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SovereigntyFrontiers of Possibility$
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Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Alexander Reilly, and Patrick Wolfe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835637

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835637.001.0001

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Maori Concepts and Practices of Rangatiratanga

Maori Concepts and Practices of Rangatiratanga


(p.220) 11 Maori Concepts and Practices of Rangatiratanga

Nin Tomas

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter focuses on Maori sovereignty. Just as Europeans have drawn from their own social and political histories to claim sovereignty as a fundamental political principle with practical legal consequences, Maori can make a similar, equally valid claim for rangatiratanga (autonomous authority) from the basis of tikanga Maori (Maori custom law). Maori society lived in accordance with this principle long before 1840, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Thus, “sovereignty,” whether inherent or otherwise, is not a tuturu (genuine) starting or end point for Maori discourse about their right to exercise authority over their own existence and territories, either as distinctive tribal groups or collectively as Maori.

Keywords:   Maori sovereignty, rangatiratanga, autonomous authority, tikanga Maori, Maori custom law, Maori society, Treaty of Waitangi

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