Source: (2001) Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Justice.

Maori people are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system in New Zealand. At the same time, Maori terms are increasingly used in New Zealand statutes. In view of all of this, the New Zealand Ministry of Justice set out to examine traditional Maori perspectives on justice. The Ministry’s primary purpose in this book is not to recommend criminal justice reform. It is to achieve an understanding of Maori customary law (“tikanga") by exploring Maori cultural values, beliefs, principles, and practices, especially as these concern dispute resolution. The book consists of three parts: the first part deals with traditional Maori concepts and customary law; the second part presents eight case studies of dispute resolution from the 1930s and 1940s in parts of New Zealand where Maori custom still was strong; and the third part surveys a collection of Maori behaviors, philosophies, emotions, and cultural influences. Appendices to the book provide a chronology of the project, terms of reference, and the methodology. A glossary of Maori terms is also included.

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