this types of negotiated agreement, and both the symmetries and asymmetries of Indigenous-State relations. This collection refreshes the scholarly and public discourse relating to the Treaty of Waitangi and makes a significant contribution to the international discussion of Indigenous-State relations and reconciliation. The essays in this collection explore the diversity of meanings that have been ascribed to Indigenous-State compacts, such as the Treaty, by different interpretive communities. As such, they enable and illuminate a more dynamic conversation about their meanings and applications, as well as their critical role in processes of reconciliation and transitional justice today.

Table of Contents


Notes of Contributors

  1. Introduction

Carwyn Jones and Mark Hickford

Part One: Foundations of Indigenous/State Relationships

  1. Māori and State Visions of Law and Peace
  2. Carwyn Jones

  3. Origin Stories and the Law: Treaty Metaphysics in Canada and New Zealand
  4. John Borrows

  5. Originalism and the Constitutional Canon of Aotearoa New Zealand
  6. David V Williams

    Part Two: Giving Meaning to the Treaty Through Time

  7. The Treaty of Waitangi in Historical Context
  8. Saliha Belmessous

  9. Towards a Post-Foundational History of the Treaty
  10. Bain Attwood

  11. The Failing Modern Jurisprudence of the Treaty of Waitangi
  12. Jacinta Ruru

    Part Three: Diverse Sites of the Treaty Relationship

  13. ‘Ko te mana tuatoru, ko te mana motuhake’
  14. Rawinia Higgins

  15. Reflecting on the Treaty of Waitangi and its Constitutional Dimensions: A Case for a Research Agenda
  16. Mark Hickford

  17. Future Contexts for Treaty Interpretation
  18. Natalie Coates

  19. ‘He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui’: Looking towards 2040

Māmari Stephens



About the Authors

Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law, Victoria University of Wellington

Carwyn Jones, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington

About the Series

Indigenous Peoples and the Law

The colonial modalities which resulted in the pillaging of the ‘New World’ involved wholesale dispossession, genocidal violence and exploitation of their original inhabitants. It was not, however, until the latter part of the twentieth century that Indigenous peoples attained some degree of legal recognition. This book series focuses upon the manner in which Indigenous peoples’ experiences of law have been transformed from an oppressive system of denying rights to a site of contestation and the articulation of various forms of self-governance. Encouraging a range of theoretical, political and ethical perspectives on Indigenous peoples and the law, this book series aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the experience of Indigenous peoples and their changing relationship with national and international juridical frameworks.  

The series will include both monographs and edited collections pursuing variety a of perspectives – including, but not limited to, a concern with:

  • Law as a mechanism of power/knowledge: that is, the discursive and biopolitical strategies of Conquest, Settlement, and Empire – with a  particular interest in how the juridical was deployed to validate land appropriation in the ‘New World’ and European colonies. This might include consideration of the influence of the writings of Vattel, Blackstone, Sepulveda, Vittoria, las Casas and others in framing Indigenous populations and their lands as supposedly amenable to colonization.
  • The role of law in authorising oppression, dispossession and genocide in the colonial period, and how such juridical moments continue to shape relations between Indigenous peoples and the State. This might include consideration of: specific governmental policies and legislation that allowed for forced removal of Indigenous children; appropriation of Indigenous lands; the imposition of regimes of control through government reserves and missions; and/or the role of treaties in providing legal justification for the dispossession of Indigenous peoples.
  • Contemporary issues that confront Indigenous peoples in their dealings with law in the global present. This might include consideration of: disputes relating to resource extraction; access to justice and over-representation in the criminal justice system; cultural heritage and intellectual property claims; the recognition of Indigenous laws; land rights; the belated recognition of Indigenous rights in both ‘new’ constitutions and in international law; and/or sovereignty.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the series, please contact:

Mark Harris

The University of British Columbia

[email protected]


Colin Perrin


2 Park Square

Milton Park



OX14 4RN

[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Indigenous Peoples
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies