Make a Waitangi Tribunal claim

On this page:

What we need to register your claim

Once a claim is submitted to the Waitangi Tribunal, it is checked to see if it meets the requirements set down in the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975.

The basic criteria to meet so we can register your claim

  1. The claimant(s) must be Māori and should specify whom they represent (such as their group, hapū, iwi)
  2. and claim that an ordinance, Act or regulation, order, proclamation, notice or other statutory instrument, or policy or practice, or an act or omission of the Crown
  3. has prejudicially affected the claimant(s)
  4. and that the law, or the action, omission, practice or policy is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

If your claim meets these requirements, it may be registered and assigned a ‘Wai’ number. A ‘Wai’ number is short for Waitangi Tribunal claim.

If it does not meet these requirements, we will contact you to advise you why and ask for further information. 

Points to remember

  • The ‘Crown’ is the central Government. The Tribunal can only inquire into actions of the Crown/central Government. The Crown is not local government (district or regional councils) and it is not the Courts.
  • Any new claim received after 1 September 2008 by the Tribunal can only concern contemporary Crown actions or omissions that occurred on or after 21 September 1992. Any new claim regarding actions that occurred before 21 September 1992 are defined as historical Treaty claims and must have been filed  on or before 1 September 2008.
  • The Tribunal may not inquire into claims that relate to matters that have been settled by the Crown. These are matters over which the Crown has negotiated settlements with particular claimants, and the Tribunal’s authority to inquire into them has been removed by law.
  • The Tribunal cannot inquire into anything in a Bill that has been introduced into Parliament.

How you can file a claim

You can use our template claim form to help guide you in writing your claim. Although there is no standard form for lodging a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, the form below is a helpful tool that lists all our requirements for registration:

Sample Claim Form [PDF, 38 KB]

You can send your claim to us by:


This page was last updated: