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“BODY-SNATCHING”: Changes to coroners legislation and possible Māori responses

Carl Mika


The term body-snatcher has enjoyed a renaissance in the media recently, as various Māori have moved to reclaim their deceased relations. From a Māori perspective, the claiming of bodies has nothing to do with body-snatching, a term that referred to episodes in the West. Indeed, Māori may see some laws themselves as instruments that snatch the body, in contravention of Māori customs. One of these laws, the Coroners Act 2006, may have made some progress by quietly acknowledging these customs in many ways, but that is merely the start of a greater dialogue between Māori and the Crown in relation to proper Māori respect of the dead body.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740