n Journal of Public Administration - Making restitution work : the challenge of building sustainable governance and institutional structures in public administration

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Canada and New Zealand are recognised as leaders in implementing restitution programmes. Both countries saw fundamental changes in government policy shaped by the 1973 Calder decision and the , 1975. These changes in policy-making commenced from views that contested indigenous land claims and resources towards a two-way communication in which negotiations between communities became the key to success. The evolving agreements moved governments towards the stance that the settlement of claims are not so much a cost as it is a vehicle for addressing indigenous socio-economic circumstances. Negotiated agreements set out to reflect the emergence of an economic development policy objective that emphasised traditional rights.

The article highlights issues and trends that shape options for public administration in the development of governance structures that must be taken into consideration during the planning and design of restitution programmes in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. Creating sustainable post-settlement support for restitution is a major task as outcomes in the local sphere are interwoven with rights to land and resources that co-exist with the traditional and broader communal management systems. Public administrators are thus faced with major challenges in matching the needs of local government with that of rural development. At the core of restitution lie communication, entrepreneurship and business development, each a critical element in finding sustainable pathways to meet the needs of communities and improve the quality of their lives.
For this reason the article explores development objectives and the processes involved in attaining social advancement.

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