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The Principles of the Treaty

Under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, the Waitangi Tribunal has exclusive authority to determine the meaning and effect of the Treaty as it is embodied in the two texts (Māori and English) and to decide issues raised by the difference between them.

The term 'Waitangi Tribunal' is used to refer both to the total membership and to the individual Tribunals that inquire into claims by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown that may breach the principles of the Treaty. It is through its reports that the Tribunal provides its account of the Treaty principles.

In the appendix to the Rangahaua Whanui National Overview report, Dr Janine Hayward discussed the emergence of four reconciling Treaty principles, namely the principle of active protection, the tribal right to self-regulation, the right of redress for past breaches, and the duty to consult. The recognition and adherence to these principles ensure the 'active protection' of Māori language and culture.

Next: The Māori Version