Ms Sarah Down

PhD scholar

LLB (First Class Hons) (University of Canterbury)
BA (Political Science) (University of Canterbury)

Topic or working title

‘Consultation with Iwi regarding mineral exploration and extraction.’

Abstract or summary

In New Zealand, there are plans for the further exploitation of minerals which have been coupled with major changes to the primary legislation governing this area. Maori as tangata whenua (people of the land) have a fundamental interest about whether, and if so how, such developments occur within their takiwa (tribal district). How iwi (tribes) choose to respond, and their ability to influence decisions that are made, is evolving into a major issue as they consider the impacts such developments may have on their ancestral lands and people. This thesis will explore the extent to which iwi have control over decisions for mineral exploration and extraction. It will look at the legislation and regulations that govern this area and the consultation that is afforded to iwi under them. It will also explore the number of contentious reforms that have been passed or are in their proposal stages and how iwi have been consulted with regards to these changes.

Panel members and positions

Primary Supervisor and Panel Chair:
Professor Mick Dodson, Director of NCIS and Professor at the ANU College of Law.


  • Professor Jon Altman, Australian Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), ANU College of Arts and Social Science.


Sarah Down is from Aotearoa/ New Zealand and is Pakeha (a New Zealander of European descent). She holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from the University of Canterbury. Since graduating from her degrees in 2011, Sarah has worked as a Research Assistant for the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury. She has also worked for the Ōtautahi (Christchurch) National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA), Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka, and Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae. Sarah will be studying externally to the ANU campus, but will be making frequent trips over to meet with supervisors and to participate in NCIS requirements and events.

Sarah’s research interests include critical theory, indigenous and human rights law and youth justice.

Research outputs: most recent

  • kvgqvsvj, kvgqvsvj, 'New Zealand Steel Mining Ltd v The Hon D. J. Butcher', 1, 1, Vol., 2015, pp:. 1.
  • kvgqvsvj, kvgqvsvj, 'Debating the burqa: How the burqa can reveal more than it hides', 1, 1, Vol., 2011, pp:. 1.

» view/search Sarah Down's complete list of research outputs; download selected documents

Updated:  7 October 2015/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer