In 2015, the Waitangi Tribunal announced a programme of Kaupapa (thematic) inquiries into issues of national significance affecting Māori that require a whole-of-Government response.

The justice system is currently the subject of a Kaupapa inquiry. It formally began in August 2021 and is known as Wai 3060.

Information about the Waitangi Tribunal’s kaupapa inquiries is available on the Waitangi Tribunal’s website at: 

Waitangi Tribunal kaupapa inquiries(external link)

About Wai 3060

On 5 August 2021, Chief Judge Isaac, Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal, formally opened a kaupapa inquiry into claims concerning the justice system (the Inquiry). Chief Judge Isaac appointed Judge Carrie Wainwright as the presiding officer.

Wai 3060 2.5.001 – Memorandum-directions of the Chairperson commencing a kaupapa inquiry into claims concerning the justice system(external link)

The Government’s response to the Inquiry is being led by Hon Kiritapu Allan, Minister of Justice, and the Ministry of Justice. Other agencies and ministers will also have a direct interest in the Inquiry, and some may play a more hands-on role during relevant stages of the Inquiry. 

Scope of the Inquiry

The Inquiry will be wide-ranging and focuses on the administration of justice under the justice system. Claims have already been registered that meet the Inquiry criteria of national scope and significance. Chief Judge Isaac notes that issues arising from those claims include allegations relating to:

  • a lack of recognition of tikanga Māori as a source of law in common law;
  • discrimination against Māori in the statutory and institutional framework for the administration of justice in colonial and modern times;
  • institutional racism and bias in the policy and practice of justice sector organisations;
  • access to justice, including:
    •  legal aid in civil court and tribunal cases
    • claimant funding for progressing Treaty-based claims and rights
    • discrimination against Māori in policing policy and practice
    • prison conditions and the treatment of Māori remand and sentenced prisoners.

The panel for the Inquiry

Judge Carrie Wainwright is the inquiry’s presiding officer and leads a panel appointed by the chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal, Chief Māori Land Court Judge, Wilson Isaac. In addition to Judge Wainwright, the Chief Judge has appointed Dr Ruakere Hond, Dr Paul Hamer and Dr Hana O’Regan as members of the panel for the Inquiry.

Wai 3060 2.5.005 – Memorandum-directions of the Chairperson appointing a Tribunal panel(external link)

Accessing Wai 3060 documents

Official copies of documents issued by the Waitangi Tribunal, or documents filed by the Crown and interested parties, can be found on the Waitangi Tribunal’s website search function. Select the Wai number ‘3060’ from the drop-down menu.

Search Waitangi Tribunal Inquiries(external link)

Claimant funding

Named claimants in the Justice System Kaupapa Inquiry can apply for funding towards costs incurred attending events set down by the Waitangi Tribunal.

A named claimant can apply for funding for themselves, or on behalf of a claimant witness or support person by completing a claimant funding form.

Please see the claimant funding factsheet before making a claim, if you have further questions email:

Claimant funding form [PDF, 281 KB] 

Claimant funding form (Editable PDF) [PDF, 8.8 MB]

Claimant funding factsheet [PDF, 163 KB]