The Law Faculty at the University of Waikato was founded in 1990 and adopted the principles of professionalism, bi-culturalism and the study of law in context.
The Faculty seeks to interpret each of its core principles against a background of social and economic change and is committed to professionalism, while constantly thinking about what this entails in the light of developments such as the communications revolution, globalisation and the changing market for legal services. Bi-culturalism remains a foundational principle of the Law Faculty with the challenge being to further a bi-cultural goal within the increasingly multi-cultural society of New Zealand. The Faculty’s focus on law in context reflects a broad approach to legal education, enabling law graduates to assume a leadership role in practice, in industry, and in the development of public policy.
The Law Faculty is committed to the development of a truly indigenous New Zealand jurisprudence in which the best of Māori and common law traditions inspire how law evolves to meet both new and old challenges as the 21st century unfolds. The Faculty’s name, ‘Te Piringa’ translates as the coming together of people, and was given to the Law Faculty by the late Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the Maori Queen, when the Faculty buildings were opened by Tainui tohunga using Maori ceremonial karakia in 1991.
Te Piringa – Faculty of Law of the University of Waikato has a significant focus on environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law, both in New Zealand and internationally. The Faculty has a Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law. Its specialists constitute the largest group of legal academics in the field in New Zealand. Members are active in teaching and research on the law concerning environmental protection, biodiversity, climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, heritage conservation, pollution control, water allocation, natural resources management, and the position of Maori and other indigenous peoples in relation to the environment. The Faculty also hosts an excellent Centre for Maori and Indigenous Governance.