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Inspiring National Indigenous Legal Education for Aotearoa New Zealand's Bachelor of Laws Degree is a nationwide collaboration research project with Māori legal academics from the six University law schools, working with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Centre of Māori Research Excellence and funded by the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation.

There is increasing demand from the judiciary for advice on Māori law, especially since the Supreme Court accepted in 2012 that “Māori custom according to tikanga is therefore part of the values of the New Zealand common law” (Takamore v Clarke). Other parts of the legal profession are recognising this need. Significant professional training is being done, for example, to upskill the judiciary on Māori law including time spent on marae. Law firms are engaging in Māori law professional development for their legal staff on Māori law understandings beyond treaty settlement and land law issues due to the needs of their clients.

We can ensure all Aotearoa New Zealand law graduates are well prepared for these new expectations in society and within the practice of law.

Report download

Phase Two Consultation – Part 1 Survey Results (PDF)

Inspiring National Indigenous Legal Education for Aotearoa New Zealand's Bachelor of Laws Degree (PDF)

Summary Consultation (PDF)

Research project

In our Phase One 2020 report we collated our knowledge of a sample of written sources of Māori law and prefaced our review with a researched discussion of why we are calling for Aotearoa New Zealand law students to be trained to practise in a bijural, bicultural and bilingual legal system.

Our Phase Two 2021 report involved a 13 month wide consultation with Māori, law schools, academics, tauira and the legal profession on how this shift might be done, including the challenges and the opportunities of such a change to legal education. Part 1 – Survey results has been published. Part 2 – Interviews will be published in 2022.

Research team

Jacinta Ruru

(Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui)

Professor of Law at the University of Otago, fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, and recipient of the New Zealand's Prime Minister's Supreme Award for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching.

Metiria Turei

(Ngāti Kahungunu and Ati Hau nui a Pāpārangi)

Pūkenga Matua at the University of Otago in the Faculty of Law.

Carwyn Jones

(Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki)

Pūkenga Matua - Ahunga Tikanga (Māori Laws and Philosophy), Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Linda Te Aho

(Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Waikato-Tainui)

Associate Professor at the University of Waikato.

Claire Charters

(Ngāti Whakaue, Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi, Tainui)

Associate Professor at the University of Auckland.

Khylee Quince

(Te Roroa / Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Porou)

Dean of Law and Director of Māori and Pacific Advancement at AUT School of Law, Co-Director of AUT's Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law.

Rebekah Bright

(Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga)

Research Counsel, Te Kooti Whenua Māori.


Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation:

2019 – 2020: $90,280
2020: $172,639
2021: $23,029



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