Mana is one of the most highly valued principles in Maori culture and determines an individual’s social standing within the community (Mead 29). Ancestry plays a huge role in defining levels of mana, as those with chiefly whakapapa draw their mana from their ancestors in order to become influential leaders with a high status of mana (Mead 29). Mana relates to art and design practices through the sense that people have varying levels of status within their chosen art field. Well-known artists and designers contain more mana, as they are seen as leaders within their practice.
Intellectual and copyright laws in Aotearoa are inadequate to protect and address the misuse of taonga works. This is due to a range of reasons, such as for a taonga work to qualify under intellectual and copyright laws it “must be fixed in material form” (Tuatahi 39). Therefore, traditional oral taonga works including, “whakapapa, kōrero or mōteatea (song poems)” do not meet the copyright requirements and can not be protected (Tuatahi 39). This is concerning that only physical taonga works can be protected by law, as the oral ideas are just as important. Intellectual property rights are flawed in the fact that they only allow copyright holders control of the taonga work for the strictly limited time of two generations (Tuatahi 39).
Mead, Hirini Moko. “Chapter 2: Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga – Underlying Principles And Values”. Tikanga Māori: Living By Māori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 25-34. Print.
Tuatahi, Te Taumata. Taonga Works And Intellectual Property In Ko Aotearoa Tēnei – A Report Into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law And Policy Affecting Māori Culture And Identity. Wellington: Legislation Direct, 2011. Web. 13 Aug. 2016.