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Guest lecture

Lecture 1 of 3: Treaty and Method:- New Zealand’s Treaty Constitution and the Interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi

Event series: 

Dr Bernard Cadogan


As an autochthonous state in political dialogue with indigenous citizens, New Zealand is the result of complex history and law and political thought that must be apprehended and interpreted as truthfully as can be done, if the Treaty process is to be sustained. The issue now with the Treaty of Waitangi is not so much who or what interprets it, but how it is interpreted. This ‘how’ does not imply the predetermination of outcomes, but rather the means by which interpretations are arrived at, whether through courts and court-like institutions or by the negotiating practice of Crown agents with Maori. A language theory and a theory of interpretation i.e, a ‘hermeneutics’ have to be demonstrated if definitions are to be judicially imposed. Otherwise hermeneutics provides an explanation of the interpretative practice which ministers and officials and Maori engage in on an incremental day by day basis.


Dr Bernard Cadogan has a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University on the political thought and constitutionalism and racial policy of Sir George Grey (1812-1898) in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I have served at Parliament, working for Hon Bill English 1996-99, for the National Party Opposition 1999-2003, for Hon Trevor Mallard 2004 -5, Minister of Race Relations, and for National again 2005 -2008. I am married with a three year old son.

Where: Level 5, The Treasury, 1 The Terrace

When: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Thursday 14 April 2011

RSVP: Ellen Sheilds by Friday 8 April 2011.

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Last updated: 
Monday, 4 April 2011