Dr Valmaine Toki

Associate Professor in Law

Qualifications: BA LLB (Hons) MBA LLM PhD

Iwi: Ngati Wai, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua

About Me

Dr Valmaine Toki is an Associate Professor of Law, Faculty Chair and Director of the Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre at Te Piringa, Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. Valmaine, is of Ngapuhi Ngati Wai Ngat Whatua descent, and the first Maori and first New Zealander appointed as an Expert Member on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Before joining Te Piringa, Valmaine taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland. As a He Ture Pumau scholar Valmaine previously worked for Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd on Māori fisheries, aquaculture and asset allocation. During this time Valmaine completed an MBA from the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania. Valmaine is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and has assisted in cases to the Māori Land Court, the Environment Court, and the High Court. Her book entitled "Indigenous courts, self determination and criminal justice" will be released this summer and focuses on her recent research within the area of recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights.

Papers I Teach

Research Supervised

Research Interests

  • Human and Indigenous Rights
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence
  • Resource Management

Valmaine has recently undertaken research into therapeutic jurisprudence as a vehicle to implement indigenous legal systems/tikanga Māori to reduce the disproportionate number of Māori criminal offenders. This envisages a specialist indigenous court that embraces Māori customs, ethics, values, and norms.

Recent Publications

  • Hasan-Stein, L., & Toki, V. (2017). R v Shashana Lee Te Tomo. In Feminist Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand Te Rino: a Two-stranded Rope (pp. 513-530). Hart Publishing Limited.

  • Toki, V. (2017). Legal responses to mental health: Is therapeutic jurisprudence the answer – the experience in New Zealand. Journal of Ethics in Mental Health, 10, 1-18. Open Access version:

  • Durie, E. T., Joseph, R., Erueti, A., & Toki, V. (2017). The waters of the Maori: Maori law and state law: The waters of the Maori: Maori law and state law.

  • Toki, V. (2017). Maori seeking self-determination or Tino Rangatiratanga? A note. Journal of Maori and Indigenous Issues, 5, 134-144. Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Valmaine Toki

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Toki, AProf Valmaine 8976 valmaine N.5.09 Law, Faculty of

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