This book provides a new approach to the historical treatment of indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and property rights in Australia and New Zealand. By shifting attention from the original European claims of possession to a comparison of the ways in which British players treated these matters later, Bain Attwood not only reveals some startling similarities between the Australian and New Zealand cases but revises the long-held explanations of the differences. He argues that the treatment of the sovereignty and property rights of First Nations was seldom determined by the workings of moral principle, legal doctrine, political thought or government policy. Instead, it was the highly particular historical circumstances in which the first encounters between natives and Europeans occurred and colonisation began that largely dictated whether treaties of cession were negotiated, just as a bitter political struggle determined the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi and ensured that native title was made in New Zealand.
Title: Empire and the Making of Native Title: Sovereignty, Property and Indigenous People
Author: Attwood, Bain (Monash University, Victoria)
Publication date: 16/07/2020
Publisher: Cambridge University Press