The use of tikanga Māori law in Te Kōti Whenua Māori Land Court dispute resolution mediation service and the outcomes for Māori landowners.
This research is at the cutting-edge of expanding legal research theory, methodology and legal knowledge in the development of a bijural legal system in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2021, Te Kōti Whenua Māori initiated a new tikanga-based dispute resolution process, in response to amendments to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. We will analyse and assess how tikanga principles are being used in the new dispute resolution process, compare and contrast that use with the court’s traditional adjudication process and assess the outcomes for Māori landowners from both.
Our research will deepen our understanding of how the new laws assist Māori landowners to manage their land when that land it subjected to a tikanga Māori dispute resolution process. The research will also uncover how tikanga principles are exercised as law by Te Kōti Whenua Māori and used by participants in this new service. This will clearly identify how iwi and hapū exercise tikanga Māori law in contemporary legal disputes. This research will contribute to understanding the consequences and lessons for the inclusion of tikanga by other courts using dispute resolution processes as well as trace the development of Māori law as it is practiced in real time.