Māori rights and interests

How we acknowledge Māori rights and interests across New Zealand’s environment in our work.

Māori rights and interests refer to our obligation under Te Tiriti o Waitangi in recognising:

  • the application of te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori within an environmental context
  • te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori in the development of legislation, regulation and policy.

Māori rights and interests within the Ministry

Te Ohu Māori

Te Ohu Māori are responsible for ensuring Māori rights and interests are considered in policy across the Ministry.

Three key areas are:

  • to develop, improve and monitor the relationship between the Ministry and Māori so we can deliver effective legislation, regulation and policy that meets our obligations to Māori as a Treaty partner
  • to lead the negotiation of natural-resource related redress with iwi and hapū groups in Treaty of Waitangi settlements
  • to implement our agreements and commitments with settled iwi and hapū groups. This requires developing good working relationships with iwi and hapū groups, as well as partnering with them on environmental work programmes.

Te Ohu Māori work across our Ministry to provide support to Ministry staff when they engage with Māori as part of policy development or when programmes are being delivered.

Te Ihirangi

Te Ihirangi is a Māori-led initiative for climate change.

Te Ihirangi works with the Ministry to raise awareness about climate change by:

  • holding hui throughout Aotearoa - New Zealand
  • collecting data for a GIS platform
  • participating in the Iwi Chair’s forum as a lead advisor on climate change.

Māori Experts for Waste Minimisation

Māori Experts for Waste Minimisation are an advisory group being established to help develop the national strategy for waste.

Kāhui Wai Māori

Kāhui Wai Māori – the Māori Freshwater Forum works collaboratively with the Cross-government Water Taskforce on the development and analysis of policy options. The forum was established in October 2018.