The Treaty of Waitangi
The New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils has made a commitment in its Constitution to raise the consciousness among ethnic communities of the needs, aspirations and status of Maori. The Federation believes that New Zealand is a multi-ethnic society in which the Maori have special status as tangata whenua (people of the land) and special rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.
In three short paragraphs, the Treaty:
- provided for the British to establish a government and make laws in New Zealand;
- guaranteed Maori the continued ownership and control of their lands, forests, fisheries, homes and other assets; and
- accorded Maori the full rights of British citizenship.