Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The Tiriti Statute sets out a clear pathway for applying the Treaty of Waitangi and ensures its continued relevance to the University’s operations.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington adopted Te Tiriti o Waitangi Statute in February 2019, replacing the earlier Treaty of Waitangi. We were the first university in New Zealand to have a Treaty of Waitangi Statute and this new version further reinforces that commitment. The Tiriti Statute centres around eight principles that are drawn from Te Tiriti o Waitangi, New Zealand case law, Waitangi Tribunal reports, Crown policy documents, the University’s governance documents, and mātauranga Māori. As with any university statute, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Statute is on a regular review cycle with the Council and will be revised as required.

These pages are intended to help the University’s Council, staff, and students give effect to the Tiriti principles in practical and impactful ways. The text should be read as current good practice at the University but with an understanding that this is not an exhaustive list of our Tiriti-based relationships and responsibilities. As new contexts and opportunities arise, this content will continue to be extended, revised, and improved.

Principle of kāwanatanga

The word ‘kāwanatanga’ is used to describe the concept of governance.

Principle of rangatiratanga

The principle of rangatiratanga recognises Māori autonomy and self-determination, as guaranteed in Article 2 of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Principle of kōwhiringa

The principle of kōwhiringa acknowledges Māori rights to pursue their own personal direction, whether that be in accordance with tikanga Māori or not.

Principle of mahi tahi

The principle of mahi tahi (partnership) requires Māori and the Crown to work together for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Principle of kaitiakitanga

Kaitiakitanga ensures that Māori rights are actively protected through honourable conduct, fair processes, robust consultation, and good decision-making.

Principle of whai wāhi

The principle of whai wāhi (participation) ensures that Māori are fully involved in all parts of New Zealand society.

Principle of rite tahi

The principle of rite tahi (equality) focuses on providing an environment that supports equitable Māori outcomes.

Principle of whakaoranga

The principle of whakaoranga (redress) provides for the effective resolution of Māori grievances.