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Maori Concepts Of Rangatiratanga, Kaitiakitanga, The Environment, And Property Rights

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the claims that communally held land and resources are less sustainable and more vulnerable to overexploitation than private property forms. It presents an analysis in respect of indigenous peoples' land and resources, but it has many resonances for other communal resources, such as water. The chapter engages that perceived association in environmental governance and provides a more nuanced analysis, suggesting that communal landholding also makes a valuable contribution to sustainable governance of land and resources. It considers in general terms how property constructs developed such a focus on exclusivity and alienability before examining how communal systems mediated through norm-based systems for the governance of land and resources are open to challenge at a number of levels. In Australia, the trends to allocate individual property rights over communal lands and resources as an antidote to critical social disempowerment are too recent to allow an adequate assessment.

Keywords:communal landholding; communal property; private property forms



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