The Waitangi Tribunal recently completed the National Fresh Water and Geothermal Resources inquiry. Stage one, (report released 24 August 2012) concerned a claim about Maori proprietary rights in freshwater bodies and geothermal resources and the Government's plan to sell shares in State-owned enterprises. Stage two (released 27 August 2019) considered the current law in respect of fresh water and freshwater bodies and its consistency with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Treaty has increasing influence on how we approach constitutional policy. In 2015, Matike Mai Aotearoa (the independent working group on constitutional transformation) produced a report bringing together three years of engagement and conversations. The Waitangi Tribunal also intends to conduct a Kaupapa Inquiry into constitutional issues. The Ministry of Justice is the lead agency on the policy approach the Crown takes to the Inquiry.
Cabinet has approved guidance on building closer partnerships with Māori. Te Arawhiti has led development of a Cabinet Circular on the better coordination of contemporary Treaty of Waitangi issues and Treaty of Waitangi guidance in relation to the consideration of Treaty in policy development and implementation.
Other Treaty-related work the Ministry is considering includes examining the use of references to the Treaty in legislation.