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The Māori word tikanga has a wide range of meanings — culture, custom, ethic, etiquette, fashion, formality, lore, manner, meaning, mechanism, method, protocol, style.
Generally taken to mean "the Māori way of doing things", it is derived from the Māori word tika meaning 'right' or 'correct'.
From about the 1980s it began to appear in common New Zealand English because of new laws that specified the need for consultation with local iwi (tribal) representatives in many major fields such as resource management.
On 2 July 2011 the Waitangi Tribunal released its report into the Wai 262 claim: "Ko Aotearoa Tēnei" (‘This is Aotearoa’ or ‘This is New Zealand’). "Ko Aotearoa Tēnei" considers more than 20 Government departments and agencies and makes recommendations as to reforms of "laws, policies or practices relating to health, education, science, intellectual property, indigenous flora and fauna, resource management, conservation, the Māori language, arts and culture, heritage, and the involvement of Māori in the development of New Zealand’s positions on international instruments affecting indigenous rights."
For more understanding of the conflicts between Tikanga Maori and Western/Pakeha jurisprudence, see the case of the burial of James Takamore
The volume 2 (of the 2 volume report) provides a glossary of Te Reo Māori Terms, which states:
- tikanga as meaning "traditional rules for conducting life, custom, method, rule, law".
- tikanga Māori as meaning "Māori traditional rules, culture".
- "Time to Move beyond Grievance in Treaty Relationship". 2 July 2011. Retrieved 14 Sep 2011.
- "Ko Aotearoa Tēnei". Waitangi Tribunal. July 2011. Retrieved 14 Sept. 2011. Check date values in:
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