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Te mana motuhake o Tūhoe

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posted on 11.11.2021, 21:31 by Williams, Te Rangimārie

The primary purpose of this thesis is to provide a way in which the law can protect and respect Te Mana Motuhake. In the course of achieving this purpose, the meaning of Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe is discussed. Firstly, a discussion is presented on the concept of mana motuhake as a part of tikanga Māori. Like all tikanga Māori, mana motuhake is sourced from Māori cosmogony. Secondly, a Tūhoe specific analysis of mana motuhake is presented. While mana motuhake has unique meanings for different iwi, for Tūhoe, mana motuhake is connected to Te Urewera, the lands within which they dwell, the lands that sustained Tūhoe in times of adversity and in times of peace. Mana motuhake is also intertwined with Tūhoetanga or Tūhoe identity. Mana motuhake is in the songs Tūhoe sing, the haka Tūhoe perform, and the phrase adorns the flag that has become known as Tūhoe’s symbol. Mana motuhake for Tūhoe is also about having Tūhoe control over the governance of Te Urewera. To create avenues through which the law can better respect mana motuhake, the Urewera District Native Reserve Act 1896 is analysed. Although this Act was considered by Tūhoe to give recognition to Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe, an analysis of this Act reveals that mana motuhake was not recognised. This thesis concludes with notes for a draft Act which would capture and reflect the essence of Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe. These notes are not intended to be a full draft of an Act and many decisions regarding Tūhoe tikanga are left for Tūhoe to determine. However, the notes do intend to give life to the essential aspects of Te Mana Motuhake identified in this thesis, which are Tūhoe Land, Tūhoe People and Tūhoe Self-determination.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Law

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Angelo, Tony; Higgins, Rawinia; Jones, Carwyn