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The Treaty of Waitangi and Treaty settlements
This is a single section from Chapter 4. Read the full chapter here.
In the event of a conflict between the proposed legislation and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, does the legislation include additional measures to safeguard Māori interests?
When legislation has the potential to conflict with the rights or interests of Māori under the Treaty, additional measures should be considered to ensure recognition of the principles of the Treaty or the particular rights concerned.
Two general classes of measures may be included in legislation to acknowledge or safeguard Māori rights and interests under the Treaty:
- General measures: These measures relate to the manner in which the legislation is administered or the way a power is exercised: For example, s 4 of the Conservation Act 1987 provides “This Act shall so be interpreted and administered as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”. Section 9 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 provides “Nothing in this Act shall permit the Government to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”.
- Specific measures: The interests affected should be identified in the legislation along with the specific means of protecting them, such as the obtaining of consents if consultation is deemed insufficient. For example, s. 4 of the Environmental Protection Authority Act 2011 provides:
“In order to recognise and respect the Government’s responsibility to take appropriate account of the Treaty of Waitangi, -
(a) section 18 establishes the Māori Advisory Committee to advise the Environmental Protection Authority on policy, process, and decisions of the EPA under an environmental Act; and
(b) the EPA and any person acting on behalf of the EPA must comply with the requirements of an environmental Act in relation to the Treaty, when exercising powers or functions under the Act”.