THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE AORERE WINTER LECTURE SERIES

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

40 THE TERRACE, WELLINGTON

(Maori Introduction)

The Treaty of Waitangi was the first written international agreement made by this country with the outside world. That might be one reason it is an appropriate topic for this Ministry. On the other hand the major preoccupation of Aotearoa/New Zealand with the Treaty in recent years has been its impact on domestic affairs. I want to talk to you about the international significance of the Treaty for New Zealand, but I will begin with a few remarks closer to home.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Manatu Aorere, made a particular effort to recruit Maori staff as long ago as the mid 1970s. It is one of the few policy ministries in which there has been above average Maori representation since that time. Manatu Aorere has also run training courses to familiarize its Pakeha staff with Maori language, culture and political issues.

The Ministry began its Treaty response programme before that term had become part of our bureaucratic jargon. Manatu Aorere had begun to attempt to meet its Treaty obligations ten years or more before the central legal importance of the Treaty of Waitangi was re-established by Mr. Justice Cook. You will remember that in 1987, Justice Cook, as President of the Court of Appeal, set out the view that the Treaty expressed a still valid partnership between the races and imposed a duty of care on the Crown.

This lecture is part of the tradition launched in Manatu Aorere over two decades ago. I congratulate you on this history. It increases my pleasure at being here today to talk to you.

I want to talk about several things today on the process of settling Treaty of Waitangi Claims and the issues it raises for the country as a whole. The importance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand's standing overseas is probably not frequently addressed. And because MFAT is not primarily concerned with domestic issues some people might think that that the Treaty of Waitangi is not directly relevant to the conduct of our international relations.

Treaty developments are important to foreign service officers in at least three ways.

First, many of you will represent this country overseas and you are obliged to present an accurate and informed view on developments in this country. In my view, the Treaty debate has been the most important domestic debate over the last ten years, and this after many years of being confined to the marae or to the halls of academia. Now the Treaty occupies a central place in our political life.

The Treaty now mediates interaction between the indigenous people of New Zealand and the descendants of later immigrants. It mediates relations between Maori and Pakeha and gives moral legitimacy to our nation.

I am a bit suspicious about terms like national identity. I know my own name and address, thank you. I am not keen on other people telling me who I am. But if we are going to use the word identity I would want to say that the Treaty is important because it goes to the core of our national identity. Perhaps coalition identity would be a better expression! In practical terms the Treaty provides us with a philosophical framework that will enable us to build a diversity of strong communities at the local level that will add up to a strong nation.

In short, a proper understanding of the Treaty will enable you as foreign service officers to explain to others where you come from and who you are and what manner of nation you represent.

Second, an understanding of how the Treaty is working in New Zealand today will help you understand what is happening overseas. You will have better informed assessments of changing relationships between ethnic communities in countries with whom we have important trading or political links.

For years New Zealanders have followed events in Southern Africa with great anxiety. Developments in racial reconciliation in both South Africa and Zimbabwe appear to be moving in satisfactory directions, but we cannot foresee what the future might hold. Furthermore, we do not have to look so far from home as the African continent. There are or have been problems of ethnic conflict in New Caledonia, Fiji and right now the Ministry is involved in helping with a particularly difficult problem in Melanesia.

So proper understanding of the working of the Treaty here in New Zealand will give you a framework for understanding similar problems between different cultures in other nations.

Third, the Treaty bears on particular international policy issues which this ministry has the responsibility to carry. Some of these are the UN Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which incorporate such issues as indigenous rights, intellectual and cultural property rights, and biodiversity where New Zealand's international policy stance should reflect the internal relationship between Crown and Maori.

New Zealand also has international obligations to report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and a moral obligation to assist it with its work, and obligations under a raft of other international human rights instruments. The Treaty relationship should be something you naturally apply to your reporting or policy development in these areas.

For example, New Zealand should support every effort in the international arena to achieve for all indigenous peoples the rights enjoyed by indigenous New Zealanders under the Treaty. On the other hand New Zealand should resist any international law making which would limit or otherwise undermine the rights of Maori in terms of the Treaty. Achievement of these objectives will require a good understanding of the Treaty in its contemporary setting.

In summary a Treaty analysis should always be in your back pocket as you conduct the core work of this department, the promotion of New Zealand's position overseas and advocating this country's interests in both bilateral and multilateral settings.

Let me deal with each of the above three general areas in turn.

An accurate and informed view

The on-going public debate on Treaty issues is a positive and healthy thing. Many times I wish that it was more coherent, however. I wonder sometimes how our representatives overseas depict this country if they are operating on the basis of newspaper reporting, which is frequently inaccurate, and perhaps several days or even weeks old by the time your posts receive them.

