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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Focus area 4: Recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi as the bicultural foundation for a multi-cultural Auckland

Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand. It recognises that Māori, as tangata whenua, belonged in Aotearoa at that time. It also recognises the desire to approach future New Zealand settlement and the governance of all future New Zealanders in an agreed way.

As such, the Treaty provides the basis for all people to belong in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

It recognises the special place of Māori as tangata whenua by recognising and protecting rangatiratanga (self-determination) and the relationship between Māori, the government and future citizens.

Valuing and better understanding the Treaty helps us to engage with te ao Māori (the Māori world view) and contributes to our shared identity and sense of belonging.

This focus area sees Auckland as diverse and multi-cultural and embraces the place of whānau, hapū and iwi, as the indigenous people. Auckland's Māori identity and vibrant Māori culture are important in creating a sense of belonging, cohesion and identity for everyone who calls Auckland home.

To be Māori is to have a tūrangawaewae, a place of strength and belonging, a place to stand. The history and culture of mana whenua helped establish, shape and define today's Auckland and is an important part of what it means to belong in Auckland.

Mana whenua obligations to manaaki manuhiri (extend hospitality and care for others) and tikanga Māori (practices) can help to connect all cultures and ensure that Auckland is a welcoming place for all.

Whanaungatanga (the strength of relationships through shared experiences and working together) can provide all Aucklanders with a sense of belonging and a strong basis for a multi-cultural Auckland.  For example, all Aucklanders are invited to participate and experience Māori culture on Waitangi Day and during Matariki events.

Providing opportunities for mana whenua to shape Auckland's Māori identity and to share Auckland's Māori cultural heritage with other Aucklanders can promote wider understanding and strengthens our sense of belonging and pride as Aucklanders.

It is important to the future of Tāmaki Makaurau that all Aucklanders understand and can confidently engage with Māori culture. For recent migrants, learning about their new home includes learning about New Zealand's history, the role of the treaty and traditions.  Both existing Aucklanders and new residents can connect with Māori through, for example, experiencing a pōwhiri, engaging in customary Māori activities or attending a hui at a local marae.

We can all take part in Māori language and culture. Doing so helps to form part of our identity as Aucklanders. Celebrating Auckland's Māori identity recognises our history and underpins how we welcome people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Building strong positive relationships based on understanding and mutual respect will help strengthen Auckland's bicultural foundation.

How this can be done

We can do this by:

  • promoting understanding of the bicultural history of Tāmaki Makaurau, the Treaty and what this means for Aucklanders in the future
  • acknowledging and better understanding the importance of te ao Māori
  • working with and supporting Māori to connect with all Aucklanders
  • recognising and supporting the role of mana whenua to manaaki (welcome) manuhiri in a way that expresses their cultural identity
  • fostering engagement of all Aucklanders with te reo Māori as a means of accessing and understanding Māori culture
  • encouraging all Aucklanders to engage and interact positively with Māori and Māori culture, value and ways of doing things to help build inter-cultural understanding. For example, through the incorporation of Māori urban design elements  in public places and spaces.