Te iwi o Ngai Tahu : an examination of Ngai Tahu's approach to, and internal expression of, tino rangatiratanga.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis establishes a comprehensive understanding of the contemporary exercise of tino rangatiratanga by Ngai Tahu. This is achieved by examining Ngai Tahu's approach to, and internal expression of, tino rangatiratanga. In 1996 the Te Runanga 0 Ngai Tahu Act was passed. This, for the first time since the Treaty of Waitangi and Pakeha colonisation, legally recognised an organisational structure that was tribally derived and, in turn, allowed for a new degree of self-determination. This qualitative research provides an insight into the directions Ngai Tahu is embarking upon under its new administration in the attainment of tino rangatiratanga. Ngai Tahu's new organisational structure, since its formal inception, has not operated without its problems. These arise from a transitional phase which indicates a shift in paradigm from grievance mode to development mode. Internally, this has created a time of tension. Some runanga struggle to reaffirm their rangatiratanga in the wake of its tribal collectivisation represented in Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. During this phase, communication throughout the organisational structure is paramount. This will ensure the recognition of rangatiratanga at all its levels and, thus, maintain tribal cohesion. Within Ngai Tahu, tino rangatiratanga is approached differently by its beneficiaries depending upon what element of the tribal make-up is being emphasised. For some, tino rangatiratanga is that expressed by the administrative structure, where it is translated into the notion of achieving economic sovereignty for the iwi. For others, it is derived from an individual's whakapapa (genealogy), with its collective expression revolving around the hapu and runanga only. With knowledge of these two divergent approaches to tino rangatiratanga, Ngai Tahu can negotiate a course of future development that embraces both the tribal, runanga and individual elements inherent in them both.