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Guest Lecture: Prof Andrew SharpJustice, Self-government, and current theories of Maori organisation

Page updated 20 Sep 2007

Abstract and lecture notes from Prof Andrew Sharp's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 17 February 2004.

Prof Andrew Sharp

Dept of Political Studies, University of Auckland


To do justice is to give to each entity what is theirs. Self government is the government of entities by themselves alone.

When the issues at stake are justice and self-government for the Māori, these propositions require that the entities in question be identified. In fact the entity or entities so identified are thought by New Zealanders to be one (or some combination) of things. Māori as a whole are thought to be an ethnic group or a racial group; particular Māori groups are thought to be either whakapapa groups or voluntary associations; Māori individuals are identified as 'Māori' by reference to one of those theories of what kinds of groups Māori come in.

The lecture seeks to elaborate on this analysis, and to point out the consequences both for Māori organisation theory and for New Zealand political thought about Māori rights. Special reference is made to the idea that Māori should have no 'special rights', and be under 'one law'.

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