Silk asks Parliament committee to drop mandatory tikanga Māori course for law students

"Tikanga is not law", the deputy prime minister said

Silk asks Parliament committee to drop mandatory tikanga Māori course for law students

Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee has been asked by KC Gary Judd to ditch the introduction of a mandatory tikanga Māori course for law students, reported the NZ Herald.

Judd argued that the course was not regulated properly and that tikanga was dissimilar to law.

“Tikanga is a system of beliefs, a system which indicates the way the Māori people who subscribe to tikanga consider is the right way of doing things. So it is quite different”, he said in a statement published by the Herald.

Judd pointed to criminal law and tort law as examples of “proper law subjects”. His views were backed by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who described tikanga as “cultural indoctrination” rather than law.

“Law students should not be force-fed this kind of woke indoctrination from some culture warrior’s slanted version of what tikanga means”, Peters said in a statement published by the Herald.

However, Māori Law Society | Hunga Roia Māori President Tai Ahu said Judd’s stance implied that only English law fell under proper law.

"The common law continues to evolve, just like tikanga also continues to evolve – and it’s evolved in a direction that reflects Māori thinking. So it’s not something that needs to be scared about – although I recognise that for some it’s quite an intimidating prospect, but I’ve got faith in our democratic institutions and our judges to be able to cope with that," Ahu told Waatea.News.Com.

Ahu pointed out that Māori followed their own legal system or tikanga before Pākehā arrived in Aotearoa; thus, these laws should be mandatory in modern New Zealand law studies.

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