Mana Wāhine Inquiry

Mehemea ka moemoeā ahau, ko ahau nake, Mehemea ka moemoeā tātou, ka taea e tātou.

If I dream, I dream alone, if we dream collective, we shall achieve. Nā Te Puea Herangi

Karanga te pō karanga te aō.

Wāhine mā, nau mai kia mihi atu mātou, Manatū Wāhine, te roopū Mana Wāhine.

Kei kōnei, e whakamānawa te kunenga mai o te tangata. Ko tō mana, he mana tuku iho i heke mai i ngā māreikura o nunui mā, o roroa mā. Puritia tō mana tuku iho kia ita, paiheretia ki te rangimārie, e puta ai koe ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama.

No rēira, kei runga o te ukaipo o Papatuanuku, kei raro o te korowai o ngā tūpuna wāhine.

Nau mai, whakatau mai.

Welcome to the Mana Wāhine Inquiry page. This page will be used for regular updates about the inquiry progress and mahi from the Ministry for Women, the joint working Mana Wāhine roopū.

He aha te kaupapa o te Mana Wāhine rapunga? (What is the Mana Wāhine inquiry?)

In 2015, the Waitangi Tribunal announced a comprehensive programme of kaupapa inquires. Kaupapa inquiries deal with issues of national significance which will require a whole of New Zealand Government response.  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).

The Wai 2700 Mana Wāhine Inquiry will inquire into claims which allege prejudice to Māori women arising from Crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi with damage to their customary roles and relationships with their whenua, whakapapa and mātauranga, with serious prejudicial consequences for their social, economic, cultural and spiritual well-being, and their access to leadership roles.

At the heart of all the claims is the loss of rangatiratanga and the social, economic, environmental and cultural loss that has occurred from this loss of recognition of wāhine rangatiratanga. The roles and responsibilities of wāhine Māori are crucial to Te Ao Māori, iwi, hapū, marae and whānau.

Some of the themes across the claims received include:

  • Social Sector – Education, health, justice, family and sexual violence, housing
  • Cultural – Leadership and decision-making roles
  • Economic – Employment including the wāhine Māori pay gap and pay equity
  • Environment – Resource management and land tenure

Who is on the Waitangi Tribunal panel?

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 Ruakere Hond were appointed as members of the Tribunal Panel. On 23 November 2020 Chief Judge W W Isaac appointed Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith as an additional panel member.

What has been happening in recent months?

Two tūāpapa (contextual) hearings have already been held and there is expected to be three more in 2021. 

Judge Reeves has agreed to begin the inquiry with an exploration of the tikanga of mana wāhine and the pre-colonial understanding of wahine in Te Ao Māori.

The first tūāpapa hearing took place in Kerikeri from 3-5 February 2021 and the second tūāpapa hearing took place in Ngāruawāhia from 24-26 February 2021. Members of the joint roopū attended the hearings as part of the Crown delegation.

A Judicial Conference was held on 5 October 2020. Agenda items included korero about the exploratory scoping report released by the Waitangi Tribunal Chief Historian, any additional research to fill major gaps in evidential coverage; the joint research committee, funding for claimant research and tūāpapa (contextual) hearing planning. The Tribunal issued Memorandum-Directions following the Judicial Conference on on 20 October 2020. Specific matters arising from the Judicial Conference were addressed including:

  • submissions on research and the Chief Historian’s pre-casebook discussion paper (the exploratory scoping report);
  • membership of the joint research committee;
  • proposed venues and locations for the tūāpapa hearings in February 2021; and
  • the process for claim eligibility.

What is coming up?

Hearing 3             Whangārei (12-16 July 2021)

Hearing 4             Tauranga (November/December 2021)

Hearing 5             Ōtaki or Te Wai Pounamu (November/December 2021)

Ko wai mātou (Who are we?)

The Crown’s participation in the inquiry is being led by the Minister for Women Hon Jan Tinetti and Minister for Māori Development Hon Willie Jackson.

The joint roopū is located within the Ministry for Women and has been jointly established with Te Puni Kōkiri. The Mana Wāhine roopū has three main focus areas:

  • To form a collaborative approach to the Mana Wāhine inquiry, in partnership with claimants.
  • To lead and support the Crown’s involvement in the Waitangi Tribunal Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry and its response to the issues raised.
  • To work closely with other government agencies to help improve outcomes and focus for wāhine Māori.

The Mana Wāhine roopū was formally established in November 2019.

  • Kaiwhakahaere Matua (Director): Nicola Ngawati (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine)
  • Kaiārahi Kaupapahere (Policy Lead); Milly Tamaki (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Hikairo)
  • Kaiārahi Kōtuitui (Engagement Lead): Vacant
  • Kairuruku (Co-ordinator): Joshua Pierson (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rongomai)

Mana Wāhine news

Government achieves 50 percent women on state sector boards, media release from Minister for women, September 2020

International Women's Day - media release from Minister for Women, March 2020 (noting inquiry)

Wāhine Claim progresses  - media release from Minister for Women, July 2019

Waitangi Tribunal Links - links to further information on the Inquiries

Further information

We aim to keep this website as up-to-date as possible.  If you have any pātai please email us.

Thanks to Te Puni Kōkiri for the use of the images on this page.