chapter  10
10 Pages

‘He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui’

Looking towards 2040 1
WithMāmari Stephens

Perhaps the apotheosis of a top-down approach to constitution-building, albeit with strong and principled regard for a very specific conception of te Tiriti o Waitangi. The framers of Constitution Aotearoa view the place and role of te Tiriti o Waitangi as a significant contributor to such mystery. A written constitution could address the 'problem' of the Treaty's uncertainty. It could be argued that seeking to eradicate constitutional uncertainty ignores the critical role that uncertainty has played in New Zealand political constitutionalism. Te Tiriti o Waitangi was but one agreement between the Crown and Maori among hundreds in their multi-textual legal history. Each such agreement opened up new relationships between the signatories, new portals for negotiation, and new sites of political uncertainty. These phenomena continue regardless of the state of legal constitutionalism. Constitution Aotearoa does aim to engage in more concrete attempts to allay Maori fears, by way of more substantive, less pigeonholed, engagement.