Newsletter | Te Aka Kōrero No. 16

Published: 11 August 2021

Te Aka Kōrero
News from Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission

Welcome | Nau mai

Nau mai ki tēnei whakaputanga montuhak o Te Aka Kōrero.

Welcome to Te Aka Kōrero.

Ko tōna arotahi, ko te kohinga puka mātanga i tuhia mō Te Aka Matua o te Ture i ngā tau 1990 hei ārahi i tā mātou kaupapa mō te tikanga. He maha aua puka nei i tuhia hei mea hukihuki noa, engari tē whakaūngia rawatia. Ahakoa tēnei, he tūroa tonu te mana o aua puka. Kua āwhina ngā puka ki te whakamōhio i tō tātou ake whaiwhakaaro ki te ao Māori. Ka riterite tonu te tono mai a te hunga rōia, kairangahau hoki, a wai ake hoki mō ētahi kape. Nā te whakaaro ohaoha o ngā kaituhi i whakaaetia ai te whakaputa i ngā puka ki tā mātou pae tukutuku. Mā te whakaputa e ngāwari ake ai te whakatapoko, ā, ko te tūmanako ia, ka āwhina kia whai mārama ki tēnei mea ko te tikanga. Ka rere te reo o mihi ki ngā kaituhi nā rātou tēnei kaupapa whakahirahira i tautoko.

In this edition, our focus is on the series of expert papers on aspects of tikanga Māori that were written for Te Aka Matua o te Ture in the 1990s. Although many of these papers were written in draft form and were never finalised, they have enduring value. They have helped to inform our own consideration of te ao Māori, while lawyers, researchers and others frequently request copies. The authors have kindly agreed to allow us to publish the papers on our website. Publication will make the papers more accessible and, we hope, contribute to a deeper understanding of tikanga. We thank the authors for their support for this initiative.

Te Ao Māori and Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission

No-one can ignore that a legal transformation is underway. A heightened focus on the interface between tikanga Māori and state law has seeded overdue appreciation for the role of te ao Māori in the development of law in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In making our law reform recommendations, Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission is required to "take into account te ao Maori (the Maori dimension)". We do this by researching, seeking the advice of the Commission's Māori Liaison Committee and engaging with Māori on the law reform projects we undertake.

Over our history, we have made enduring contributions to the understanding of te ao Māori perspectives on law reform and te Tiriti o Waitangi. Despite now being 20 years old, the Commission's Study Paper Māori Custom and Values in New Zealand Law Study Paper (NZLC SP9, 2001) continues to be cited widely. We have recently been referred a new project, to examine the role of tikanga and te ao Māori concepts in state law, which provides an opportunity to build on the 2001 Study Paper.

Papers written for the Commission by external consultants on aspects of tikanga Māori in the 1990s helped to inform the Study Paper. They are among the information most often requested from the Commission. Given their enduring value, and with the kind permission of the authors, the following papers are now available on the Commission's Māori Customary Law project page:

Examples of recent work of Te Aka Mātua o te Ture | Law Commission considering te ao Māori in law reform can be seen in Chapter 2 of our Report The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations | Te Whakamahi i te Ira Tangata i ngā Mātai Taihara (NZLC R144, 2020), and in Chapters 2, 7, 8 and 15 of our Issues Paper Review of Succession Law: Rights to a person’s property on death | He arotake i te āheinga ki ngā rawa a te tangata ka mate ana (NZLC IP46, 2021).

Highlights from our current work programme

He Kōpū Whāngai: He Arotake | Review of Surrogacy

We recently published an Issues Paper on options to change how surrogacy is regulated in Aotearoa New Zealand. The paper addresses a wide variety of topics related to surrogacy and proposes a new legal framework to provide legal recognition of the relationship between parents and surrogate-born children. Consultation on the surrogacy review is open until 23 September 2021. Visit for details on how to submit.

Ko ngā Hunga Take Whaipānga me ngā Pūtea Tautiringa | Class Actions and Litigation Funding

We are currently drafting a Supplementary Issues Paper to complement our existing Issues Paper published in December 2020. The upcoming paper will address additional class action matters and be published in September 2021. We will be receiving submissions and will also hold policy workshops to discuss our proposals. We anticipate these workshops will be held in Auckland and Wellington (and Christchurch, if there is interest).

He arotake i te āheinga ki ngā rawa a te tangata ka mate ana | Review of Succession Law: Rights to a person's property on death

Consultation on the Review of Succession Law closed on 10 June 2021. We received 215 submissions in response to our Issues Paper. We thank those who took time to share their views. Diverse views were expressed in submissions, particularly in relation to whether adult children should be able to claim against a parent's estate. We are now analysing submissions and drafting the final report to be delivered to the Minister before the year's end.