Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry

The Tribunal’s kaupapa inquiry programme is designed to provide a pathway to hear nationally significant claim issues that affect Māori as a whole or a section of Māori in similar ways.

Introduction

Wai 2700 – Mana Wāhine Inquiry will hear outstanding claims which allege prejudice to wāhine Māori as a result of Treaty breaches by the Crown. These claims extend across many fields of Crown policy, practice, acts and omissions, both historical and contemporary, and of related legislation, service provision and state assistance.

Panel Members
Inquiry Progress

In memorandum-directions dated 20 December 2018 (Wai 2700, #2.5.8(external link)), the Chairperson formally initiated the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry and appointed Judge Sarah Reeves as Presiding Officer. The Chairperson then appointed Dr Robyn Anderson, Kim Ngarimu and Dr Ruakere Hond as panel members to this inquiry on 7 August 2019.

A judicial conference was convened on 27 May 2020 to discuss the scope and structure of the inquiry, as well as issues concerning research, claimant funding and overlap with other inquiries. Following the judicial conference, the claimants filed:

  • A paper outlining the proposed scope for the inquiry.
  • A paper setting out a proposed approach for tūāpapa hearings.
  • Draft terms of reference for a joint research committee.
Inquiry scope

The Presiding Officer confirmed the proposed scope for the inquiry in subsequent memorandum-directions, with the central question being the alleged denial of the inherent mana and iho of wāhine Māori and the systemic discrimination, deprivation and inequities experienced as a result. There are four pou to frame the inquiry: rangatiratanga, whenua, whakapapa/whānau and whai rawa.

Tūāpapa hearings

The claimants have expressed a preference to commence with an exploration of the tikanga of mana wāhine and the pre-colonial understanding of wāhine in te ao Māori, to provide a tūāpapa for the inquiry. The Presiding Officer has indicated support for this proposal and has advised that these hearings will commence in February 2021.

Research committee

The purpose of the joint research committee is to ensure that cogent submissions are made to the Tribunal in relation to the Tribunal’s research programme or casebook. The Tribunal released its exploratory scoping report on 31 July 2020.

Parties filed the final terms of reference for the research committee on 28 August 2020.

 Next steps

A current list of claims seeking to participate in the inquiry was released to parties on 26 August 2020.

A judicial conference will be convened on 5 October 2020 to discuss:

  • The exploratory scoping report and any proposals made for additional research to fill major gaps in evidential coverage.
  • The joint research committee and funding for claimant research.
  • Tūāpapa hearing planning, including proposed hearing dates, filing deadlines and hearing locations and venues.
  • Any other matters raised by counsel.
  • Memorandum-directions concerning next steps following judicial conference dated 22 July 2020 (Wai 2700, #2.5.24(external link))
  • Memorandum-directions concerning various extension requests dated 26 August 2020 (Wai 2700, #2.5.27(a)(external link)).
Document requests:

For all document requests for this inquiry, email: WT_Requests@justice.govt.nz

Inquiry requests:

For all inquiry related requests, email: WT.Registrar@justice.govt.nz