Skip to main content

Te Tiriti O Waitangi

Te Tiriti ō Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand expressed as a partnership between the indigenous Māori people of Aotearoa and the Crown.  Māori entered into that agreement with the British to advance their aspirations, affirm their tino rangatiratanga/self-determination and ensure equity

Article 2 relates to the protection of Māori tāonga  - health is a treasure.

Article 3 outlines that Māori receive the same rights as English subjects - this means health status (Came and Tudor, 2016).

The principles of Te Tiriti Ō Waitangi, as expressed by the Courts and the Waitangi Tribunal, provide the platform for how we will meet our responsibilities under Te Tiriti in our day-to-day work. NZBA follows the leadership of the 2019 Hauora report which recommends the following principles for the health care system  (Waitangi Tribunal, 2019). These principles are applicable to wider health and disability system. The principles that apply to our work are as follows.

NZBA recognises its obligations regarding the Te Tiriti ō Waitangi and the principles of the Treaty are demonstrated by the way NZBA practises as an effective treaty partner by:

  • Tino rangatiratanga: The guarantee of tino rangatiratanga, which provides for Māori self-determination and mana motuhake in the design, delivery, and monitoring of health and disability services.
  • Equity: The principle of equity, which requires the health and disability sector to commit to achieving equitable health outcomes for Māori.
  • Active protection: The principle of active protection, which requires the health and disability sector to act, to the fullest extent practicable, to achieve equitable health outcomes for Māori. This ensures that as a Treaty partner are well informed on the extent, and nature, of both Māori health outcomes and efforts to achieve Māori health equity.
  • Options: The principle of options, which requires the Crown to provide for and properly resource kaupapa Māori health and disability services. Furthermore, health and disability sector is obliged to ensure that all health and disability services are provided in a culturally appropriate way that recognises and supports the expression of hauora Māori models of care.
  • Partnership: The principle of partnership, which requires the health and disability sector and Māori to work in partnership in the governance, design, delivery, and monitoring of health and disability services. Māori must be co-designers, with the Crown, of the primary health system for Māori.

The revision of the Baby Friendly Aotearoa Programme to align the revised Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (2018) has a strong focus on improving breastfeeding rates for Māori.


An important focus for the health and disability sector is to address inequity in Māori health status.  Māori aspirations are to lead and fulfil their potential to participate in our society.  However, the root causes of health inequalities are yet to be fully recognised and rectified.  It is imperative that the health sector is challenged to address Māori health issues and that together we can all play an important role in influencing health policy and practice to better meet the needs of Māori.

NZBA is committed to meeting its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti ō Waitangi, and its broader legal obligations in being more responsible and effective for Māori.

Mauri ora ki a tatau katoa,

Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau, te rōpu Māori tohutohu i a NZBA mo ngā take Māori. I te wā tuatahi nei, i panuitia ana, ko ngā rauemi kua whakawātea mai ā “Te Whāriki”.
Ko te Whāriki, he wāhi tirohanga mātauranga Māori, mo te whānau, mo ngā kaimahi hauora, mo te kaupapa whangai ū.
The goals of Te Whāriki are to :

  • enhance the cultural competency of staff and associated health professionals to improve breastfeeding outcomes for whānau Māori.
  • increase maternity and community services responsiveness to the diverse needs of Māori women and their whānau.

Rāranga: weaving the Māori resource

The metaphor of weaving/raranga is used to view the knowledge and resources from a Māori perspective.

The development of these resources can be likened to weaving a whāriki (a finely woven traditional mat). The process of weaving is called rāranga.  Providing Māori resources refers to the weaving together of different strands of knowledge.

Rāranga was a symbol of wellbeing for whānau, hapū and iwi.  Te Ao Māori (the traditional society) was a woven culture.  Local hapū attached great importance to their "pa harakeke" (flax cultivations) for use in the family units.  This fundamental important resource enabled the provision of clothing, shelter and housing materials for successive generations.

The metaphor used in this resource, harakeke symbolises the various sources of information gathered.

Puna Wai Ū

Facilities that complete their fourth Baby Friendly accreditation receive a special Kohatu/Ōamaru stone carving is sourced from the Ūkaipo, the bosom of Papatūānuku, or the Earth Mother. It is named Puna Wai ū and it represents whanau (mother and child). The white colour Ōamaru of the stone correlates with the white creamy colour of breastmilk. It demonstrates purity and the rich nutrients that make up the baby’s prime food.

The two fern fronds entwine with each other. Baby is usually placed on mother’s chest close after birth/kiri ki te kiri, her baby is listening to her heart beat, searching, latching and suckling at the breast for the first feed. The baby has once again become “one” with the environment.

In the traditional Māori creation story Hine-ahu-one is the first woman and is the placenta of Papatuanuku/Mother Earth. She is seen as the
sacred house of people and of ALL nations.

Her silver hair is the pinnacle and represents the encyclopaedia of knowledge.  She provides shelter and she is an educator of ALL future generations. She is the fountain of life-giving BREASTMILK Wai U. A nutritional spring source that will never run dry!  Kia U, Kia Mau, Kia ita – Grasp onto all that is good!

Watch Carmen Timu-Parata and Henare Edwards explain the significance of the kohatu/Ōamaru stone carving.