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New Zealand Government policy toward the Maori population in the 1990s has been characterised by an emphasis on the settlement of historic grievances, largely concerning traditional property rights. The registration of claims and the settlement of claims have consumed much time and expense on the part of both Government and Maori. This process has, however, been essentially historical in its focus and there are many issues around the health of Maori-Crown and Maori-non-Maori relationships in the present and in the future that have yet to be addressed. In particular, the Crown's obligations toward Maori in the social policy area are emerging as an area of debate. This is also an area in which the Crown's stance on the Treaty, we will argue, lacks consistency. For this reason it is likely to be an area in which much debate will be focused in the next few years.

This paper discusses the Treaty of Waitangi as it has been interpreted and applied in key areas of New Zealand Government social policy, in particular, the health sector and iwi social services. By no means is it intended to be a complete history of the New Zealand Government's social policies as they have impacted on Maori. Neither does the paper attempt a detailed history of Treaty jurisprudence in New Zealand (the reader is referred to McHugh (1991) for this). However, some basic knowledge of this history is necessary to understanding the application of the Treaty to social policy, and for this reason, and for the benefit of international readers, the paper begins with a general introduction to Treaty issues. The paper proceeds with an overview of the Treaty's legal status and its appearance in relevant pieces of legislation. This is followed by a discussion of the major Treaty debates as they relate to social policy.

Much of the source material for this paper, particularly regarding the various perspectives on Treaty issues, comes from spoken communication or other unpublished sources, and we have not referenced this material. (All published sources are referenced, of course). The views we express are entirely our own. Furthermore, we make no claim that these views are generally representative of the views of other Maori, or of Pakeha with an interest in these issues.


Representatives of the British Crown and New Zealand's Maori chiefs (rangatira) signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.(3) Two versions of the Treaty exist, an English version and a Maori version. Most rangatira signed the Maori version. The two versions of the Treaty are not exact translations of each other and this has been the source of considerable ambiguity and conflict in Treaty interpretation. The Treaty contains a preamble and three clauses or articles. The paragraphs below discusses the articles' contents.

Article 1 in the English version states.(4)
 The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the
 separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the
 Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and
 without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said
 Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may
 be supposed to exercise or possess over their respective Territories as the
 sole Sovereigns thereof.

While in the English version Maori cede "sovereignty" to the Crown, the Maori version uses the term kawanatanga, which translates as "governance". It is an issue of some debate as to what exactly rangatira intended when they ceded kawanatanga. One point of view is that rangatira agreed to delegate authority for administering the country to the Crown -- the important point being that this delegated authority was ultimately subject to the overarching authority of rangatira. (Orthodox commentators reject this constraint on kawanatanga.) Another perspective is that rangatira agreed to the Crown having authority over Europeans living in New Zealand, while chiefly authority over Maori was unaffected. While there is debate about the exact intent of rangatira when they signed the Treaty, very few Maori commentators believe that rangatira intended to cede absolute authority over Maori to the Crown.

Article 2 in the English version states:
 Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and
 Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals
 thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and
 Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively
 or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain
 the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the
 individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption
 over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at
 such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and
 persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article 2 has been interpreted by orthodox Western jurists as a re-statement of indigenous common-law rights (indigenous common-law rights are discussed further below). Their emphasis in interpreting this clause of the Treaty has therefore been on protection of Maori property rights. This approach to Article 2 has contributed to a recent raft of Crown/Maori Treaty settlements around property issues. As with Article 1, however, the Maori version of Article 2 conveys a somewhat different meaning to the English version. In place of the expression "undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties", the Maori version of the Treaty uses the expression "te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa". This can be loosely translated as "chiefly authority over lands, villages and all things precious". The term tino rangatiratanga, which can be translated as "chiefly authority",(5) is a term that to Maori more closely corresponds to the term "sovereignty" in Article 1 of the English version. Furthermore, in using the term taonga, or "things highly prized", the Treaty goes beyond Western concepts of property, since the term can be applied to children, language or culture and other things that would not normally be considered property by Europeans.

