Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


AUT Law School opens Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law

9 April 2018

AUT Law School opens Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law

The AUT Law School looks to boost research into indigenous law with the opening of its Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law.

AUT Senior Lecturer and Centre Co-Director, Khylee Quince, says the key focus of the Centre is to give prominence to indigenous law and laws affecting indigenous people both here in Aotearoa, but also across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Alongside research, the Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law will be collaborating with other universities and academics, and hosting conferences and public talks to disseminate the research and scholarship on indigenous rights and law, says Quince.

“We’ll also contribute to the teaching of both undergraduate and postgraduate law at AUT, doing that in a way that is appropriate, respectful, meaningful and useful to indigenous people, including us as tangata whenua,” she says.

The Centre was officially launched on 5 April, with attendees including the Honourable Michael Kirby, the Rt Hon Sir Edmund Thomas KNZM QC, Justice Christian Whata and a number of legal academics and practitioners. Kirby spoke on the theme of reconciliation alongside the Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey and Ebony Duff of the National Māori Radio Network Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Māori.

Kirby, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, is on the Centre’s advisory panel alongside Professor Richard Monette of the University of Wisconsin Law School, and AUT Law School’s Professor Kris Gledhill.

Kirby says he is very proud to be appointed as an advisor to the Centre and is looking to take some of the learning and research back to Australia. He noted the unreasonably high rates of incarceration of indigenous peoples across the world, including in Australia and NZ.

“The Aboriginal people of Australia are the most incarcerated people on our planet, on a per capita basis, and it is a truly shocking thing. It’s basically come about by dispossession of the wherewithal to ensure education, housing and heath. If you take away people’s land and if you take away their economic capacity you shouldn’t be surprised when they then fall into the situation where they are 27% of the prison population,” he says.

A report released last month in Australia, Pathways to Justice – Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, revealed 27% of the prison population was Aboriginal, with Aboriginal women making up 34% of the female prison population – higher than the imprisonment rate for both non-indigenous men and women.

“I congratulate the Auckland University of Technology. I think this really is a trailblazing initiative, not just to focus on New Zealand but to focus on the essential question of the injustices suffered by indigenous people during the years of the Empire.

“And if we can all learn from each other we can learn of the wrongs and we can learn of the ways the wrongs can be righted,” says Justice Kirby.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Preview: Your Heart Looks Like A Vagina By Dominic Hoey

Dominic Hoey’s one-man show Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina, is a dark comedy about the joys of living with autoimmune disease. This one man show will bring together Dominic Hoey’s long career as a performance poet and writer and the experimental theatre experience of Director Nisha Madhan.. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>


Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland