International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage
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International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai

The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values. The national and local legal realities in four jurisdictions (New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada) lay the scene for a wide-ranging analysis of various possibilities and proposals on how this might be achieved.
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Chapter 16: A New Zealand Perspective on the Protection of Mātauranga Māori (Traditional Knowledge)

Susy Frankel


In 1991 several Māori people began a journey by lodging a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal. Six claimants brought the proceedings on behalf of their iwi (tribe) and as individual claimants. The claimants were Haana Murray of Nga¯ti Kurı¯, Hema Nui a TawhakiWitana of Te Rarawa, TeWiti McMath of Nga¯tiWai, Tama Poata of Nga¯ti Porou, Kataraina Rimene of Nga¯ti Kahungunu and John Hippolite of Nga¯ti Koata. At the core of the claimants’ reasons for bringing the claim was the view that successive New Zealand governments had failed to allow Ma¯ori to exercise te tino rangitiratanga (literally chieftainship, but perhaps more accurately self-determination and control) over things Māori and, in particular, in regard to the body of knowledge and understanding; that is, ma¯tauranga Māori (traditional knowledge, including Māori culture). The claim alleged that this failure had been a major cause of the loss of Māori culture. The claim became known by the claim numberWai 262. I refer in this chapter to the short title of the report on the claims, Ko Aotearoa Te¯nei. The claim was wide in its scope and complex in its depth. It asked whether the Crown had honoured its obligations, under the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori culture and ma¯tauranga Māori, Māori peoples’ relationship with the environment, Māori language and Māori medicinal practices.

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