From the Crown perspective, the Treaty has been perceived as Maori submission to British sovereignty (Article 1) in exchange for British Citizenship (Article 3) with traditional property rights to be protected (Article 2). A contemporary Maori perspective is that the Treaty conceded to the Crown a right to administer the country in the interests of all inhabitants, Maori and Pakeha, but that an absolute guarantee of Maori control over all matters Maori applied. Thus, debate revolves around the extent to which the Crown's powers under Article 1 are limited by the guarantees in Article 2. The Waitangi Tribunal has held that the Crown's right to govern must be balanced against the obligation to protect rangatiratanga.

Article 3 of the English version states:
 In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the
 Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the
 Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

Interpretation of Article 3 and its Application to Social Policy

There has been comparatively little debate about the meaning of Article 3 of the Treaty. This may be because Maori and the Crown are largely agreed about what the Article means, or that priority has been given to the settlement of grievances based on the breach of Article 2 rights. The debate about the meaning of Article 3 has centred around what are rights of citizenship, and whether Article 3 guarantees to Maori equal opportunities or outcomes.

There is some argument as to whether citizenship guarantees social rights.(6) In fact social rights were not expressed in New Zealand law until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the rise of social theory and the development of the welfare state and human rights norms. However, modern theories of citizenship, international human rights instruments, codification of certain social rights legislation and the general acceptance by Western citizens of the right to welfare, leads to the conclusion that there is a link between social rights and citizenship rights (Walghan Partners 1996).

Many argue that the rights and privileges of citizenship that are guaranteed to Maori under the Treaty are limited to the civil and political rights that existed in 1840. This view is discounted by the prevalent view amongst commentators that the Treaty is a living document and its guarantees are not limited to the circumstances that existed at the time it was signed.

If one accepts that citizenship rights include social rights, the debate turns to the meaning of the phrase "the same rights of citizenship", and the meaning of "equality". One view is that Article 3 concerns the actual enjoyment of social benefits, and guarantees "equality of outcome". Others argue that Article 3 guarantees equality of opportunity, or equality under the law. Under this view it is claimed that equal rights of citizenship are achieved where the law makes no distinctions between Maori and non-Maori. The debate between equality of opportunity and outcome does not get us particularly far as equality in reality can never be achieved -- it is just an objective or ideal to work towards.

Another approach is that is that Article 3 guaranteed more than the right to be treated equally under the law. Such a right is of little use unless there is equitable access to all of society's goods, including health, education and all the necessities of a good standard of living. Disparities between Maori and non-Maori in income, health status, educational attainment, labour force participation and a host of other variables, indicate that individual Maori have not enjoyed the reciprocal benefits guaranteed to all citizens under the Treaty. Neither signatory to the Treaty envisaged Maori becoming an underclass in their own lands, but had in mind the opportunity for positive development and strengthening of communities. Therefore, to close the gap, policies should be developed which target assistance to Maori.

Targeted assistance may require that Maori perspectives and preferences be recognised, and that policies, approaches and methods be employed which target Maori specifically in order to reduce disparities. It is generally accepted by the social policy sector that one policy for all does not deliver equitable access to everyone. Under this analysis, Article 3 requires the Crown to recognise where disparities exist between Maori and non-Maori, and to attempt to address them to the best of its current capability. This view takes into account the Crown's other responsibilities as the Government, fiscal restraints and the responsibility that Maori must take for their own health and welfare.

With the exception of language, the Crown's responsibility under the Treaty to ensure Maori well-being has not been examined by the Courts. While a number of Treaty claims concern social policy issues, for example the Labour Relations Act, adoption of children, and education, Te Whanau o Waipareira is the first Waitangi Tribunal Report to consider Social Policy and the Treaty of Waitangi (the report is discussed below).


Under international law, treaties, warfare and diplomacy are acts carried out by executive governments of sovereign peoples and relate to interactions with other sovereign peoples. As such, they are outside the domain of domestic (called municipal) law. Municipal law is concerned with the internal governance of nation states, an area over which international law has no jurisdiction except where nation states voluntarily adhere to international law. If the Treaty is a treaty of cession, then it is an international treaty. This makes it relevant to New Zealand municipal law only to the extent that municipal law formally recognises it.

The Treaty has never been formally incorporated in New Zealand's Constitution, so its status as a constitutional document is at best ambiguous. It is, however, generally regarded as New Zealand's founding document. The Treaty is only legally enforceable domestically to the extent to which it has been incorporated in various pieces of legislation. The legislation in which the Treaty has been incorporated is surveyed below.

