‘All the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects’: Māori and Citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Carwyn Jones
  • Craig Linkhorn
Part of the Politics of Citizenship and Migration book series (POCM)


Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by Māori leaders and the British Crown in 1840, stated that Māori would enjoy ‘all the rights and privileges of British subjects.’ This new citizenship of a British colony was laid over the top of Māori forms of social organisation and understandings of nationhood and citizenship. The New Zealand state has struggled to come to terms with Indigenous forms of citizenship and over time has changed its approach to Māori citizenship to try to address this. This essay considers the nature of Māori citizenship today in the era of Treaty of Waitangi settlements, exploring how citizenship in this period of transitional justice is informed by political, social, and justice dimensions of conceptions of Māori citizenship over time.


Treaty of Waitangi Māori Citizenship Indigeneity Transitional Justice 


  1. Adds, P., Bonisch-Brednich, B., Hill, R., and Whimp, G. eds. Reconciliation, Representation and Indigeneity: ‘Biculturalism’ in Aotearoa New Zealand. Heidelberg: Universitatsverlag Winter, 2016.Google Scholar
  2. Ballara, Angela. Iwi: The Dynamics of Māori Tribal Organisation from c. 1769 to c. 1945. Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  3. Binney, Judith. “Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki” in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Available:
  4. Borrows, John. Canada’s Indigenous Constitution. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  5. Durie, Mason. Te Mana, Te Kawanatanga: The Politics of Māori Self-Determination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  6. Duthu, Bruce. Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gover, Kirsty. Tribal Constitutionalism: states, tribes and the governance of membership. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  8. Hickford, Mark. Lords of the Land: Indigenous Property Rights and the Jurisprudence of Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hill, Richard. Māori and the State: Crown-Māori Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950-2000. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  10. Humpage, Louise. “Revision required: Reconciling New Zealand citizenship with Māori nationalisms.” National Identities 10, 247–261 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. New Zealand Law Commission. Māori Custom and Values in New Zealand Law. (Wellington, 2001).Google Scholar
  12. O’ Malley, Vincent. “English Law and the Māori Response: a case study from the Runanga system in Northland, 1861-65.” Journal of the Polynesian Society. 116, 7–34 (2007).Google Scholar
  13. Stephens, Māmari. “A Loving Excavation: Uncovering the Constitutional Culture of the Māori Demos” New Zealand Universities Law Review 25(4), 820–843 (2013).Google Scholar
  14. Tully, James. Public Philosophy in a New Key. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Waitangi Tribunal. Te Whānau o Waipareira Report. Wellington: GP Publications, 1998.Google Scholar
  16. Waitangi Tribunal. Whaia Te Mana Motuhake – In Pursuit of Mana Motuhake: Report on the Māori Community Development Act. Wellington: Waitangi Tribunal, 2014.Google Scholar
  17. Wallace, J., Darwin, J., Keith, K., Mulgan, R., and Whetumarama Wereta. Report - Royal Commission on the Electoral System: Towards a Better Democracy. December 1986.Google Scholar
  18. Ward, Alan. “Law and law-enforcement on the New Zealand frontier, 1840-1893.” NZ Journal of History. 5, 2 (1971).Google Scholar
  19. Williams, Hon Justice Joseph. “Property or interests, private or public?” Administrative Law Intensive. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Law Society (2011).Google Scholar
  20. Wilson, M. and Yeatman, A. eds. Justice & Identity: Antipodean Practices. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carwyn Jones
    • 1
  • Craig Linkhorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of LawVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations