Dr Robert A Joseph

Senior Lecturer, Research Centre Director MIG (Law)

Qualifications: LLB LLM PhD Waikato

Iwi: Tainui, Tuwharetoa, Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngai Tahu

About Me

Dr Joseph completed his Bachelor and Master of Laws degrees at Waikato and was admitted to the Bar in 1998. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and was a senior research fellow for the Te Mātāhauariki Research Institute at the University of Waikato under the leadership of Judge Michael Brown and Dr Alex Frame. Dr Joseph completed a PhD in Law in 2006.

Papers I Teach

Research Supervised

Dr Joseph is currently supervising PhD and LLM candidates. He welcomes applicants for doctoral and graduate supervision in any subject within his areas of expertise.

Research Interests

  • Maori and indigenous law
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Māori governance

Dr Joseph's research interests are varied: the realisation of the Treaty of Waitangi rights and responsibilities; internal self-determination rights and responsibilities of Indigenous groups; Māori and Indigenous Peoples' excellent governance best practices, structures and principles that result in and transformative governance; Canadian and North American Indigenous studies; Treaty processes and post-settlement development; appropriate dispute resolution, particularly with respect to resolving disputes between different cultures; and excellent Māori governance training.

Current Research Projects

Dr Joseph is currently writing a biography of his paternal tupuna (ancestors), who fought at the famous 1864 Battle of Orakau during the Waikato Wars.


History; Indigenous Rights; International Relations; Law; Maori; Maori Culture/Tikanga; Maori Development; Maori Governance; Maori History; Maori Identity; Maori Land and Community; Maori Legal Issues; Maori Research; New Zealand History; New Zealand Politics; Religion; Resource Management; Restorative Practices; Treaty of Waitangi

Recent Publications

  • Breen, C., Gillespie, A., Joseph, R., & Toki, V. (2021). Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?. Retrieved from

  • Ruru, J., Turei, M., Jones, C., Quince, K., Charters, C., Erueti, A., . . . Bright, R. (2020). Inspiring national indigenous legal education for Aotearoa New Zealand's Bachelor of Laws Degree: Phase One. University of Otago: Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga. Retrieved from

  • Joseph, R., Rakena, M., Te Kuini Jones, M., Takuira, J., Te Tai, M., & Rakena, C. (2020). Stemming the colonial environmental tide - Shared Māori governance jurisdiction and ecosystem-based management over the marine and coastal seascape in Aotearoa New Zealand – Possible ways forward. Waikato University,: Waikato Print. Retrieved from

  • Joseph, R., Rakena, M., Jones, M. T. K., Sterling, R., & Rakena, C. (2019). The Treaty, Tikanga Māori, ecosystem-based management, mainstream law and power sharing for environmental integrity in Aotearoa New Zealand – possible ways forward. Hamilton: Waikato Print, University of Waikato, National Science Challenge Sustainable Seas. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Robert Joseph