Spiritual values and placating taniwha

In some situations, consenting authorities and courts are required to deliberate on the effects of a matter on tribal “spiritual values”. The courts have accepted that ancestral land is land that has been "owned" by ancestors (i.e. it need not have remained in Māori ownership). Generally, once a relationship with Maori is recognised, consultation is imperative. A Maori official “assisting” the Auckland Council preparing a billion dollar under-water rail tunnel told Council that the proposed route would trespass upon the territory of “horotiu” the taniwha (ancestral demon) The official noted to the Committee “there are always ways to placate taniwha”.


Round, D --- "Here Be Dragons?" [2005] OtaLawRw 3; (2005) 11 Otago Law Review 31