Jacinta Ruru is co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, and Professor of Law at the University of Otago. Her research has focused on exploring Indigenous peoples' legal rights to own, manage and govern land and water including national parks and minerals in Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, United States, Australia and the Scandinavia countries.
She has led, or co-led, several national and international research projects including on the Common Law Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous peoples’ rights to freshwater and multidisciplinary understandings of landscapes and writes for several legal publishers including Adams’ Land Transfer and edit the Brookers Maori Legislation Handbook.
Ko te Māori e arataki ana i a Aotearoa ki te ao kei mua
Māori leading New Zealand into the future
This is the new vision for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and our first Horizons of Insight Seminar for 2016 considers the role of law in achieving this vision.
Historically it is accepted that the expansion of the European empire into the ‘new world’ of the old homes of Indigenous peoples, created consistent legal scenarios of arrogantly assumed European sovereignty and ownership of Indigenous lands.
Subsequently many contemporary domestic courts and legislatures, often aided by international courts and instruments (such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), have been attempting to find palatable answers as to how best reconcile with Indigenous peoples.
This process of reconciliation has initiated applied legal solutions that have been inspired by Indigenous thinking, and which are broad and potentially revolutionary. An example of just one of these solutions is the ground-breaking Te Urewera Act 2014 (N.Z.) that has deemed a national park to have its own legal personality.
This seminar focuses on the innovative Indigenous transitional justice initiatives being developed in Aoteaora New Zealand, and which are increasingly being used to manage the futures of lands and waterways - which have all until now fallen under standard models of public ownership and administration.
This year Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga will be taking its Horizons of Insight (HOI) Seminar Series on the road for the first time, visiting many of its research partners and institutions across the country. The 30th March seminar was held at the Faculty of Law, University of Otago, Dunedin.