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New Zealand Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence

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Midson, Brenda and Morgan, Gay --- "Editors' Introduction" [2002] NZYbkNZJur 1; (2002-2003) 6 Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence v

Last Updated: 12 April 2015

Editors' Introduction

The Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence is an annual collection of papers contributed by participants in the Staff Seminar Series of the University of Waikato School of Law or by participants in colloquia hosted by the Centre for New Zealand Jurisprudence (CNZJ), and is published in conjunction with the CNZJ. The School of Law was founded in 1991 to provide a professional legal education, to develop a bicultural approach to legal education, and to teach law in the contexts in which it is made and applied. The Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence aims to stimulate and to contribute to the development of a New Zealand jurisprudence by publishing articles, essays and other forms of analysis and comment which directly address or are relevant to New Zealand jurisprudence. The articles in this issue are contributed by members of the School of Law staff and by visiting scholars.

These articles canvas a broad range of contemporary issues, and a common theme discernible throughout is the sometimes uncomfortable interplay between the notions of citizenship, individual autonomy and justice — the tensions between regulation and freedom, between obtaining results and respecting process, and between viewing people as members of a cultural or a political community and viewing them as individual market participants.

Robert Joseph's article focuses on the role of Maori tikanga as a source of governing norms within the Resource Management Act, and approaches this from the historical context of prior statutes envisioning Maori self-determination within the British conception of a unitary sovereign state. It considers the complexities inherent in attempting to incorporate the norms of one culture into the legal traditions of another, suggests some methods of reconciling the tensions arising from such an enterprise, and highlights the challenges to an attempted integration of differing communities' aspirations for the development of a shared territory and nation-state. Joseph presents considered recommendations to aid government institutions in navigating those shoals.

Robert Laurence's article explores the notions of both separate dependent sovereigns and separate independent sovereigns that are the underlying organizing principles governing the relations of the Native Americans with the American Federal government and the relations between recognized Tribal governments and the American
State governments. This article presents the complex layers of citizenship, native sovereignty, state sovereignty, federal sovereignty, and the overlapping but independent justice systems present in the American system's attempt to balance the ideals of cultural and communal self-definition and political self-determination of Native American sovereign peoples, the fact of colonial and military conquest, and the fact of political and physical location within a larger federated nation-state, the benefits of membership in a larger shared political enterprise, the tensions between individual tribal and state sovereigns, and the norms of individual choice and freedom. It is a fascinating overview of that system the author offers to New Zealanders for consideration within our own context of colonization and a desire to respect the norms and normative self-determination of Maori peoples.

John Hopkins offers an analysis of England's exploration of devolving significant authority to a tier of bodies at the regional level to develop and to implement policies affecting regional development and governance that are most suited to regional conditions. This again reflects the theme of nation-states searching to respect unique community aspirations and conditions and to facilitate their self-determination and self-management within the framework of an overarching unitary citizenship and a shared national destiny. He offers the revolutionary reforms in that jurisdiction for our consideration in our context of widely disparate regional conditions, geographies, and aspirations, with the resultant tensions arising from the disparate interests of those regions.

Peter Spiller, Thomas Wilhelmson, and Barry Barton offer articles exploring varying developments in consumer law arising from the ongoing trend in nation-states to transform the primary political conception of their constituent population from citizens of a political community to individual consumers of the products arising from cooperation and from living in community; products such as justice or fair dealing, access to reliable sources of energy, or an improved and sustainable standard of living. These articles arise from a CNZJ colloquium exploring the evolution of consumer law and market regulatory regimes into important both determinants and protections of fundamental rights as the economy has grown in complexity and as the role of citizens in the economy has become much deeper, more involuntary and an arguable non-negotiable necessity of life.

Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence Volume 6 Issue 1 2002-2003

Peter Spiller considers the role of the Disputes Tribunal in assuring an accessible adjudication of economic conflicts which privileges fair outcomes or equity over formal legal rules, raising interesting questions as to the interface of the rule of law applicable to citizens and the low cost and efficacious resolution of economic conflicts required by people embedded in a social context of primarily contractual and economic relations. Thomas Wilhelmson, from the University of Helsinki, offers a fascinating analysis sure to be of great interest to a New Zealand community that aspires to leadership in global environmental affairs. He explores the possibilities of consumer law being used by citizen-consumers to recapture their role as responsible citizens in a community of shared long-term interests. Barry Barton examines the disutility of over-reliance on market mechanisms to govern the supply of important infrastructure and fundamental public goods, such as a reliable energy supply, in New Zealand's context of a small economy, a small population and a large and difficult geography. His tracing of New Zealand's experience with the restructuring and privatization of electricity production and supply illuminates the difficulties of transforming citizen into market participant and consumer, and considers the uses of regulation to mediate between those two roles.

This volume of the Yearbook, as the reader may have noted, is a joint 2002-2003 issue. This is due to the internal accounting structures within which the Yearbook is produced. We would like to signal that in 2004 a number of special editions will be forthcoming, arising out of various on and off campus conferences and colloquia exploring issues of interest to those pursuing the development of a New Zealand jurisprudence.

The Editors would like to thank the authors for their contributed articles and the referees to whom these articles were sent for their helpful contributions We would also like to thank Jacquelin Mackinnon and Al Gillespie for their assistance in editing and formatting of this volume, and to thank Geraldine Cook for her invaluable assistance in getting this edition print ready.

Brenda Midson & Gay Morgan
Editors - Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence

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