This engaging 2 week program explores the historical and contemporary understandings of Maori customary law and its interaction with and influence on the laws of Aotearoa/New Zealand as well as the recognition of the Maori peoples under the Waitangi Treaty.

During the program, there are four topics covered including:

  • An introduction to tikanga Maori as a system of custom law;
  • The negotiation and signing of TeTiriti o Waitangi and its effects and applications in historical and contemporary New Zealand law;
  • Legislative and policy responses to, and their effects on Maoris across a number of areas of law, including criminal justice, family law and the environment;
  • International instruments that set standards for the recognition of indigenous peoples and minorities – a look at the extent that New Zealand law complies with these standards.

Students will also undertake comparative exercises between Australian, American, Canadian and New Zealand legislation in this space.

This program is rounded off with the opportunity to stay in and visit a Marae and experience Maori culture!

**Details for the program are subject to change.**

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Additional Course Information

The topics that will be covered as part of the Comparative Indigenous Law program include:

  • Who are Maori?
  • The Waitangi Tribunal
  • Performance based law: Indigenous customary legal systems
  • The Maori Land court
  • Core concepts and normative beliefs in custom law
  • Regulators of behaviour in custom law
  • Contact and colonisation in the other settler states
  • Law and policy responses to indigenous peoples of settler states
  • Maori and criminal justice
  • Land, resources and environmental law
  • …and much more!

University and Faculty

Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology holds over 28,000 students and is comprised of three different campuses. This institution is the second largest university in New Zealand and has consistently been a leader in both undergraduate and postgraduate enrolment of both national and international students. In fact, AUT is the most international university in both Australia and New Zealand, and is also ranked as one of the world’s top 150 young universities based on the quality of teaching, research  and international outlook.


Guy Charlton - Guy’s legal expertise focuses on the rights and claims of aboriginal groups, tribes and indigenous peoples with respect to treaties, land, water, hunting, fishing and gathering, and natural resource extraction. Guy was previously a Professor of Law in Hong Kong, and has taught at universities in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. He is the author of numerous academic publications on aboriginal law and native rights.

Guy has recently returned from Australia to join the AUT Law School.


Site Visits and Cultural Activities

Site Visits

As part of the program, students will visit the Rangatahi court to analyse New Zealand’s law and policy response to Maori. Students will also engage with a number of guest lecturers within the field.


Cultural Activities

Students will spend the weekend at Waiheke Island, and stay at a traditional Marae. Students will be greeted by a traditional Maori welcome ceremony before hearing the history of the marae and surrounding areas. The afternoon will be a rotation of two activities.  The group will be split into two smaller groups.  Each group will do each activity this afternoon.  The activities are flax weaving and sight seeing around Waiheke Island including climbing to the top of Te Putiki O Kahu, Waiheke Island’s most prominent pa site.  From the top of the pa site will be extensive views of the earth works and allow for an understanding of how Maori lived upon the arrival of the British.  An introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi and the NZ land wars will be shared.

On the second day, students will undertake a scenic walk along coastal walkway to Matiatia.  Along the way you will see and hear about traditional native trees and plants and hear the traditional and medicinal uses pertaining to them.  You will also see stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and surrounding islands and hear the Maori and more recent history relating to them.



Students on this program will be staying at Quest on Hobson in either an apartment or large room. Students will either have a twin-share or a triple-share room.


New Zealand

New Zealand, being a small country has a population of just 4 million people and is fairly uncrowded. The mountainous country has a interesting mixture of Maori, which is the native people, and European culture. Due to the country being separated from the supercontinent all those years ago, very unique animals and plants have evolved resulting in an outstanding landscape and interesting creatures like the pukeko and the kiwi. There is a huge range of activities to be endured throughout New Zealand from bungy jumping to kayaking and all things in between.

Auckland – New Zealand

Auckland is located on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand and due to its hiking trails, gorgeous beaches and beautiful holiday islands it is one of the most popular urban areas in the country as well as rated the third-most liveable city in the world! It’s a heavily populated multi-cultural city housing just under 1.5 million people and seeing many tourists each year. The options for adventure throughout New Zealand are endless and in Auckland some include boat cruises, food and wine festivals, waterfall walks and skydiving.



Credit and Funding


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

We’ve included for your convenience below the initial stages of the application process.

1. Apply online
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results
3. We’ll review your results and application and if you are eligible, will invite you to an initial consultation by phone with an advisor.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation with an advisor.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 15 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. Once you return any necessary documents (which we’ll advise you of in the consultation), we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, we’ll send you your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
7. Your acceptance pack will contain the course syllabus, steps on applying for credit and funding, and an invoice for the program down payment. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your down payment.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

Students who wish to apply after the official application closing date (2nd April) are required to email or call us directly on (02) 9975 7792. Please note, that late applications are subject to a $100 late fee (inclusive of the $55 phone consultation fee). For more information, please refer to the AIM Overseas Late Application Fee Document.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.