Development of the New Zealand Legal System Term Paper by Metro

Traces the development of the New Zealand legal system from pre European Maori law to the 21st century.
# 150398 | 4,690 words | 15 sources | APA | 2012 | NZ
Published on Feb 10, 2012 in Anthropology (Oceanic) , Political Science (Non-U.S.) , History (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper explains that, before the Europeans arrived in New Zealand, the Maoris had their own rules and laws; however, once the Europeans came a legal system, based on the English legal system, was put in order to ensure that the country ran properly. Next, the author presents an overview of the establishment and evolution of the New Zealand legal system as of today. The paper concludes that the New Zealand legal system is moving away from the traditional English system of law to its own unique, system that abolishes the Privy Council and replaces it with a Supreme Court. This paper is attractively formatted with many colored pictures and maps.

Table of Contents:
Contents Page
Pre European Maori Law and Dispute Resolution
Hara, Noa and Rahui
Take Tupuna and Take Whenua Tuku
Take Tupuna
Take Whenua Tuku
Utu and Muru
The Effect of English Heritage on the New Zealand Legal System
Customary Law
Common Law
Equity Law
The Magna Carta (1215)
Bill of Rights (1689)
The Social Contract & Parliamentary Government
An Overview of the Establishment and Development, to Date, of the New Zealand Legal System
The Treaty of Waitangi
Problem One: Sovereignty
Problem Two: Chieftainship
Problem Three: Buying & Selling Land
The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
The Constitutional Act 1986
Part One: The Sovereign
Part Two: The Executive
Part Three: The Legislative
Part Four: The Judiciary
The Crimes Act 1961
Part One: Jurisdiction
Part Two: Punishment
Part Three: Matters of Justification or Excuse
Consumers Guarantees Act 1993
Perspectives on the Current Future Development of the New Zealand Legal System
The Importance of the Treaty of Waitangi - Its Influence on New Zealand's Legal System
Moving Away From the English Basis of Law

From the Paper:

"From the first European settlers, to the Treaty of Waitangi, to present day; New Zealand has had a legal system which has been ever changing for many years now. However, now it is time to look to the future, and see what is in store for New Zealand, where its legal system is heading, and how documents like the Treaty of Waitangi will have relevance for us in years to come.
"The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's most important document, and this will probably never change. Today, it can be described as a living document, whose basic principles can be applied to any age. In the beginning, the Treaty's main focus was to allow the people of New Zealand, both Maori and Pakeha, to live peacefully with each other. However, due to simple translation problems, arguments occurred, and both parties lost sight of what it was that they originally set out to achieve. Because of this, the last hundred years have been rife with controversy over settlements for Maori, as they have wanted compensation form the Crown for the promises they do not believe were met.
"The establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975, is perhaps the first step in resolving disputes between the Crown and Maori, and this has had a direct influence to New Zealand's legal system, as decisions made by the Tribunal have often gone on to effect legislation being changed in Parliament."

Sample of Sources Used:


Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Development of the New Zealand Legal System (2012, February 10) Retrieved November 28, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Development of the New Zealand Legal System" 10 February 2012. Web. 28 November. 2023. <>