The Waitangi Tribunal has recently commenced the more substantive stages of its kaupapa inquiry into claims regarding health services and outcomes for Māori.

The Tribunal commenced its Kaupapa Inquiry Programme in 2015. Unlike the more familiar district inquiries which hear claims from hapū / iwi relating to a specific region (such as the soon to be complete te Paparahi o te Raki / Northland district inquiry), kaupapa inquiries deal with nationally significant issues which affect Māori as a whole. The topics which the kaupapa inquiries will address are:

  • Military Veterans
  • Constitution, self-government and electoral system
  • Health services and outcomes
  • Mana Wahine and Mana Tane
  • Education services and outcomes
  • Identity and culture
  • Natural resources and environmental management
  • Social services, social development and housing
  • Economic development
  • Justice system
  • Citizenship rights and equality

The Military Veterans inquiry is ongoing and historical research is currently being prepared for the inquiry claimants. The first stage of hearings for the health services and outcomes kaupapa inquiry will begin later this year and look at aspects of primary healthcare affecting Māori. The Tribunal has proposed three possible priorities for the second stage of hearings – Māori with disabilities, alcohol and substance abuse, and mental health.

As with all Tribunal claims, Māori who have been impacted by Crown acts or omissions may file claims regarding these issues. For the kaupapa inquiries the Tribunal will be most concerned with claims filed on behalf of groups with a nationwide presence and who can present evidence on a national scale.