Pacific Law, Custom and Constitutionalism Conference (PLCC): Part One: Samoan Traditional Leadership, Customary Land Tenure & Religious Rights

05-Feb-2018 8:47 AM

An innovative and exciting conference series is due to begin on the 13th and 14th February 2018 at the University of Auckland, at its Fale Pasifika complex

The conference is hosted by the University of Auckland and AUT, with the support of Judge Ida Malosi of the Manukau District, Family and Pasifika Youth Courts and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Its outside sponsors are the New Zealand Law Foundation; New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research; Gaualofa Trust; Institute of Professional Legal Studies; Kaye, Fletcher, Walker Law Firm; and Pacific Lawyers Association.

The purpose of the conference is to raise public awareness among Aotearoa New Zealand communities, especially its Pasifika communities, of the relationship between Pacific law, custom and constitutionalism and the impact that this relationship has on them and their identity in Aotearoa and abroad.  This first conference focuses on Samoa, the first of a 3-part conference series. The second conference to be held in 2019 will focus on Tonga; and the third to be held in 2020 will focus on New Zealand’s three Pacific ‘territories’: Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.

The conference series targets all peoples, students, practitioners and professionals, from all relevant sectors in society with an interest in the themes and vision of the conference series. Unlike most academic conferences this conference series aims to involve as many young people (high school and undergraduate students) as possible. This has been made possible by Law Foundation funding made available specifically for high school and tertiary level students.

The conference series will focus on three key themes: the constitutionalisation of indigenous and western leadership models in the Pacific (including Aotearoa), of customary land tenure and British land tenure in the Pacific; and of indigenous religious and Christian religious beliefs in the Pacific. 

This first Feb 12-14 conference has an impressive line-up of speakers from Samoa and Aotearoa, with expertise in law, custom and constitutionalism, as well as public policy, justice, policing, corrections, education, health and community governance.  While it is aimed at the Pasifika diaspora resident in Aotearoa, tangata whenua and any other New Zealanders in New Zealand, other Pacific Islanders from the Pacific interested in Pacific law, custom and constitutionalism are welcome to attend.

It’s not too late to register: registrations will be open up to the day of the conference and payment arrangements can be organised through Sonia Pope by email: or 021636165. For more information on the conference see:

For further details on conference themes, please contact Associate Professor Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, at or 0272762362.

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