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Restoration or reconciliation: Providing contemporary reparation for historical injustices against Maori.

Gibbs, Meredith
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Paper presented at “New Frontiers in Restorative Justice: Advancing Theory and Practice”, Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University at Albany, New Zealand, 2-5 December.

This paper examines some of the complexities of providing contemporary reparation for Maori claims of historical injustice arising from breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi with particular reference to grievances involving land. I explore some of the theoretical and practical difficulties of applying a restorative approach to reparation in New Zealand’s Treaty settlement process and argue that a restorative approach is possible in theory but extremely problematic in practice. I question whether New Zealand’s attempt to achieve justice in the Treaty settlement process is better described as reparation as reconciliation where the cultural survival of the Maori claimant group is given greater weight than the provision of full reparation for past wrongs. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,


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