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The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi is regarded as a founding document of New Zealand. First signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840, the Treaty is an agreement between Māori and the British Crown and affirms for Māori their status as the indigenous people of New Zealand.

The Treaty comprises three articles. The first grants to the Queen of England the right to "govern" New Zealand while the second article guarantees Māori possession of their lands, forests, fisheries and other resources. The third and final article gives Maori all the citizenship rights of British subjects. There are outstanding claims by Maori that the Crown has breached the Treaty, particularly the guarantees under the second article, which are for Maori and the Crown to resolve.

Since 1992, the Government has developed processes and polices to enable the Crown and Māori to settle any Treaty of Waitangi claim relating to events before September 1992.

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