Wai262 Seminar: Kaitiakitanga

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WAI 262 Indigenous Flora and Fauna Claim was the Waitangi Tribunals first whole of government report.

The Tribunal found that iwi and hapu have a kaitiaki interest within the Treaty framework. The aim of this seminar is to raise awareness and to provide practical examples in dealing with the complex issues surrounding kaitiakitanga and cultural and intellectual property. Barrister Leo Watson will address the claimant perspective; Senior Associate of AJ Park, Lynell Tuffery-Huria will provide an IP practitioners perspective; and Chairperson of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, Haami Piripi will cover the cultural perspective.

Please RSVP directly to www.wai262seminar.com/Contact-Us–RSVP.html

Please find more information on the seminar below and also on our website:www.wai262seminar.com.

WAI-262 delved into cultural and intellectual property issues around t?onga and kaitiakitanga.

The Waitangi Tribunal found that current laws and policies were either not designed to support, or simply, were an obstacle to indigenous perspectives on taonga and kaitiakitanga. So how can the desired reform ensure Aotearoas position as a global leader in indigenous rights and be the adze that can carve out a new existence for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

In WAI-262 the claimants wanted the Tribunal to address the broad issue of New Zealand law and policy affecting Maori culture and identity. The Tribunals report released on July 2 2011 has received mixed reactions. The general consensus is that the Tribunals findings raise fresh concerns in regard to the way forward, particularly with respect to the term kaitiaki, which is used in many ways and contexts throughout the WAI 262 claim report. The Tribunal found that within the Treaty framework that iwi and hap? do have a kaitiaki interest.

In the context of intellectual property in taonga it grappled with how existing laws may better benefit and protect kaitiaki interests. In the context of taonga species the Tribunal held that the current laws do not recognise and support the concept of kaitiaki. Despite that in a resource management context, the Tribunal found that the kaitiaki obligation is a form of law, which controls the relationships between people and the environment.
The differing interpretations within the english and maori translations of Te Tiriti have been an on-going source of controversy. It is of course only natural then that concerns in regard to the interpretation of t?onga and kaitiakitanga do not suffer from similar ambiguity. However by far the biggest obstacle to surmount is the acceptance of ordinary New Zealanders of the legitimacy of kaitiaki and its place within contemporary society.

Although the recommendations are non-binding, the report provides a foundation to build on.

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