Before considering the Treaty in legislation it is perhaps important to note that Maori also derive rights from common law. Common law is that body of law that has grown gradually over centuries through successive court decisions. Commonwealth countries that adopted the British legal system have inherited this body of law. The common law contains a range of guarantees of aboriginal rights, including rights over land and traditional food sources. The common law has not been widely used in New Zealand as a basis for litigation of traditional Maori rights. It has, however, been important in Australia and Canada.

The Treaty of Waitangi Act (1975)

The Treaty of Waitangi Act (1975) was the first legislation in modern times to recognise the Treaty and arguably remains the most important. The Act, which was passed by the third Labour Government, established the Waitangi Tribunal. While the Act does not incorporate the Treaty into municipal law, it gives the Tribunal power to investigate whether legislation or actions of the Executive contravene the principles of the Treaty.(7) The most notable exercise of the Tribunal's functions to date has been the investigation of historical land claims. Government is not bound by the Tribunal's recommendations -- nevertheless, Tribunal findings carry considerable weight. The Act initially restricted the Tribunal's powers to the investigation of Treaty breaches dating from 1975. However, the Act was amended in 1985, under the fourth Labour Government, to extend the Tribunal's powers to the investigation of breaches dating from 1840.

The State Owned Enterprises Act (1986)

Perhaps the second most important piece of legislation from a Treaty perspective is the State Owned Enterprises Act (1986) which states, "Nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi." The New Zealand Maori Council successfully brought action against the Crown in 1987 under this Act.(8) Its objective was to prevent the transfer to State Owned Enterprises of Crown-owned land subject to Treaty claims.

This particular case has been a landmark in Treaty jurisprudence. The Court of Appeal confirmed previous judgments that the Treaty has no status in law except where it has been incorporated in statute. However, in interpreting the Treaty the Court declared that the Treaty must be treated as a living document capable of adapting to new circumstances and that the principles underlying the Treaty were of greater importance than its actual words. The practice of referring to the principles resolves the difficulties of interpretation resulting from the Maori and English language versions.

Treaty Principles

The concept of Treaty principles first appeared in the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, but the Act did not define the principles. While the Lands case was the first opportunity for the Court of Appeal to consider the principles, the Waitangi Tribunal had been making findings on the principles since 1978. The principles are constantly evolving, and should be viewed in the context of the issue at hand. What follows is list of the most basic Treaty principles developed by the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal. The overriding principle which guides the Crown's relationship with Maori is the notion of reciprocity -- the exchange of the right to govern for the right of Maori to retain rangatiratanga and control over their lands, possessions, affairs and things important to them. From this overarching principle several other principles are derived, including:
 The Treaty established a partnership, and the Treaty partners are under a
 duty to act reasonably and in good faith with one another. The needs of
 both cultures must be respected, and compromises may be needed in some

* The Treaty guaranteed to Maori, full authority, status and prestige with regard to their possessions and interests. The Treaty guaranteed not only that possessions would be protected, but also the "mana to control them in accordance with their own customs and having regard to their own cultural preferences";(9)

* The Crown must make informed decisions by having regard to the Treaty when exercising its discretions and powers. While good faith does not always require consultation, it is an obvious way of demonstrating its existence; and

* The Crown has a duty to take positive action to protect the rights of Maori, including rangatiratanga over taonga.

The Maori Language Act

In 1984 a claim in respect of Te Reo Maori (Maori Language) was lodged with the Tribunal, it argued for official recognition of Te Reo, and for Government action to protect and promote it. The Tribunal ruled that Te Reo is a taonga protected by the Treaty under Article 2 and that the Crown had breached its obligation to actively protect it. In reaching this conclusion the Tribunal referred to the Maori version of the Treaty and determined that the phrase "O ratou taonga katoa" covers both tangible and intangible things and could be best translated as "all their valued customs and possessions". The Tribunal described the language as an essential part of Maori culture and therefore it "must be regarded as a valued possession".

Government's response to the Tribunal's ruling was to introduce the Maori Language Act (1987) which recognises Maori as an official language and establishes Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission). Importantly for the purposes of this paper, the Act provides statutory recognition that te reo Maori is a taonga protected by Article 2.(10) This challenges the conventional approach that Article 2 is restricted to tangible property rights. Subsequent Tribunal claims concerning Te Reo (e.g., the Radio Frequencies Claim), and Government responses to them, have rested on this recognition. The Courts have also considered this issue and held, for instance in the Broadcasting Assets case,(11) that the protection of Maori language (an essential element of Maori culture) is a fundamental Treaty commitment on the part of the Crown.

