Principle 2: Treaty-based relationships with TAngata Whenua    

Engagement in treaty-based relationships with Tāngata Whenua is critical to support the capacity of Māori to restore mana to Māori victims/survivors as individuals and as a group, and is fundamental to meeting the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“At the heart of the Treaty is the notion of partnership, one that encourages cooperation, consultation, mutual benefit, compassion, compromise and good faith”. [1]

The Treaty relationship:

  • Exists between whānau, hapū and iwi who have whakapapa to a shared Māori ancestry and Tauiwi who are all those people of other cultures who have chosen to make this land their home.

  • Is based on a shared agreement that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document for relationships between Tangata Whenua within Aotearoa and Tauiwi who have entered New Zealand. Signed in 1840, the Treaty was understood by Māori to protect their rangatiratanga (chiefly autonomy) and resources, and to make for a peaceful and ordered society [2]
  • “ Treaty-based thinking instructs us to aspire to relationships that are: honest and genuine, where parties have integrity and are actively protective and allow room for growth to realise potentials and to respond to changing circumstances”. [3]
  • Acknowledges that Tāngata Whenua and Tauiwi are entitled to be guided by the values and practices which derive from their respective world views.
    For Tāngata Whenua this includes the recognition of the unique customary and contemporary structures and practices of whānau, hapū and iwi, being provided for and fully engaged, the application of a holistic approach to well-being, rather than an individualistic approach, and  Māori perspectives and holistic approaches to family violence prevention being recognised and given a high priority in policy and service development. [4]

    - In partnership Tauiwi can advocate for Kaupapa Māori and decolonising approaches to be more fully supported and engaged within the sexual violence sector, and support the development of a clearly developed research strategy that enables in-depth research to be undertaken from a Kaupapa Māori approach. [5]
    - Requires equitable and adequate access to resources and decision making so that both Tangata Whenua and Tauiwi may properly participate in responding to sexual violence and eliminating sexual violence from our communities. 

  1.  Hoeata, C., Nikora, L.,W. Li, W., Young-Hauser, A., &  Robertson, N. (2011). MAI Review 3, Māori women and intimate partner violence: Some socio-cultural influences. Page 1 of 12, p.2.
  2. Te Puni Kōkiri. (2010). Arotake Tükino Whānau: Literature review on family violence. Wellington: Te Puni Kōkiri.
  3.  Hoeata, C., Nikora, L.,W. Li, W., Young-Hauser, A., &  Robertson, N. (2011). MAI Review 3, Māori women and intimate partner violence: Some socio-cultural influences. Page 1 of 12, p.2.
  4. Ministry of Social Development. (2002). Te Rito NZ Family Violence Prevention Strategy. Wellington
  5. Pihama, L.,  Te Nana, R., Cameron, N., Smith, C., Reid, J., & Southey, K. (2016). Māori cultural definitions of sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse in Australia and New Zealand, June 2016, 7(1), 43-51.

Practice Examples

  1. The two house model of TOAH-NNEST is an example of a Treaty-based relationship.  The separate groups of Nga Kaitiaki Mauri and Tauiwi caucus, while running their own houses, together form the relationship that is TOAH-NNEST.
  2. The following clause from the constitution of SASH-Nelson (Sexual Abuse Support and Healing) demonstrates their commitment to tangata whenua and the Treaty of Waitangi.
    Objective 3.2    To provide services which are culturally inclusive and reflect Te Ao Maori me Te Ao Pakeha, and to support kaupapa Maori services and Maori aspirations for tino rangatiratanga, thereby upholding te Tiriti O Waitangi.

  3. Wellington HELP puts this commitment into practice in the following ways:

  • Provision of Maori supervision.
  • An agenda item every team meeting (for all employed people) is to discuss an aspect of HELP’s work given treaty based relationships so e.g. what are the ways we are responsive to the needs of whanau Maori right from when they first make contact with HELP, first enter the reception and are greeted and so on.
  • Maori are part of the interviewing team for prospective employees.
  • Representation at governance level.