The Treaty of Waitangi

As part of Māori genealogy, Tangata Whenua is the “people of the land” (Royal, 2005), who came to Aotearoa (New Zealand) from Polynesia in the 13th Century. The “People of the land” had many oral traditions about ancient peoples and Gods that were of the ‘natural world’. Polynesian explorer Kupe encouraged colonization which was developed in Te Reo and therefore, developed Māori identity. A positive Māori identity is good health, using the Hauora health model, and positive educational outcomes even in the presence of adverse social-economic conditions. Māori share stories of Whakapapa that have been handed down through Māori genealogy as part of the development of their own mythology. This is described as being a multitude of ‘departmental gods’ who have their own domain. An early belief is that the first human was Hineahuone, who was a woman. This is acknowledged in Māori Tikanga when the Karanga or female call is the first sound to be heard on a marae when welcoming visitors.
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February in 1840 which is a pivotal part of New Zealand history. New Zealand commemorates the Treaty signing every year as a nationwide holiday. The treaty is both biblically and legally binding, but it was inevitably broken because the English version and Māori version are very different from each other. The Treaty promised Sovereignty in English and Governorship in Māori. The Treaty also promised chieftainship over Māori land, villages and all their treasures. William Hobson and James Busby, ( Orange, 2017) promised, “Britain would guarantee Māori possession of their lands, their fisheries and other prized possessions.” Some believe that The Crown had selective and unclear motives in their role believing they had a role of importance, which manifested in their arrogance, towards Māori. They were outright dishonest and broke the trust between the [British] Crown and Māori! Although The Treaty of Waitangi is celebrated as a holiday but stirs a bunch of emotions for those living in Aotearoa.

All New Zealand working professionals must work in acknowledging the three principles, partnership, protection, and partnership of the Treaty of Waitangi (Beri, 2019).

Through qualifications in trauma and grief, youth, and community I have experience in working under The Treaty of Waitangi principles. I write from the perspective of counselling that acknowledges the importance of the Treaty principles are established in the New Zealand Code of Ethics in counselling that “needs to be followed in conjunction with the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand law”. Counsellors must seek to be informed about the meaning and implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for their work. Counsellors must also take all reasonable steps to be informed about New Zealand law relevant to their work.” Section 4.3. States that professionals must “Actively support the principles of partnership, protection, and participation, which are embodied within the Treaty of Waitangi.” (Code of ethics, 2002).

The principle of partnership is defined as “The sharing of power and decision making”, (Crocket, 2009) which involves working together with Tangata Whenua. Working together is a relevant part of New Zealand's history which encourages Māori to be involved at all levels of the education sector, including decision-making, planning, and development of curriculum.

[Active] Protection means preserving Māori values and traditions, through cultural awareness and protecting stories and cultural history, identity, and language. “The Maori interest should be actively protected by the Crown.” (Hayward, 2004). This describes a commitment to understanding, respecting and valuing Māori.

Participation embodies equality, opportunities, and outcomes for Māori. Working together means acknowledging and applying Māori, beliefs, traditions, and values. These focus on Māori needs and aspirations, thereby promoting empowerment, material, and social advancement, and self-determination.


Chieftainship: The right the exercise authority, autonomy, ownership and leadership or a social group
Hauora: Model of health for Maori.
Hineahuone: The first woman of Maori belief.
Karanga: formal call, ceremonial call, welcome call, call - a ceremonial call of welcome to visitors onto a marae, or equivalent venue.
Maori: Indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand.
Tangata wheneua: Indigenous people born of the land where peoples ancestors have lived and buried.
Te Reo: Maori language
Tikanga: The customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social practice.
Whakapapa: Genealogy, ancestors.

Beri, K. (2019). Learning from the Waitangi tribunal Māori health report. Retrieved from
Calman, R. (2017). Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ministry of Education. Retrieved from
Crocket, A. (2009). Interpreting “Partnership” as a core value-some Implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for the NZAC Code of Ethics New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 29 (2)
Goss, S., n.d., A Supervisory Revolution? The Impact of New Technology [Abstract]. - Taking Supervision Forward: Enquiries and Trends in Counselling and Psychotherapy, article (p.175-189)
Hayward, J. (2004). Story: Teture-Māori and legislation. Retrieved from
Keane, B. (2012) Story: Te Kawa o te Marae. Retrieved
Moorfield, J. (2003). Te Aka Māori. Retrieved from www.


Orange, C. (2017) James Busby. New Zealand History-Nga Korero a ipurangi o Aotearoa
Information and Guidelines, 2020, Becoming a Provisional Member of NZAC – 2020 Policy, policy outline document,



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