Source: (1999) Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Te Matahauraki Research Institute.

In a topical rather than a historical study (though with historical examples throughout), Joseph surveys the kinds of customary laws and institutions among the Maori in pre-colonial times, with particular attention to those relating to crimes against the person, marriage, interment, and theft. While there were differences in laws among various Maori groups, Joseph states that in general Maori laws and institutions presumed a collective responsibility for offending and restoration, and embodied a longing for harmony. Also, they rooted in and stemmed from the religious framework of Maori life.

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