The Law Commission is currently undertaking a review of the law on adult decision-making capacity, including the how Te Ao Māori can be incorporated into the law.

‘Decision-making capacity’ often arises in situations where individuals have suffered a traumatic injury, or have a disability. If the law determines that a person lacks ‘decision-making capacity,’ this may impact upon their right to make their own decisions. 

The current approach to the law fails to recognise the perspectives of tangata whaikaha Māori, and Māori approaches to health, including the significance of whanaungatanga and the mana of tangata whaikaha.

The Law Commission is currently accepting submissions on this issue, and are particularly interested to hear from those who have experiences with the current law.

Submissions can be made on the Law Commission website at:

Submissions are due by 5pm 3 March 2023.


Peter Johnstone and Alexandra McCracken