Rights over other intangible things have not been acknowledged in the same way as they have for language, and have consequently not been litigated in the same manner. Successful cases in other areas of social policy are required to establish a body of social policy Treaty jurisprudence.


The Education Act (1989)

The Education Act (1989) requires school boards to take "all reasonable steps ... to discover and consider the views and concerns of Maori communities living in the geographical area" served by the school. School charters must recognise the importance of Maori culture, and instruction must be provided in Te Reo and tikanga(12) for those pupils whose parents request it. The Act also allows the Minister to designate any school a kura kaupapa Maori where parents request it. A kura kaupapa Maori is a school that observes Maori cultural practices and as far as possible teaches all of its curriculum in Maori.

While the Education Act provides important recognition of Maori needs and aspirations in the education sector it does not specifically mention the Treaty. It thereby avoids establishing Treaty-based rights in the education sector that could serve as a basis for litigation.

The Children, Young Persons and their Families Act (1989)

The Children, Young Persons and their Families Act also lacks reference to the Treaty. However, the Act does make reference to the special needs of Maori. This occurs in section 7(c), which instructs the Director-General of Social Welfare to "have particular regard for the values, culture, and beliefs of the Maori people." More important for Maori are the provisions of the Act that relate to Iwi Social Services (section 396). These are discussed below.

The Health and Disability Services Act (1993)

The Health and Disability Services Act contains two references to Maori interests, these occur in sections 2 and 8. Section 2 provides that the good employer provisions of the Act shall apply to the employment needs of Maori. Section 8 relates to the objectives of the Crown which, it is stated, include "the special needs of Maori and other particular communities or people." There are no other references to Maori needs, and the Treaty is not mentioned anywhere in the Act.

Other Legislation

A total of 41 statutes enacted since 1975 incorporate references to the Treaty, and many others refer to Maori interests. Amongst these, only the Maori Language Act, the Education Act, the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act and the Health and Disability Services Act could be characterised as social policy legislation. A range of other Acts allows for equal opportunities or cultural differences, but we do not propose to discuss these here.

It is generally thought that the inclusion of Treaty clauses in social policy legislation poses too great a risk to the Crown. It is for this reason that legislation such as the Children and Young Persons Act contain "Maori interest" clauses. It is thought that Treaty clauses would open up Ministerial, administrative or clinical decisions for review against Treaty principles, thereby creating an element of uncertainty in the application of legislation. It is argued that litigation of decisions made under social policy legislation, against Treaty principles, would encourage the courts to make decisions about what is reasonable for the Crown to do in order to meet its Treaty obligations, and usurp the role of the legislature.


Government has long understood its social policy responsibilities toward Maori in terms of Article 3. By guaranteeing citizenship rights to Maori, Article 3 prohibits discrimination and arguably requires Government to be pro-active in reducing social and economic disparities between Maori and non-Maori (the debate on the interpretation of Article 3 is considered above). This is not to say that Maori have always supported Government's social policies, but debates have not revolved around matters of Treaty interpretation. If Article 3 has been mentioned it is in connection with the vigour with which Government has applied it.

The key Treaty debates in the social policy arena increasingly relate to the interpretation and application of Article 2. Demands by Maori in the social policy arena are for greater self-determination or tino rangatiratanga. These demands are based on Article 2. To date Government has not accepted the applicability of Article 2 to social policy and Maori demands for self-determination have been rejected. This section explores the application of Article 2 to social policy in greater detail by focusing on two areas of social policy: the health sector and the Department of Social Welfare's Iwi Social Services policy.

Health Sector

An important distinction needs to be made between Maori health needs and Maori health rights. To date the dominant discourse in Maori health has been about how to address the special health needs of Maori. The application of Article 2 to health would change the discourse from one of needs, to one of Maori rights to health, thereby creating a legal obligation and fiscal risk for Government.

In reporting on the Te Reo Claim, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that the phrase O ratou taonga katoa, all things highly prized, (from Article 2) covers both tangible and intangible things. It could be argued that health and well-being fit this definition. In fact, few would debate that health is precious. However, the more important health sector issue relating to Article 2, is the extent of Maori rights to self-determination in healthcare provision. It is one thing to acknowledge that health is taonga within the meaning of Article 2 -- it is an entirely different thing to acknowledge that Maori have the right to manage and control their own healthcare provision.

