ASAA/NZ Principles of Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct
Ko tā mātou ngā mema o ASAA/NZ, he ū ki te Tiriti o Waitangi hei tūāpapa o te motu whānui o Aotearoa.
Ko tā mātou ngā mema o ASAA/NZ, he hāpai i te mana whenua o te iwi Māori o Aotearoa, o Niu Tireni.
We, the members of the ASAA/NZ, are committed to the Treaty of Waitangi as the foundation stone of Aotearoa New Zealand as a nation.
We, the members of the ASAA/NZ, recognise the rights of the tangata whenua as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
ASAA/NZ’s Principles of Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct begins with a Preamble affirming our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Aotearoa New Zealand’s founding document. As far as we know, our anthropological association is unique in beginning its code of ethics with such a commitment. Below, ASAA/NZ Ethics Committee Chair Jeff Sluka relates the story of how the Preamble was added to the ASAA/NZ Principles of Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct.
If you would like to learn more about Te Tiriti o Waitangi, check out this illustrated story by Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Toby Morris.
How the Preamble was Added to the ASAANZ Code of Ethics
The need for a code of professional ethics was first expressed within the NZASA (the precursor of the ASAA/NZ) in 1981 by contract researchers. At that time, Nancy Bowers was appointed to do preliminary work on drawing up a code for the association, and then at the 1986 AGM it was decided to appoint a committee to draft a code or statement on ethics similar to the AAA’s “Principles of Professional Responsibility.” The committee was composed of Jeff Sluka, Steve Webster, Julie Park, and Ngahuia te Awekotuku. They concluded that it was too difficult and unnecessary to write a completely new code of ethics, and instead recommended adopting the AAA Principles with some amendments adapting it to the New Zealand context.
At the 1987 AGM, the committee presented a draft “New Zealand Association of Social Anthropologists: Principles of Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct.” Following discussion, this was then circulated to the membership and all anthropology departments at New Zealand universities for comments and recommendations, and a session was scheduled for the 1988 meetings to further discuss and debate it and, if appropriate, vote for its ratification. After six years of discussion and development, the code was subsequently ratified at the 1988 AGM.
At the 1988 AGM, Judith Simon raised the issue of the place of the Treaty of Waitangi and suggested that the concept of partnership and the ‘spirit’ of the Treaty should be built in to the association. A working party was established to consider ways the principles of the Treaty could be ‘embraced’ by the association. The members were Judith Simon, Grahame Smith, Anne Salmond, and Waerete Norman, who concluded that the best way forward was to develop a simple and general statement which could be included as a preamble to the association’s constitution and ethics code. This proposal was approved at the 1989 AGM.
At the 1990 AGM, the Treaty of Waitangi working party tabled a draft preamble which was discussed and minor grammatical amendments were made. The following draft was then circulated to the membership for comment and feedback:
Ka tumanaako maatou nga mema ki te Tiriti o Waitangi, he kaamaka hoki no Aotearoa Niutiirena katoa.
We, the members of the NZASA, are committed to the goals and practices of the Treaty of Waitangi, as a founding cornerstone of New Zealand as a nation.
Ka tumanaako anoo maatou nga mema ki te tangata whenua i runga i te mea he iwi tuuturuu hoki no Aotearoa Niutiirena nei.
We, the members of the NZAA, recognise the rights of the tangata whenua as the indigenous people of New Zealand.
A proposal to add this Preamble to the ethics code was then approved at the 1991 AGM.
In 2016, the Executive Committee approved some minor changes to spelling and grammatical errors in the Code of Ethics, and at the same time sought advice about the English and te reo Māori versions of the preamble. Margaret Kawharu and Hone Waengarangi Morris indicated that the te reo Māori version could be revised to better reflect the English version. Hone Waengarangi Morris provided the Executive Committee with a revised translation into te reo Māori, which was accepted in 2016. This is the version in use today.