Initial proposals from government

Ngā kaupapa: Purpose of the Crown/Māori relationship

The government wants to create a thriving, sustainable and future focused economy and environment that will sustain New Zealanders and remain strong long in to the future. This is why we’re focused on reducing poverty and inequality, better housing, better jobs and higher incomes.

This involves being committed to improve results for Māori and meet our Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

To achieve this the Crown/Māori relationship must be strong and the Crown, Māori and all New Zealanders must agree on what should be done.

Overall, the purpose of the Crown/Māori Relations portfolio is to focus on the health of the Crown/Māori relationship. A healthy relationship will assist the Crown and Māori to:

  • improve outcomes for Māori, and the nation generally; and
  • ensure the two parties meet their respective Treaty obligations.

What should the Government do?

The Minister has some initial ideas about what he should focus on but they are not set in stone. We want to know what you think before things are finalised.

The Government’s current intent for the Crown/Māori relationship is to work more effectively with Māori on initiatives that will benefit Māori and the country generally.

The Government also aims to have a more active partnership with Māori. This means that Māori will be able to work with Government to design and create initiatives together, particularly where the Government is working on things that directly affect Māori or that are supposed to bring a specific benefit to Māori.

Ngā uara (values): How will the Crown and Maori work together?

One idea is that the Crown/Māori relationship could be guided by a set of values that build mutual respect, trust and openness. Some proposed values are listed below. You may have some thoughts about these, or want to add something you think is missing.

Partnership
The Crown and Māori will act reasonably, honourably, and in good faith towards each other as Treaty partners.

Participation
The Crown will encourage, and make it easier, for Māori to more actively participate in the relationship.

Protection
The Crown will take active, positive steps to ensure that Māori interests are protected as appropriate.

Recognition of cultural values
The Crown will recognise and provide for Māori perspectives and values.

Use mana enhancing processes (Uphold the mana of everyone involved)
For both the Crown and Māori, the way we work is as important as what we work on. For example, this involves a commitment to early engagement and an ongoing relationship.

Who should the Government be working with?

Who the Crown works with on an issue will depend on the situation, for example its aim and who’s affected.

Sometimes, issues need to be discussed at a national level with a range of Māori representatives. At other times, a better outcome may be achieved by discussing the issue with local Māori or specific groups. 

Crown/Māori Relations priorities

Some possible pieces of work have already been identified. These are listed below. You may have thoughts about these or want to add to this list.

The Minister for Crown/Māori Relations could:

  • take the lead on resetting Crown/Māori relationships on hard issues;
  • find opportunities for active partnerships between the Crown and Māori;
  • measure how healthy the Crown/Māori relationship is over time;
  • help government to better engage with Māori on matters of importance;
  • support Māori capability and capacity to deal with government;
  • lift public sector performance to better respond to Māori issues; and
  • develop a way to deal with contemporary Treaty claims.

These are just some of the priorities the Minister could focus on to help the Government improve its performance and deliver better results for Māori and the nation.