Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law

With a Master of Laws in Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law you could explore Pacific legal thought and practice. You'll develop skills enabling you to participate actively in the development of Pacific jurisprudence and to enhance global understanding of Pacific legal systems.

Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law (LLM Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples') provides an opportunity to study in-depth the historical and developing trends within the area of indigenous peoples' rights.

You'll examine how the United Nations and other international organisations influence the process of Indigenous rights development. You will learn what role the State plays in recognising environmental and economic rights of indigenous peoples.

What will post-settlement New Zealand legal landscape look like? You could be the driving force behind developing truly inclusive New Zealand Jurisprudence that would incorporate the best of the traditional Māori practices and Common Law.

The knowledge and skills developed through our specialist programme are relevant in roles in:

  • Academic teaching and research;
  • Treaty settlement
  • Maori governance
  • Crown Law
  • Local and central government
  • Education
  • Māori economy

The Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples’ Law programme is offered with the same study
options as those of Master of Laws (LLM). Please see the Master of Laws page for more information.

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Te Piringa - Faculty of Law
Years 1.0
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $6,616-$7,443 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $29,625 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.


These are all the subjects available for the Master of Laws in Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law

Development Studies

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

The Honours Degree may be awarded with

  • First Class Honours, or
  • Second Class Honours (first division), or
  • Second Class Honours (second division).

To be eligible for the award of honours, you would need to complete your Master of Laws qualification within 12 months (if studying full-time) or within 24 months (if studying part-time) and pass all your papers.

Postgraduate qualifications in law:

Master of Laws (LLM)
Doctor of Philosophy (Law)
Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Other higher degree qualifications offered by the University of Waikato

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Explore our other undergraduate qualifications in law:

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Bachelor of Laws conjoint degrees

If you have already gained a Bachelor degree in a subject other than law, you may be interested in our Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (GradDipDR).

For more information on these and other options, please contact us at Law Reception.

The Faculty members come from a wide range of nations and cultural backgrounds, creating a truly multicultural environment. This helps foster in our students an increased awareness of global issues, exposes them to multiple historical and cultural perspectives as well as offer insight into legal systems outside the jurisdiction of the Common Law.

We have the most diverse and vibrant student body of all law schools in New Zealand. Up to 30 per cent of all our students identify themselves as Māori and nearly 16 per cent come from Pacific background. Nearly 40 per cent of our students are over the age of 25.

The Faculty's three dynamic law student associations: Pacific Law Student Association (PLSA), Te Whakahiapo (Māori Student Association) and Waikato University Law Student Association (WULSA) play an important role of fostering great collegial relationships between students and offer plenty of social and learning opportunities.

Our Mentoring Programme will provide extra support and guidance in your studies, help you to navigate through the transition period from school or previous employment to university study as well as advise you on other services and opportunities available to you on campus.

To be accepted to the Master of Laws programme, you need to have:

  • Completed an LLB or a combined Law degree at the University of Waikato with at least a 'B' grade point average or an equivalent qualification at another university; or
  • Completed an LLB (Hons) at the University of Waikato with at least a 'B' grade point average or a combined Law degree at the University of Waikato or an equivalent qualification at another university; or
  • Satisfied the prerequisites for graduate study in the subject at a level that is considered appropriate by the Academic Board.

In exceptional circumstances, candidates who do not meet these requirements, but who have proven record of academic merit and relevant experience may be accepted into the programme.

Students whose first language is not English are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their English language proficiency. An overall score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 achieved in the Writing band) in the IELTS or equivalent.


Faculty of Law

Ms Anna MacGillivray
Graduate Programme Administrator
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

Degree Structure

  1. The normal minimum period of enrolment for completion of the Degree is one year. The requirements of the Degree must be completed within four consecutive years of first enrolling for the Degree.
  2. Candidates must enrol in the Faculty of Law and follow an approved programme of study.
  3. Candidates must gain 120 points at 500 level or above.
  4. Candidates must complete the papers prescribed for the Degree in the Law entry in the University of Waikato Catalogue of Papers, including any compulsory papers.
  5. Candidates may include
    (a)    a dissertation equivalent to 30 points, or
    (b)    a dissertation equivalent to 60 points, or
    (c)    a thesis equivalent to 90 points, or
    (d)    a thesis equivalent to 120 points.
  6. Candidates may take up to 30 points from outside the field of the Degree.
  7. The field of the Degree comprises the papers prescribed for the Degree in the Law entry in the University of Waikato Catalogue of Papers.
  8. If a candidate fails a paper or papers (worth not more than 30 points in total), he or she may repeat the paper or papers or take an alternative paper or papers with the same total points value on one occasion only. A candidate who fails a paper or papers worth more than 30 points in total will not be permitted to proceed with the Degree.

Examination of thesis (90 points and above):

The University will appoint two examiners for the candidate's thesis; one examiner external to the University and active in the research field of the thesis; and one examiner internal to the University, with a good grounding in the research field, who is not directly connected to the candidate, or the candidate’s thesis research or supervision.