The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History

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Oxford University Press, 2004 - History - 222 pages
The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History is a scholarly intervention into an ongoing debate about the shape of history writing in late twentieth-century New Zealand. Far from being an apology for or a justification of the Tribunal and the Treaty claims process, the book focuses on two main arguments: that the Tribunal is engaged in writing history that is deeply political and overwhelmingly focused on the present; and that the historical narratives produced by the Tribunal have strong postcolonial tendencies. The book argues that the published Tribunal reports are taking the writing of New Zealand history in new directions by challenging the legitimacy and legacy of colonisation, but from within the limitations of a highly adversarial legal environment. It suggests that Tribunal history is a worthy but ultimately flawed experiment. The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History is not a history of the Tribunal or the modern Treaty claims process; rather, it is concerned with the various conceptual and methodological issues that have shaped Tribunal narratives over the past two decades.

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Opening Pandoras Boxthe Process and the Players
Truth Time and ObjectivityTensions Between Law
Fatal Impact and the Paradox of Maori Agency

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About the author (2004)

Giselle Byrnes is a Lecturer in New Zealand and Public History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

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