The Treaty of Waitangi in Contemporary New Zealand Politics

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This paper identifies three discourses which are prominent in contemporary Treaty of Waitangi policy debate, each with significantly different implications for Maori political status within the modern nation-state. At one extreme the Treaty's significance is exaggerated by over emphasis on partnership as an implicit Treaty principle. At another extreme the Treaty's significance is understated by an assimilationist position which denies the Treaty's relevance to indigenous rights, which in turn imposes serious constraint on the extent to which partnership can actually develop into comprehensive policy practice. An alternative position is one which sees the Treaty, supported in international law, as affirming a two-fold conception of citizenship as the basis of both individual and collective Maori rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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