National | Education

Māori content shake up for law schools

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All law schools in Aotearoa will have to include Māori content in their core courses, AUT Law School Interim Dean Khylee Quince (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Roroa) has told followers online.

"Well, my first meeting of the Council of Legal Education was a memorable one. The CLE prescribes the core courses that all schools offering an LLB must deliver - public, criminal, contract, torts, property," Quince said in a Facebook post Friday.

"Today we unanimously passed a resolution requiring the teaching and assessment of concepts of Te Ao Māori and Tikanga Māori in ALL core courses. This means all law schools will have to include Māori content in contract and torts for example. In addition, in November we will consider a prescription for the teaching of tikanga Māori as a separate core course, after this was passed in principle last year."

Quince said the decision would be remembered as a watershed moment, "This was a moment in time we will look back on in years to come."

She acknowledged Māori who had made the decision possible.

"This was possible due to the advocacy of our Māori members - especially Natalie Coates, David Green and Maia Wikaira and the Chair Justice Mark Cooper - ngā mihi tino nui ki a koutou e hoa mā."

Quince said she was particularly moved by the support also received from non-Māori for this proposal.

"I was quite emotional seeing and hearing the very strong support from the non-Māori members of council - from the judiciary, profession and academics, especially Judge Bill Hastings, Justice Gerard van Bohemen, Kathryn Dalziel, Helen Bowie and the NZLSA reps."