LAWS392-22SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2022 start

The Treaty of Waitangi

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 January 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 February 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 23 January 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 4 February 2022


The status and effect of the Treaty of Waitangi in the legal system.

This course will critically deconstruct understandings and assumptions about Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi.  Students will gain an appreciation for the inconsistencies and tensions that have animated Te Tiriti since its signing until the present day and the ramifications of these for the present and future.  

Key questions this course will explore include:
•  Te Tiriti in Context: What role did Te Tiriti play in the “settling” of New Zealand?  Is the Treaty of Waitangi the only Treaty of New Zealand or are there many Treaties?
•  Te Tiriti and the Treaty: What is to be made of the differences between the English and Te Reo versions?  Are they so different?  
•  Te Tiriti in New Zealand legal history: Did the Symonds case really recognise Māori rights under the Treaty?  And was Wi Parata wrong at law?
•  Te Tiriti today: What is the legal status of Te Tiriti today—have we really travelled so far from the position in Wi Parata?  Has legal recognition of the “principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” hindered or progressed Māori rights?
•  Te Tiriti tomorrow: Does the recognition of tikanga Māori in the New Zealand Courts provide new directions for the legal recognition of Te Tiriti?  How are indigenous laws being asserted and recognised in comparable settler-colonial states?  How might Te Tiriti be recognised constitutionally?

Please note:  The lectures for this course will be ONLINE ONLY due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, students will be able to:
  •  Illustrate an understanding of the complexities of the legal history of Te Tiriti and implications of this for contemporary understandings.
  •  Evaluate and reflect on the legal status of Te Tiriti within the current legal framework of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  •  Analyse recent legal and political developments and critically consider how Te Tiriti might be recognised in the future.  
  •  Conduct independent research on a topical Te Tiriti issue and effectively communicate it in written form.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


POLS218; POLS258; HIST268; SOCI209; HSRV207; MAOR219


Timetable Note

Lectures will be held on Mondays-Thursdays 9-12noon from 17-27 January 2022.

Please note:  The lectures for this course will be ONLINE ONLY due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Lectures are likely to be a combination of live-streamed zoom and pre-recorded lectures.


Sarah Down


Assessment, which will be confirmed in the first lecture:

Participation:          To be completed by Monday 31 January 2022 (on Learn) (10%)
Take Home Test:    Saturday 29 January 2022, 2pm (submitted on Learn) (40%)
Essay:                       Wednesday 9 February 2022 (submitted on Learn) (50%)

There are challenges to an online course. To encourage engagement with the material and in reflection of the importance of this topic, students will be required to participate.

Marks for participation will require students to post four separate short reflections on Learn in response to questions related to the course content and essential readings. Each response should be no more than 250 words. Activities will be marked as complete so the progress of the class can be monitored. Participation activities must be completed by 5pm, Monday 31 January 2022.

The Take Home Test will be comprised of written answers to three questions (max 500 words per question) which will take place via Learn from Thursday 27 January 2022 at 2pm to Saturday 29 January 2022 at 2pm. You will have 48 hours to complete the exam.

The questions will be based on the essential course readings. It is therefore important that all students have read these materials before the 26th January, as while the test is open-book there will not be time to read these during the exam.

The key assessment for this course is by way of essay topic (max 3,500 words). The essay is due on Wednesday 9 February 2022.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $845.00

International fee $4,313.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS392 Occurrences

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