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Maori Retribalization and Treaty Rights to the New Zealand Fisheries

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Title:Maori Retribalization and Treaty Rights to the New Zealand Fisheries
Authors:Webster, Steven
political economy
indigenous rights
ethnic identity
show 1 moretraditionalism
show less
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:2002
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Webster, S. 2002. Maori Retribalization and Treaty Rights to the New Zealand Fisheries. The Contemporary Pacific 14 (2): 341-76.
Abstract:By the end of the 1980s Mäori had regained a treaty right to a share of New Zealand’s
lucrative commercial fisheries. The case history of the continuing struggle
to distribute its benefits among factions of retribalized and urban Maori, through
a Mäori commission set up as a state-owned enterprise, raises issues of cultural
renaissance and identity politics in capitalist differentiation. After more than a
century of Crown disregard of commercial and restriction of customary fishery
rights, Mäori court actions in 1986 regained recognition of both aspects of the
treaty right in what appeared to be the advent of a new legal pluralism and economic
independence. However, by 1992 legislation promoting tribes and other
traditionalist concepts, and finalizing a settlement with a half partnership in a
large fishing corporation, also radically narrowed customary and extinguished
commercial fishery treaty rights while locking the settlement into the restructure
economy. Over the next decade a Maori Fisheries Commission attempted to devise
a formula for allocation of assets to qualifying tribal organizations pressing for
conflicting criteria, while urban and other Mäori organizations lacking recognition
as tribes remained precluded from the formula. Major shifts in political
power in both the government and the commission since 1999 show promise of a
compromise out of court. Meanwhile, increasing wealth and influence of a Maori
elite contribute to widening social class differences among Maori, obscured by an
ideology of traditionalism and modernity.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2002 - Volume 14, Number 2

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