About the Tribunal
Login to the extranet
Waitangi Tribunal Introduction
The Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. The Tribunal is a permanent commission of inquiry charged with making recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown, which breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Tribunal comprises up to 20 members, who are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Māori Affairs, for their expertise in the matters that are likely to come before them. It also has a chairperson, who is either a judge or a retired judge of the High Court or the chief judge of the Māori Land Court, and a deputy chairperson, who is a judge of the Māori Land Court. Approximately half the members are Māori and half are Pākehā.
The Tribunal is supported in this by the Ministry of Justice, through the Waitangi Tribunal Unit, which provides administrative, research, and support services. The Tribunal's chairperson and deputy chairperson are based in Wellington and their offices are located alongside the Waitangi Tribunal Unit's offices in the central business district.
The role of the Tribunal, set out in section 5 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act, includes inquiring into and making recommendations upon any claim properly submitted to the Tribunal, examining and reporting on any proposed legislation referred to the Tribunal by the House of Representatives or a Minister of the Crown, and making recommendations or determinations in respect of certain Crown forest land, railways land, State-owned enterprise land, and land transferred to educational institutions.