5 Nov 2014

Marsden grant for Maori law study

7:50 am on 5 November 2014

A Wellington researcher's been granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to study Maori law and its role within, and alongside, the current legal system.

Dr Carwyn Jones, from Victoria University in Wellington, has been given $300,000 from the Marsden Fund to explore Maori legal traditions.

Dr Jones said Maori legal traditions existed as part of a distinct Maori legal system, which both predates the current state legal system and continued to run alongside it.

The research will focus on identifying Maori legal principles from within a range of cultural expressions such as waiata (songs), whakairo (carvings), karakia (prayers and chants), and korero purakau (stories).

Dr Jones said the project would increase the accessibility of Maori law and empower Maori communities, as well as help the state legal system engage in a more sophisticated way.