Government's key statement on the Treaty of Waitangi, as it applies to health, is Whaia Te Ora Mo Te Iwi 1992. In it Government states:
 Any discussion about Maori issues in the health sector must begin with an
 acknowledgement of the relationship between the Crown, this legislation and
 the Treaty of Waitangi.... The Government regards the Treaty of Waitangi as
 the founding document of New Zealand, and intends to address land and
 health issues through consultation and discussion. (p.22)

However, Whaia Te Ora Mo Te Iwi goes on to say:
 The claim that the protection of the health of Maori has (through Article
 2) a special claim on New Zealanders as a whole, over and above the
 responsibility of the Crown to secure the health of all citizens is,
 however, not one the Government accepts. (p.23)

This is a clear example of Government using Treaty-based language and concepts while denying that it has specific Treaty obligations. This leads to inconsistency between Government's official statements on the Treaty and the application of Treaty principles at an operational level.

Developments have been occurring at an operational level, however, that have enhanced Maori control over health services. In particular, two of the Regional Health Authorities developed partnership arrangements with Maori that enabled Maori communities to have considerable input into health service purchasing decisions. These partnership arrangements are continuing under the new Health Funding Authority. The growth of coordinated care is also increasing opportunities for Maori to manage their own service purchasing.

These developments raise the interesting phenomenon of Government's purchasing and delivery agencies taking a more open approach to Treaty issues than the central policymaking agencies. The centre has allowed greater liberalism in Treaty interpretation as long as specific obligations for Government are not created.

Iwi Social Services

The discussion in this section explores the Department of Social Welfare's Iwi Social Services policy from a Treaty perspective. It does not comment more generally on the effectiveness of Iwi Social Services as social policy.

Iwi Social services are provided for by section 396 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989, which states:
 The Director-General may, from time to time, on application made to the
 Director-General, approve any incorporated body (being a body established
 by an iwi) as an Iwi Social Service for the purposes of this Act.

 The Director-General may grant an approval under this section subject to
 such conditions as the Director-General thinks fit.

The powers of Iwi Social Services are specified in section 402 of the Act, which states:
 Where, pursuant to any provision of this Act, a child or young person is
 placed in the care or custody or under the guardianship of an Iwi Social
 Service or a Cultural Social Service, the Convenor of that Social Service
 shall have and may exercise or carry out, on behalf of the Social Service,
 all rights, powers, and duties in respect of the child or young person that
 are conferred or imposed on the Social Service by virtue of this Act.

In other words, the Director-General of Social Welfare may delegate various powers in relation to the care and supervision of children and young persons to Iwi Social Services under the Act. The Act stipulates that Iwi Social Services must be established by Iwi Authorities, i.e., they must have tribal support. The Act neither prescribes nor proscribes the specific powers to be delegated to Iwi Social Services. Neither does the Act articulate the key principles underlying the Iwi Social Services policy.

Initial progress on the development of Iwi Social Services was slow. The 1992 Report of the Ministerial Review of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act (the Mason Report) highlighted concerns about a lack of progress in developing Iwi Social Services. The first contract was only signed in 1994, five years into the implementation of the Act, and in 1997 there were still only two contracts signed. Currently, however, there are contracts with 13 iwi and a further 15 are approved to contract for services.

Iwi Social Services and the Treaty

As already discussed, the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act acknowledges the special needs of Maori, but avoids creating Treaty obligations for Government by not mentioning the Treaty. Published policy documents on Iwi Social Services also make no reference to Article 2 applying to social policy. The principles on which the Iwi Social Services policy is based are expressed by the Department of Social Welfare in the following way in their Iwi Social Services Information Pack (1997):
 The CYPF Act requires that families and whanau, hapu, iwi and family groups
 be involved in deciding the best ways for addressing care and protection
 needs or dealing with offending behaviour. It is the first legislation that
 defines family as any person who has a kinship relationship to a child or
 young person or any person with whom the child or young person has formed a
 significant bond. In the case of Maori children and young persons, the Act
 recognises that family groups can include all members of a hapu or iwi.
 ("Background and Policy Paper" p.7)

