Tikanga is the the maori conception of what is correct or what is right.If there is a breach of tikanga, what will arrise is a take-utu-ea, which refers to the resolution of an issue. Take describes the breach and recognizes the requirement for resolution. Although, Both parties (wronged and wrongdoers) must acknowledge and agree that there has been a take, and what that is, before a resolution is sought. After this, an Utu is given to the wronged party. An utu is a gesture, which represents the resolution that is taking place. It is important that ea is kept in the mind of those participating in the resolution, as the word Ea describes “the desired outcome” for each party.

Take- utu- ea is observed in Maori art and design practices as an ethic in which constructs Maori behavior and perception. The procedure of resolution, thus, highlights the respect Maori have for a strict practice of tradition such as tikanga, that is better described as a sort of moral foundation for the Maori people. It is another acknowledgement that the Maori art and design practice is full of sensitivity and underlying messages, making it damaging to appropriate maori art or use without the correct and proper procedure.


One way in which copyright laws are insufficient to address the misuse of Taonga works is the tendency of western laws and policys to consider the ownership of the individual  rather than a lineage. Western policies have tendency to not respect the collectiveness of Maori culture. Copyright laws work in short terms, with limits on the time in which rights are granted to the individual. An instance, as described in Taonga works and intellectual property,  that conflicts the everlasting bond of Kaitaki to Taonga works”(a) copyright holder controls copyright work for only one or two generations”(Taonga). In the sense of whakapapa, an oral tradition that declares ones lineage right back to ancient days, “one or two generations” (Taonga) declares copyright laws have an insufficient grasp on the quality of Kaitiaki. The time limited to copyright ownership, thus cannot be placed on taonga works as this would go against the unending tie of the Kaitaki (Taonga).

Works cited:

Mead, Sidney M. “Ngā Pūtanga O Te Tikanga: Underlying Principals and Values.” Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori Values. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2003. 25-33. Print

Taonga works and interlectual property. Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: Te Taumata Tuatahi: A Report into Claims concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity. Wellington, N.Z.: Legislation Direct, 2011. Print.




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