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Te ao Māori

The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi is one of New Zealand's foundational documents and remains central to current politics. Te reo Māori is more widely heard in public and taught in schools, tikanga Māori is being recognised by the legal system, and many historical claims have been settled. But political struggle continues, as the occupation of Ihumātao, debates about statues of colonial figures, and dispute about ownership of freshwater show.

Land and resources

At the heart of Te Tiriti was the Crown's guarantee of undisturbed possession of land and resources. Disputes of ownership and authority to be involved in decisions about land and resources are ongoing. Rights to freshwater, in particular, have been a key issue in recent years.

Wellbeing and services

Whanau Ora, a programme introduced by the Māori Party in 2014, attempted to put whānau and families in control of the services they need to achieve their aspirations. The Waitangi Tribunal's ongoing kaupapa inquiries, including into health services and outcomes, are raising questions about how many services affect and serve Māori.

Te reo Māori and culture

Te reo Māori is the first language of Aotearoa. While relatively few can speak it, more schools are teaching it, more media uses it and demand for courses for adults is increasing.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi and governance

A foundational constitutional document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi is significant to all questions of governance, including the make-up of parliament. In recent decades the Crown has negotiated settlements with hapū and iwi Māori for historical breaches of the Treaty. The current government established Te Arawhiti, the Office for Crown-Māori Relations, to facilitate the government’s work with Māori in a post Treaty settlement era.

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