Mana Wāhine Inquiry

In December 2018, the Waitangi Tribunal formally initiated the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry into claims alleging prejudice to wāhine Māori arising from Crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, in both historical (pre-September 1992) and contemporary times (the Inquiry).

Kaupapa inquiries are thematic inquiries by the Waitangi Tribunal into claims which raise nationally significant issues affecting Māori or groups of Māori as a whole, in similar ways, where the claim have not previously been heard.

Approximately 120 statements of claim raising mana wāhine issues have been filed with the Waitangi Tribunal between the 1990s and February 2019.  Issues raised in the statements of claim relate to the alleged damage caused by Crown actions to customary roles of wāhine Māori, and their relationships with their lands and whakapapa, along with the impact on the status and wellbeing of wāhine Māori in relation to:

  • employment, including the wāhine Māori pay gap and pay equity
  • whānau and sexual violence
  • the justice system, including the incarceration of wāhine Māori
  • child protection and welfare
  • wāhine Māori in leadership and decision-making roles (including in local government and natural resource management)
  • education, health, and housing.

The Crown’s participation in the Inquiry is being led by the Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter, and the Ministry for Women, in partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry for Māori Development, and other relevant departments.

In December 2018 Judge Sarah Reeves was appointed the presiding officer of the Inquiry and on 7 August 2019 Dr Robyn Anderson, Kim Ngarimu and Dr Rukere Hond were appointed as members of the Tribunal Panel.

Mana Wāhine news

16 September 2019 -  the Presiding Officer issued a direction extending any new or amended statements of claim until midday Friday 8 November 2019. Following this the Tribunal will undertake a process of aggregation and consolidation of the claims into the Inquiry (Wai 2700 #2.5.10).

Mana Wāhine claim progressing

Other information

Karanga: Ngā reo o ngā Wāhine Māori

In 1995, as part of the celebration of Te Tau o Teo Reo Māori the Ministry of Women's Affairs (now Ministry for Women) arranged for Māori women to be interviewed in Te Reo Māori. The interviews were recorded, and portraits of the women involved were taken. You can listen to these on our website now.