Jayden Houghton

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

Profile Image


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's newest article on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions is forthcoming in the International Journal of Human Rights: see Jayden Houghton "The New Zealand Government’s Response to the Wai 262 Report: The First Ten Years".

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 sui generis right to protect traditional knowledge"
  • "Māori land and connectivity: successions, amalgamations and occuptation orders"
  • "Reappraising the Crown’s domestic process for repatriating overseas taonga objects"
  • "The Māori Land Court's use of tikanga Māori: risks and how to mitigate them"
  • "A tikanga-based process for resolving overlapping claims"
  • "Orders to destroy works that detrimentally affect a kaitiaki relationship"

Recently completed supervisions:

  • 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?"
  • Sarah Heslin "Taonga Tūturu in Aotearoa: Facilitating the Return of Improperly Obtained Taonga Tūturu to Māori"
  • Carmen Yong "The Careless Mortgagee? A re-evaluation of the application of immediate indefeasibility to mortgagees in cases of forged mortgages"
  • Samantha Shanks "Māori Land Trusts: Rethinking the Relationship between Retention and Utilisation in Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 Reform"
  • Megan Robertson "Can Earth Trusteeship be employed in a manner that is compatible with Māori self-determination in New Zealand?"
  • Madison Hughes "Housing Discord: A Case for the Protection of Natural Justice Provisions in Fast-track Housing Legislation" (with Dr Kenneth Palmer)


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

Recent distinctions:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2021
  • University of Auckland Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award, 2020
  • Schuler Educational Enhancement and Development Grant, 2020
  • CLeaR Fellowship, 2020
  • Faculty of Law Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award, 2019


Jayden is the current editor-in-chief for Te Tai Haruru: Journal of Māori and Indigenous Issues and the current managing editor of the Public Interest Law Journal of New Zealand.

Jayden previously served as editor-in-chief for the Auckland University Law Review and Public Interest Law Journal of New Zealand, and assistant editor for the New Zealand Law Review. In 2017, he co-authored a special feature to mark 50 years of the Auckland University Law Review.

Jayden is a member of Te Tai Haruru and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law. In 2017–2019, he was responsible for developing the tutorial curriculum used in the Māori and Pacific tutorial programmes.

Jayden also serves from time to time as a judge for law moots and client interviews. In recent years, he has served as moderator for the Māori Issues Moot.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Academic and Teaching & Learning Committee, Faculty of Law

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