By David V. Williams

David V. Williams takes a clean examine the infamous Wi Parata case - the protagonists, the origins of the dispute, the years of criminal from side to side - affording new insights into either Maori-Pakeha kin within the 19th century and the criminal place of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1877, the recent Zealand perfect court docket determined a case, Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington, that targeted at the possession and use of the Whitireia Block, close to Porirua. Ngati Toa had given this land to the Anglican Church for a faculty that used to be by no means outfitted. during refusing to inquire into the possession of the block, the judges brushed off the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi: 'So a ways certainly as that software imagined to cede the sovereignty - an issue with which we aren't without delay involved - it has to be considered as an easy nullity.' over the last twenty-five years, judges, legal professionals and commentators have castigated this 'simple nullity' view of the Treaty. The 'infamous' case has been obvious as symbolic of the overlook of Maori rights by means of settlers, executive and the legislation in New Zealand. The real historical past to the Wi Parata case, Williams argues, tells us a lot approximately nineteenth-century Maori performing as they suggestion most sensible for his or her humans and approximately debates in Pakeha jurisprudence over the popularity or rejection of known Maori rights. at the back of the plain dismissal of the Treaty as a 'simple nullity' lay deep arguments concerning the position of Maori and Pakeha in Aotearoa New Zealand. these arguments are as appropriate now as they have been then

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