Iwi Social Services are therefore based on a set of assumptions about kinship groups being the best-equipped persons to care for children. In this context iwi are extended kinship groups and are seen as those best equipped to care for children with the same tribal background. The policy does not rest upon objectives for tribal development or self-determination, but much of the language used in the Iwi Social Services Information Pack incorporates concepts and values based on Article 2. For example:
 In Maori society, children are taonga. ("Question and Answer Paper" p.1);

 [by the secondment of social workers the policy will be able] ... to meet
 the spirit and intention of the Act and the Treaty of Waitangi i.e., iwi
 will have the same statutory authority (Tino Rangatiratanga) over their own
 children and young people as DSW. ("Ngati Ruanui Question and Answer Paper"

This last quote could be seen as implying a commitment on behalf of the Department of Social Welfare to facilitate tino rangatiratanga. The language is ambiguous though and is probably not intended to be an affirmation of Article 2's applicability to social policy. However, this does raise an issue with Iwi Social Services, i.e., the policy looks like it is based on Article 2. With its focus on affirming the authority of iwi and the use of language such as that quoted above, the observer could be forgiven for being confused about Government's intentions. In addition, by discriminating against Maori who choose to organise themselves along non-tribal lines for social services purposes, the policy may contravene Article 3.

The Waipareira Report

The Waitangi Tribunal recently issued its report on a claim by Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust, a non-tribal Maori community organisation based in West Auckland, that it had been discriminated against by the funding policies of the Community Funding Agency of the Department of Social Welfare. The Trust is a charitable organisation that provides many forms of assistance to the people of West Auckland. It is involved in a large number of programmes concerning education, housing, employment, vocational training, health and community services. The Report's findings bear directly on Iwi Social Services and have wide implications for social policy in general, so are discussed here.

In many respects the Report's findings are consistent with previous rulings by the Tribunal. The Report affirms that the Treaty must be interpreted holistically, not in a piecemeal, article-by-article fashion, and that all of the Treaty applies to all Maori, not just iwi or hap,, in their dealings with the Crown. Importantly the Tribunal did not uphold Te Whanau o Waipareira's claim that they should have iwi status for the purposes of Department of Social Welfare funding. But the Tribunal did determine that Te Whanau o Waipareira, as a group of Maori, exercised tino rangatiratanga. In the context of this claim, the principle of rangatiratanga is that Maori should control their own tikanga and taonga, including their social and political organisation, and, to the extent practicable and reasonable, fix their own policy and manage their own programmes.

Two important principles can be drawn from the ruling:

* The application of the principle of tino rangatiratanga, in the sense of admitting rights of autonomous action and management, is a right that belongs to all Maori communities in their relationships with the Crown, including relationships that are about social service delivery. Government's responsibility to actively protect tino rangatiratanga applies to all Maori communities.

* Iwi status only applies where Maori groups have common ancestry. However, common ancestry in itself does not guarantee the exercise of tino rangatiratanga. Similarly the exercise of tino rangatiratanga is not restricted to iwi.

The second of these principles has importance for the settlement of Treaty-based property claims.

The Report poses some interesting questions for the social policy sector, and could have considerable implications for the current delivery of education, health, welfare and other services. While the Tribunal found that the Treaty was directed to the protection of Maori interests generally, and not limited to the protection of classes of property rights under Article 2 (such as the management of lands, estates, forests and fisheries), it did not make any general findings on the application of the Treaty to social policy. This question has been left for the Crown and Maori to determine together. The Tribunal did, however, recommend a separate output class for social and welfare services to Maori, more and improved consultation with Maori about the allocation of resources for social services, and a more coordinated approach across social sectors. In particular, it recommended that,
 in developing and applying social policy for the delivery or funding of
 social services to Maori, the Department of Social Welfare and Community
 Funding Agency deal with any Maori community which has demonstrated its
 capacity to exercise rangatiratanga in welfare matters, so that all
 interaction between Crown and community should enhance the exercise of that
 rangatiratanga. This necessitates changes to the policies and practices of
 the department and its agencies as they apply to non-kin-based communities
 in particular. Such consultation with Te Whanau Waipareira would
 demonstrate acceptance of Waipareira's rangatiratanga and do much to ensure
 the effectiveness of its welfare programmes in the future. (pp.235-6)

