School of Humanities and Social Science,
The University of Newcastle
2012, Semester 1
Held in the Cultural Collections (near the Information Desk)
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus
Friday 23rd March, 10:00am, followed by morning tea
Emeritus Professor Alan Ward
Is a treaty any use at all?
A perspective from restless New Zealand
Since the 1960s there have been insistent proposals for a ‘treaty’ (or ‘Makarata’) between the Commonwealth and Australian Aboriginal people, as a basis for Aboriginal advancement. Lately the trend has been towards explicit recognition of Aboriginal rights in the federal Constitution. Arguments in support of such proposals sometimes include reference to the allegedly better race relations in New Zealand, allegedly deriving from the Treaty of Waitangi concluded between representatives of the British Crown and some 530 Maori rangatira in 1840. There is an assumption that the Treaty of Waitangi has constitutional force, or the force of fundamental law, against which statute law and the received common law are measured. This talk will examine those assumptions.