Judicial Independence Of New Zealand Essay

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New Zealand Court/Legal Structure and Judicial Independence Maxwell Isaacoff A42012109 PLS Comparative Legal Systems The original inhabitants of New Zealand are the Maori people. The Maori governed themselves according to customs and traditions before being influenced by the Western culture. Early on in the 19th Century the settlers from New South Wales attempted to gain control in New Zealand. The problem was that New Zealand was so far from New South Wales that it was difficult to keep control and preserve order of the settlements. To get a law passed or dealing with an issue took the people in New Zealand taking the issue back to Britain and after it is dealt with, then bring the order back to New Zealand. To increase control there was more contact from Europe and it was causing problems with the Maori society. At this time the Maori people much outnumbered the settlers from the West. To keep from having problems with the Maori people the officials of Britain planned to acquire sovereignty over the country. In February of 1840 the British negotiated the Treaty of Waitangi with the Maori people. This explained the terms of Britain having sovereignty over the country. After this New Zealand became a colony separate from New South Wales having its own Governor and officials to administer justice. Though this treaty was signed by both sides there was dispute whether the writing was biased and not fair to the Maori people. This has caused disputes to this day and made for the forming of the Maori land court, which I will touch on later in the paper. The Treaty of Waitangi set up the early structure in New Zealand and still is the fundamental basis of the country and its ways. The Treaty of Waitangi in the Maori version led to the Maori feeling as though their Chiefs would retain tino rangatiratanga (absolute chieftainship) which would mean that though the

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