The Waipareira Report states that the proper application of Treaty principles to social policy is yet to be determined. However, the Report seems to pose a challenge to the Crown's interpretation of Article 3, that in the delivery of social services to Maori, the Crown need only ensure Maori equal citizenship rights. Waipareira takes the debate about the meaning of Article 3 a step further than the traditional distinction between equality of outcomes or opportunity, and finds that the expression found in Article 3 that "Her Majesty the queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection", is to be read separately from the words that follow -- "and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects". Article 3 therefore contains two messages: the protection of Maori as a people and the assurance to them of equal citizenship rights -- not one message as the Crown has so far assumed (p.21). The Tribunal referred to its finding in the Muriwhenua Fishing Report:
 In the context of the overall scheme for settlement, the fiduciary
 undertaking of the Crown is much broader and amounts to an assurance that
 despite settlement Maori would survive and because of that they would also

The survival of Maori depends on adequate housing, education and health care. According to Waipareira then, it could be argued that the Crown has an obligation under the Treaty to make sure these things are available to Maori to ensure that Maori survive and prosper. The principle of protection must, of course, be balanced against the principle of reasonableness, which recognises that the Crown's resources are limited. The Tribunal did not, however, consider this point; its main emphasis was on protection of rangatiratanga.

Government is not bound by the Waipareira Report's findings. However, it is likely that a social policy response to the Report will be required, at the very least to clarify Government's intentions with respect to Iwi Social Services. As yet Government has not responded, but it almost certainly will do so.

The Report calls into question Government's current stance on the application of Article 2 to social policy. However, there are risks inherent in adopting a more holistic approach to Treaty issues in the social policy arena that are difficult to assess and Government wishes to avoid those risks. Whatever Government decides to do about the Waipareira Report, greater coherence in its approach to Treaty issues in the social policy area would be highly desirable both to manage risk for Government and to provide certainty for Maori.


To summarise, the key features of the application of the Treaty to social policy at present are:

* Maori demands for greater self-determination;

* unwillingness by Government to concede a Treaty-based right to self-determination in the social policy arena;

* a more liberal interpretation of the Treaty at the delivery end of the social services spectrum than at the policy end;

* apparent contradiction between Government's articulated position on the Treaty in social policy, and the language and concepts used by its own policy documents;

* the Waipareira findings which appear to oblige Government to protect the exercise of tino rangatiratanga by non-tribal Maori groups, including Maori social service providers.

We believe that Government's approach to Treaty issues in the social policy arena is currently unclear and inconsistent. This is confusing not just to Maori, but also to employees of Government agencies that work in the area. It is a situation that is fraught with risk for Government because, where Government itself does not take a clear lead, it may find the initiative being taken by the courts or by the Waitangi Tribunal instead.

Government has a choice to ignore the issues or to take a pro-active stance and consult openly with Maori about their aspirations for social policy development. Fleras and Maaka (1998) in describing Government-Maori relations in the 1990s state:
 On the assumption that we are all in this together for the long haul, it
 would appear more urgent than ever to re-calibrate Maori-Pakeha discourses
 around the principles of constructive engagement. Yet there is a long
 distance to go before this interactional pattern is established. (p.50)

The Treaty above all else envisages a relationship of openness and goodwill between two peoples who have agreed that the interests of both are strengthened by partnership. This should involve on-going dialogue in an atmosphere of trust rather than a relationship characterised by suspicion and litigation. Partnership should allow for common action around issues of common concern, but it should also allow for the health and development of both cultures as equal and distinct.

The role of Government in advancing the discourse beyond its current point will be crucial. It will require Government to engage in an open dialogue with Maori about social policy objectives rather than seeking to set the terms of the debate as it does at present. Ultimately this must involve greater, and more explicit, recognition of Maori rights to self-determination.

(1) Mark has a background in Social Work and Social Policy. He is of Tainui descent.

(2) Kim has a background in Law.

(3) The reader is referred to Orange (1987) for a detailed account of the signing of the Treaty.

(4) The full text of the Maori version of the Treaty is given in the appendix.

(6) The term social rights in this context refers to those rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976) and includes education, physical and mental health, social security, standard of living, employment, and protection of children and family. Social rights are contrasted to civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and security of the person; protection against discrimination; equality before the law and democracy. Civil and political rights, which arose much earlier than social rights, are generally considered to be inalienable and are more widely recognised internationally.

