The Conservation Act states, ‘This Act shall so be interpreted and administered as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi’.

The Treaty principles we have identified as most important in our work and how we apply them are described below.  

Partnership – mutual good faith and reasonableness 

The Crown and Māori must act towards each other reasonably and in good faith.  These mutual duties of reasonableness and good faith describe the nature of the relationship between the Crown and Māori. They are the core of what has been described as the Treaty partnership. This principle is about how the Crown should behave to Māori and Māori to the Crown.  

Informed decision-making 

Both the Crown and Māori need to be well informed of the other’s interests and views. When exercising the right to govern, Crown decision makers need to be fully informed. For Māori, full information needs to be provided in order to contribute to the decision-making process. This is connected closely to the principles of good faith and active protection. Consultation is a means to achieve informed decision-making. 

Active protection 

The Crown must actively protect Māori interests retained under the Treaty as part of the promises made in the Treaty for the right to govern. This includes the promise to protect tino rangatiratanga and taonga. Active protection requires informed decision-making and judgement as to what is reasonable in the circumstances. 

Redress and reconciliation 

The Treaty relationship should include processes to address differences of view between the Crown and Māori. The Crown must preserve capacity to provide redress for proven grievances from not upholding the promises made in the Treaty. Māori and the Crown should demonstrate reconciliation as grievances are addressed.

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