Mana Wāhine Kaupapa 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 together, we shall achieve.

Nā Te Puea Herangi

Karanga te pō karanga te ao.

Wāhine mā, nau mai kia mihi atu mātou, Manatū Wāhine, ki a koutou.

Kei konei, 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.

Nō reira, kei runga o te ūkaipō o Papatūānuku, kei raro o te korowai o ngā tūpuna wāhine, nau mai, whakatau mai.

Welcome to the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry page. This page provides background and updates about the inquiry progress. Click here for Waitangi Tribunal information on the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry. 

He aha te kaupapa o te pakirehua Mana Wāhine? (What is the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry?)

In 2015, Te Rōpū Whakamana i Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Waitangi Tribunal) announced a comprehensive programme of kaupapa inquires. Kaupapa inquiries deal with issues of national significance which require a whole of New Zealand Government response. In December 2018, the Tribunal formally initiated the Wai 2700 Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry into historical (pre-September 1992 ) and contemporary claims alleging prejudice against wāhine Māori arising from Crown breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Claimants in the Mana Wāhine Inquiry allege that damage to customary roles and relationships with whenua, whakapapa and mātauranga, has caused serious prejudice to their social, economic, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, and access to leadership roles. 

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

Some of the themes identified in the claims include:

  • Social– 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
  • Environmental – resource management and land tenure.

Ko wai mā te kāhui nō Te Rōpū Whakamana i Te Tiriti? (Who is on the Waitangi Tribunal panel?)

In December 2018, Kaiwhakawā Sarah Reeves was appointed presiding officer of the Inquiry. 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, Ahorangi Linda Tuhiwai Smith was added to the panel.

I te ahatia? (What has been happening?)

Six tūāpapa (foundational/contextual) hearings were held in 2021 and 2022 throughout Aotearoa. 

In the Tūāpapa phase, evidence presented was intended to establish a picture of the life, experiences and status of wāhine Māori prior to colonisation. Tūāpapa hearings proceeded regionally to ensure the Tribunal heard about wāhine Māori from a wide range of iwi and hapū.

A strong emphasis on whānau and the centrality of wāhine to whānau, hapū and iwi wellbeing emerged from the kōrero. Prior to colonisation, wāhine Māori were leaders and tohunga (experts), dedicated to the intergenerational transmission of knowledge to support whānau, hapū and iwi wellbeing. 

Ngā Kaupapa Rangahau (Research Projects)

The next phase for the Inquiry will be on research that will form the basis of the evidence the Tribunal will consider in the substantive phase of hearings.

Research commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal

The Tribunal has confirmed it will commission seven research projects: 

  • 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.
  • Employment related issues: Focusing on 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.
  • Takapou Whāriki: this project will gather important mātauranga held by wāhine Māori participating in the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry on the concept of mana wāhine. Takapou Whāriki will comprise two distinct parts: a collection of audio-visual kōrero and a research report on the issues most pertinent and relevant and perspectives raised by participants during the kōrero sessions.

In 2020, a Joint Research Committee (JRC), comprised of representatives from the Mana Wāhine claimant community, claimant counsel, Crown counsel, Manatū Wāhine and Tribunal research staff, was formed to progress important areas of research on behalf of the claimants. The JRC has planned projects in six research areas. There is currently an open tender opportunity relating to the JRC research. Click here to find out more information.

Further information

We aim to keep this website up to date.  If you have any pātai email us at wahine@women.govt.nz.

Ka nui te mihi ki Te Puni Kōkiri mō ngā whakaahua e whakamahia ana ki tēnei whārangi ipurangi. Thanks to Te Puni Kōkiri for the use of the images on this page.