The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) has gained increasing attention as a tool for promoting Indigenous rights. The study reported in this article contributes to the discussion about the Declaration’s effectiveness by analysing its role in advancing Indigenous peoples’ self-determination. A qualitative case study was conducted between January and February 2018 with 18 Māori activists in Aotearoa New Zealand, using a rights-based and Indigenous-based approach to form the analytical framework.
Rights-based approaches to health in Aotearoa New Zealand have increased in recent years. However, dominant Westernised conceptualisations of rights have been criticised for their ties to colonialism and individualistic focus. This paper presents Oranga Mokopuna as an alternative which disrupts Western notions of rights that are assumed to have universal application. Based in Te Ao Māori, Oranga Mokopuna provides a conceptual frame of reference for the realisation of tāngata whenua rights to health and wellbeing.