During the last decades of the twentieth century, Aotearoa/New Zealand as a nation has increasingly focused on Maori and Pakeha relations. At the forefront of debate has been the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement between Maori and the British Crown, signed in 1840. London was the heart of the global British Empire, in direct contrast to the 'frontier' society where James Prendergast would eventually achieve prestige and power. In the course of his Wi Parata judgment, Prendergast referred to previous landmark cases dealing with aboriginal title and the Treaty of Waitangi. In the continuing discussion over the nature of legal boundaries between Maori and Pakeha, Prendergast's legacy is often addressed. The critics of Prendergast's decision are vocal and numerous. The uniqueness of Prendergast's decision in a global context is a controversial issue in New Zealand legal historiography.