Māori Engagement

‘Ka whakaatu i ngā tikanga me ngā whakaaro Māori ki roto i ngā mahi a te Karauna me ngā tari Kawanatanga. An effective, efficient and inclusive engagement process should reflect Māori perspectives and cultural values.’ (Te Arawhiti)

Agencies and engagement practitioners in New Zealand must take a partnering approach when engaging with Māori to build robust, meaningful and enduring relationships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Engagement needs to align with the government’s aspirations for the Māori/Crown partnership. 

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi is a significant source of New Zealand’s constitution and ‘creates a basis for civil government extending over all New Zealanders, on the basis of protections and acknowledgements of Māori rights and interests within that shared citizenry’. (Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi Guidance)

The Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti (name meaning ‘the bridge’) has been established to continue to foster ‘strong, ongoing and effective relationships with Māori across Government’ and ensure that engagement is values-based and meaningful. See more about engagement frameworks, tools and resources here.


Values of engagement

Te Arawhiti specifies that engagement with Māori and the Māori Crown relationship itself be guided by the following values:

Partnership – the Crown and Māori will act reasonably, honourably and in good faith towards each other as Treaty partners.

Participation – the Crown will encourage and make it easier for Māori to more actively participate in the relationship.

Protection – the Crown will take active, positive steps to ensure that Māori interests are protected.

Recognition of Cultural Values – the Crown will recognise and provide for Māori perspectives and values.

Use Mana Enhancing Processes – recognising the process is as important as the endpoint; the Crown will commit to early engagement and ongoing attention to the relationship.

These values provide a basis for working with Māori to respond to their range of needs, aspirations, rights, and interests. They also provide an active partnership with Māori in the design and implementation of engagement processes to achieve shared outcomes (Te Arawhiti). 

The following six partnership principles developed by Te Arawhiti in Building Closer Partnerships with  Māori support this:

  1. Build the relationship before focusing on the work
  2. Plan together from the start
  3. Value each party’s contribution and knowledge
  4. Ensure outcomes are meaningful to all parties
  5. Be open and flexible and accept risk
  6. Share decision making.

The Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti has developed the following resources to assist agencies and practitioners, including 

Please consult with the above Māori engagement resources before determining your engagement approach and methods. They aim to help you choose the most appropriate methods to use in partnership with Māori communities to progress the issues.


Where to go for more information and guidance

Te Arawhiti (The Office for Māori Crown Relations) 

*IAP2 like many organisations, is on a continuous learning journey with engagement and in particular Maori, Pasifika and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement. We will continue to update this page as we learn and grow and encourage our members to reach out and suggest improvements and updates.