Jayden Houghton

BA, LLB(Hons), LLM (First Class Hons), PGCertHigherEd, FHEA

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Jayden Houghton is of Rereahu Maniapoto (King Country). Jayden's primary areas of research are Indigenous peoples' rights to knowledge and culture, and property law. Jayden is committed to learning-focused teaching and has been awarded multiple teaching awards. Jayden also has a degree in music, composes for piano and listens to artists such as Björk, Brian Eno and Mogwai.

Research | Current

Jayden is currently designing a framework to enable Māori to exercise tino rangatiratanga (the unqualified exercise of chieftainship) over mātauranga Māori (the body of knowledge originating from Māori ancestors) and taonga (tangible and intangible treasures). 

Jayden has provided expert advice for working groups on Māori claims to mātauranga Māori and taonga Māori. Jayden has also been invited to give public lectures and speak in panel discussions on these issues, including for the Spring Week lecture series and at the Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho Conference on Māori Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights (Whakatū, 2018).

Jayden writes on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, with a particular focus on the government's new Te Pae Tawhiti work programme to respond to the Wai 262 report: see Jayden Houghton "The New Zealand government’s response to the Wai 262 report: the first ten years" (2021) 25(5) International Journal of Human Rights 870.

Jayden also writes on property law issues, such as the court's new discretion under ss 54–56 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 to alter the register in cases of manifest injustice: see Jayden Houghton "Immediate Indefeasibility with Transactional Uncertainty" (2018) 28 New Zealand Universities Law Review 261.

Some of his papers are available on SSRN.

Postgraduate supervision

Jayden supervises in the following areas:

  • Land law and Māori land law
  • Indigenous intellectual property and cultural property
  • Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements

Current dissertation supervisions:

  • "A Lockean argument in support of Indigenous property rights"

Published dissertation supervisions:

  • Morgan Dalton-Mill "Te Ara Tika: Towards Tikanga-centric Processes for Māori Claimants to Resolve Overlapping Claims of Mana Whenua Status over Rohe in Aotearoa’s Treaty Settlement Process" (2021) 8 Te Tai Haruru: Journal of Māori and Indigenous Issues
  • Pia Puertollano "Homecoming: clearing a path for the repatriation of taonga to Aotearoa" (2021) 25 New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law
  • Madison Hughes "Housing Discord: A Case for the Protection of Natural Justice Provisions in Fast-track Housing Legislation" (2021) 27 Auckland University Law Review (with Dr Kenneth Palmer) Winner of the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Prize for Legal Writing 2021
  • Samantha Shanks "Māori Land Trusts: Rethinking the Relationship between Retention and Utilisation in Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 Reform" (2020) 7 Te Tai Haruru: Journal of Māori and Indigenous Issues

Recent dissertation supervisions:

  • Sabine Keenan “Beyond Wai 262: Who are, and can be, ‘kaitiaki’?" 
  • Tallulah Parker "Whāie te Mātauranga hei Oranga mō Koutou: An Argument in Support of Permanently Removing Māori Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions from New Zealand’s Current Public Domain"
  • Bella Rollinson "Not So Exclusive: Contested Sovereignty in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone"
  • Sheryl Connell "Has the voice of Māori been heard through meaningful engagement or consultation during the Three Waters reforms?" (with Professor David Grinlinton)
  • Megan Leijh "Te Tapu o ngā Tikanga Māori: An Argument in Support of Establishing Alternative Bodies to hear Tikanga Māori Disputes arising under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993"
  • Emily James "An Act of Destruction or a Step in Reconciliation? An examination of whether, and in what circumstances, it would be appropriate for the law to order the destruction of a work that is derogatory or offensive towards taonga"
  • Sheryl Connell "Fragmentation of whenua Māori has created detachment of its people. We need change"
  • Amelia Kendall "Kei Muri i te Awe Kāpara, he Tangata Kē: Developing a Conceptual Framework to Re-examine the Māori Trustee Pre-1993 as a Major Alienator of Māori Land"
  • Alicia Green "WIPO’s Draft Articles for TK and TCEs: How can they be incorporated in New Zealand law and what amendments will be required to ensure they are consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi?"
  • Carmen Yong "The Careless Mortgagee? A re-evaluation of the application of immediate indefeasibility to mortgagees in cases of forged mortgages"
  • Sarah Heslin "Taonga Tūturu in Aotearoa: Facilitating the Return of Improperly Obtained Taonga Tūturu to Māori"


Jayden graduated as a Senior Scholar in 2016, and received many University prizes, awards and scholarships.

Recent distinctions:


Assistant Dean (Teaching & Learning), Faculty of Law

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Jayden is a member of Te Tai Haruru and Te Puna Rangahau o te Wai Ariki.

Faculty committees:

  • Academic and Teaching & Learning Committee, Faculty of Law
  • Staff-Student Consultative Committee, Faculty of Law

Service to the community:

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Houghton, J. (2020). An opportunity for Māori and the Crown to reconcile. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/02/06/1020702/an-opportunity-for-maori-and-the-crown-to-reconcile. Related URL.
  • Houghton, J. (2020). McMorland on Easements, Covenants and Licences by D W McMorland LexisNexis, Wellington [book review]. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 29 (1), 197-200.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/52648
  • Houghton, J. (2018). Immediate indefeasibility with transactional uncertainty. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 28 (2), 261-292.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47077
  • Houghton, J. (2018). Land Transfer Act 2017. Auckland University Law Review, 24, 317-334. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46083
  • Ansell, K., & Houghton, J. (2017). A brief history of the review. Auckland University Law Review, 23, 50-90. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40429


Contact details

Office hours

​Room 521, Building 810, 1–11 Short Street, Auckland

Office hours as announced in lectures or by appointment.

Primary office location

1-11 SHORT STREET - Bldg 810
Level 5, Room 521
New Zealand

Web links