(7) The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are considered below.

(8) New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [1987] 1 NZLR 641 (the Lands case).

(9) Motonui-Waitara Report, p51.

(10) See preamble of Act.

(11) New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [1992] NZLR 557.

(12) Custom.


Department of Health (1992) Whaia Te Ora Mo Te Iwi: Strive for the Good Health of the People, Wellington.

Department of Social Welfare (1997) Iwi Social Services Information Pack, Wellington.

Durie, M. (1994) Whaiora: Maori Health Development, Oxford University Press, Auckland.

Durie, M. (1998) Te Mana, Te Kawanatanga: The Politics of Maori Self-Determination, Oxford University Press, Auckland.

Fleras, A. & Maaka, R. (1998) "Rethinking Claims-Making as Maori Affairs Policy" He Pukenga Korero, 3(2):43-51.

McHugh, P. (1991) The Maori Magna Carta: New Zealand Law and the Treaty of Waitangi, Oxford University Press, Auckland.

Orange, C. (1987) The Treaty of Waitangi, Allen and Unwin Wellington.

Renwick, W. (ed) (1991) Sovereignty and Indigenous Rights: The Treaty of Waitangi in International Contexts, Victoria University Press, Wellington.

Spiller, P., J. Finn and R. Boast (1995) A New Zealand Legal History, Brookers, Wellington. Walghan Partners (1996) The Treaty of Waitangi and Social Policy Project, June.



Ko Wikitoria te Kuini o Ingarani tana mahara atawai ki nga Rangatira me nga Hapu o Nu Tirani i tana hiahia hoki kia tohungia ki a ratou o ratou rangatiratanga me to ratou wenua, a kia mau tonu hoki te Rongo ki a ratou me te Atanoho hoki kua wakaaro ia he mea tika kia tukua mai tetahi Rangatira -- hei kai wakarite ki nga Tangata maori o Nu Tirani -- kia wakaaetia e nga Rangatira maori te Kawanatanga o te Kuini ki nga wahikatoa o te wenua nei me nga motu -- nate mea hoki he tokomaha ke nga tangata o tona Iwi Kua noho ki tenei wenua, a e haere mai nei.

Na ko te Kuini e hiahia ana kia wakaritea te Kawanatanga kia kaua ai nga kino e puta mai kite tangata maori kite Pakeha e noho ture kore ana.

Na kua pai te Kuini kia tukua a hau a Wiremu Hopihona he Kapitana i te Roiara Nawi hei Kawana mo nga wahi katoa o Nu Tirani e tukua aianei amua atu kite Kuini, e mea atu ana ia ki nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga o nga hapu o Nu Tirani me era Rangatira atu enei ture ka korerotia nei.

Ko te tuatahi

Ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai i uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu kite Kuini o Ingarani ake tonu atu -- te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.

Ko te tuarua

Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangatira ki nga hapu -- ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa atu ka tuku kite Kuini te hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te tangata nona te wenua -- kite ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

Ko te tuatoru

Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetaiiga kite Kawanatanga o te Kuini -- Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

[signed] W. Hobson Consul & Lieutenant Governor

Na ko matou ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga o nga hapu o Nu Tirani ka huihui nei ki Waitangi ko matou hoki ko nga Rangatira o Nu Tirani ka kite nei i te ritenga o enei kupu. Ka tangohia ka wakaaetia katoatia e matou, koia ka tohungia ai o matou ingoa o matou tohu.

Ka meatia tenei ki Waitangi i te ono o nga ra o Pepueri i te tau kotahi mano, e waru rau e wa te kau o to tatou Ariki.


Her Majesty Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favor the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order has deemed it necessary in consequence of the great nurriber of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorized to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands -- Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the native population and to Her subjects has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorize me William Hobson a Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy Consul and Lieutenant Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be or hereafter shall be ceded to Her Majesty to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

Article the first

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have riot become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely -- and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Article the second

Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf

Article the third

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

[signed] W. Hobson Lieutenant Governor

Now therefore We the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria in Waitangi and We the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified.

Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

Mark Barrett(1)

Policy Advisor, Ministry of Justice

Kim Connolly-Stone(2)

Senior Policy Analyst Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development)
COPYRIGHT 1998 Ministry of Social Development
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Connolly-Stone, Kim
Publication:Social Policy Journal of New Zealand
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1998

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