Professor Cris Shore FRSNZ
The Chameleon Crown: anthropological perspectives on a constitutional enigma
Since 1840 the Crown has stood at the heart of New Zealand’s constitutional order as Treaty partner, custodian of the national interest and the embodiment of state power. Yet the Crown itself is curiously enigmatic. Acknowledged as a contested concept and ‘useful fiction’ whose meanings ‘differ according to context’, how it is contested and understood and the wider implications of those shifting meanings are rarely considered. Anthropological and legal perspectives shed new light on these perplexing issues.