Te Tai Haruru

Te Tai Haruru is the Māori Legal Academics Group and support staff based at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.


About Te Tai Haruru

Te Tai Haruru currently consists of Khylee Quince and Claire Charters. We research and teach in a number of specialised areas, including Māori custom law, criminal law, environmental law, jurisprudence, international and constitutional law as it relates to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and comparative indigenous rights law.

We are committed to the development and analysis of the law in ways which support and affirm Māori cultural and legal frameworks and Māori aspirations for tino rangatiratanga, recognised by article 2 of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We undertake research and publish our work to demonstrate a commitment to recovering our histories, reclaiming our land and resources and restoring justice. We are guided in our research and teaching by the wisdom of our tupuna, our collective rights and responsibilties as hapu and iwi members, and our obligations to our land and environment.

Te Tai Haruru was established in 1994 by Dr Nin Tomas (Tai Tokerau Confederation of iwi) and Andrea Tunks (Whakatohea, Te Whānau a Apanui). Past members of Te Tai Haruru include Kerensa Johnston (Ngaruahinerangi, Te Atiawa) Shane Heremaia (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa) and Valmaine Toki (Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Rehua).


Te Tai Haruru staff profiles

Claire Charters and Khylee Quince
Claire Charters and Khylee Quince

Dr Nin Tomas

Associate Professor Dr Nin Tomas was a founding member of Te Tai Hararu. Dr Tomas was the first Maori person to earn a PhD in law with her groundbreaking research on Māori issues, especially tikānga, entitled Key concepts of Tikānga Māori (Māori Custom Law) and their use as regulators of human relationships to natural resources in Tai Tokerau, past and present.

Nin is an enormous loss to Te Tai Hararu and we will miss her humor, rigour, intellect and commitment to Te Ao Māori enormously.

Read more about Dr Nin Tomas

cover Journal of Maori Issues vol. 4 2013

Journal of Māori Legal Writing

The Journal of Māori Legal Writing arose out of the need for academic discussion of tikanga Māori as part of a modern system of law, and other issues relevant to Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Tai Haruru, the Māori academic staff at the Auckland Faculty of Law, produces the journal. Dr Nin Tomas edited the first two issues (2004, 2006) along with the current 2013 issue.

Copies of the current issue are only available online through the link below. 


2008 - Johnston, K. He Iti, He Taonga: Taranaki Women Speak, Pindar NZ

2005 - Toki, V. Will therapeutic jurisprudence provide a path forward for Māori?
Waikato Law Review Taumauri 13 2005:169-189 (122.6 kB, PDF)
2007 - QUINCE, K "Māori Disputes and Their Resolution" in P Spiller (ed)
Dispute Resolution in New Zealand, Auckland, Oxford University Press, Second Edition (214.7 kB, PDF)
2007 - QUINCE, K "Māori and the Criminal Justice System in New Zealand" in J Tolmie and W Brookbanks (eds)
The New Zealand Criminal Justice System, Auckland, LexisNexis (335.5 kB, PDF)

The Nin Tomas Indigenous Peoples and the Law Group

The Nin Tomas Indigenous Peoples and the Law Group

Indigenous peoples and the law is a focus of the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland.  Our work in the area includes research, a wide range of courses, contributions to local and international policy making and collaboration with Maori, Pacific, UN and other international movements for the advancement of Indigenous rights domestically, in the Pacific and globally.


Te Tai Haruru Colloquium on Māori Constitutional Issues

In February 2010, Te Tai Haruru held a colloquium to discuss Māori Constitutional issues. This was a full-day, invitation-only event held at Waipapa Marae at The University of Auckland and was a unique gathering of some of Māoridom’s most eminent thinkers, academics and politicians. This hui was convened by Valmaine Toki and chaired by Dr Nin Tomas. The video clips were recorded and edited by Vernon Tava.

Sir Paul Reeves

Whatarangi Winiata

Margaret Mutu

Nin Tomas

Hone Harawira

Peter Adds