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?

Two tūāpapa (contextual) hearings have been held in February 2021 (Kerikeri from 3-5 February and Ngāruawāhia from 24-26 February 2021). There is expected to be four more through to the end of February 2022.

  • 12- 16 July 2021, Tūāpapa Hearing 3, Terenga Paraoa Marae in Whāngarei

  • 22-26 November 2021, Tūāpapa Hearing 4, Te Manuka Tutahi Marae Whakatāne

  • 13-17 December 2021, Tūāpapa Hearing 5, Wellington or Otaki (to be confirmed)

  • February 2022, Tūāpapa Hearing 6, Ōtautahi, Christchurch

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.

Members of the joint roopū attended the hearings as part of the Crown delegation. A number of Judicial Conferences have been held with the most recent one on 14 June 2021. This Conference focused on a discussion of the Tribunal’s proposal for a parallel process (Takapou Whāriki) to record oral evidence outside of the scope for the tūāpapa hearings. This process aims to record kōrero from wāhine and their whanau that is outside the scope of evidence required for the tūāpapa hearings. The Tribunal is piloting this parallel process at the Whāngarei hearing and will review it in late July. 

Inquiry – directions on research reports

Judge Reeves released further directions on 2 June 2021 confirming the Tribunal’s commissioned research reports for the Mana Wāhine Inquiry and outlining next steps for the research programme. Judge Reeves has confirmed that the original four research projects initially proposed by the Tribunal will be commissioned by the Tribunal, alongside two further research projects, as requested by claimants (on employment and contemporary economic issues). Draft project briefs for these six research projects will be circulated to parties for feedback within the next few months. Once feedback is received, the project briefs will be finalised and commissioned by the end of 2021 and are expected to be fully completed by late 2022.

Here are the details:

  • Overview Report 1: Focusing on the theme of protection and the impacts of Crown actions, policy, practice and legislation on the ability of wāhine Māori to exercise rangatiratanga over their role, status and knowledge from 1840 to 1950.
  • Overview Report 2: Focusing on the theme of equity and the impact of Crown policies, practices and legislation on disparities in outcomes and well-being for wāhine Māori from 1950 to c.2000.
  • Contemporary justice issues: As a case study regarding equity and disparities in outcomes and well-being) for the period 1990 to 2018.
  • Representation and access to leadership opportunities for wāhine Māori: Examining the effects of Crown policies, practices and legislation on the ability of wāhine Māori to access leadership, governance, political and decision-making roles, particularly in the state sector.

Judge Reeves has also commissioned a further two research projects, as requested by claimants:

  • Employment related issues: Focusing on the experiences of discrimination and inequity faced by wāhine Māori in employment contexts. 
  • Contemporary economic issues: Focusing on the impact of Crown policies, practices and legislation on wāhine Māori.
  • The Crown is also responsible for a Crown Stats project for the period 1950-2018.  The Joint Roopū is working with StatsNZ in preparation for requests from researchers for Crown statistics and research.

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.

Mana Wāhine news

The latest Stocktake of Gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Diversity on public sector boards and committees shows that 22.3 percent of board members are Māori (up from 21.1 percent last year) and Wāhine Māori currently hold 12.2 percent of public sector board roles - media release from Ministers Tinetti, Sio and Radhakrishnan, July 2021

Submission from Te Puni Kōkiri and Manatū Wāhine to the general discussion on the rights of indigenous women and girls, organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and held by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) . A copy of the submission is on the CEDAW website.

Waitangi Tribunal Members’ Conference Speech Hon Willie Jackson 30 March 2021

National Statement to the Commission on the Status of Women Hon Jan Tinetti 17 March 2021

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.