So I hope that you are ensuring posts are well briefed on policy developments in this regard. I hope that all posts have ready access to Treaty of Waitangi reports and publications and sound briefing material on the process of settling claims under the Treaty.

One thing you should be telling them is that the Coalition Government made several important undertakings in the Treaty area and there has been significant progress in the nine months of government. One undertaking was to resource the Waitangi Tribunal adequately and this was partly addressed in the last budget.

A second was to clarify the trusteeship obligations of bodies established to administer Treaty settlements. I will have more to say about this soon.

Third, the fiscal cap on Treaty claims was also abolished but some fiscal discipline retained through ensuring that existing settlements are used as a benchmark for future ones.

Fourth, a review of claimant funding was recently carried out. This has resulted in a more flexible process of making funding available to claimants to assist them to develop a mandate and prepare for negotiations with the Crown.

Lastly, a review of the Crown's proposals for dealing with Treaty claims to natural resources was also endorsed. This review is due to be bought before Ministers soon. I am very hopeful that the basis for the recognition of Maori interests in such resources will be developed.

In the negotiation of specific claims much effort has been put into the Ngai Tahu, Whakatohea and Ngati Awa claims, with the negotiation of the Taranaki claims hopefully soon to be initiated.

In the Ngai Tahu negotiations, several important policy advances were made to recognise the customary interests of Ngai Tahu in lakes, rivers and land in ways consistent with existing public interests. These mechanisms - statutory acknowledgments and deeds of recognition - recognise common law entitlements, and have a sound basis in international jurisprudence. But nevertheless, their development has provoked much criticism from conservation groups who unfortunately, have seen them only as diminishing public access.

In a similar vein I was struck by the reaction of many people to the decision earlier this year by the Wanganui District Court recognising local tangata whenua retained a right to fish for customary purposes under certain conditions. This seemed to me to be an eminently fair and sensible recognition of customary title and, again, consistent with international jurisprudence. Unfortunately, not all of my Cabinet colleagues were ready to agree. After much debate however, I can say that the Crown will not be joining the appeal of the court's decision. But it may play the role of amicus curae, or friend of the court.

My experience in dealing with my ministerial colleagues on this matter, highlighted the difficulties and the opportunities intrinsic to coalition governments. With the advent of MMP and the presence of 15 Maori MP's how we deal with Treaty issues has become an even more important factor in the political management of government.

Among Maori people themselves, the Treaty debate has turned to new areas such as the accountability of their leaders, the distribution of benefits of settlements and tribal governance. The Coalition Agreement stressed the need for clarity in trusteeship obligations for the administration of settlement assets to reflect these concerns. Maori want their tribal institutions to be accountable and to ensure that settlement assets are transferred to entities representative of claimant groups.

These tandem responsibilities mean that we will need to make room for democratic tribal entities at the local level. I suspect that eventually the Crown may be faced with treating representative pan tribal interests at the rengional and national level. There will be some discomfort for both Maori and the Crown in such a process, but it will be part of the maturing of this nation.

A lens on the world

The second range of issues bear on how the Treaty can provide you with a lens through which you will be able to view developments overseas with greater understanding.

Since the end of the so-called Cold War we have seen the re-emergence of ethnicity as a force of political upheaval and social change in advanced societies with complex economies and state institutions. In the former states of the Soviet Union what we once may have thought was a binding sense of nationhood now is revealed to have been a fragile consensus imposed by an authoritarian government.

The relevance of ethnic issues in foreign affairs and international trade obviously has many dimensions.

As occurred in Fiji ten years ago, the potential for ethnic change to affect our political relationships is deep and ongoing. But our ability to understand other cultures is also important to our trade. An understanding of ethnic dynamics is also important in trading with countries where ethnic or religious affiliations are central to a country's national life and political culture. You will know more than I that familiarity with these issues is very important to judging how to do business in other countries and providing the leg in for New Zealand businesses to seek opportunities abroad.

But there have been times when I have not understood the rationale for why we have done things in a certain way. A few years ago I was privileged to participate in a Parliamentary delegation to East Timor. That experience affected me deeply and I have not been shy in suggesting to my Cabinet colleagues that we should be more up-front in defending the rights of the East Timorese communities to determine their future free from interference from Indonesia. The East Timor experience is one which many Maori communities experienced last century and we are still trying to resolve these grievances.

Closer to home, and more recently, your Ministry has been involved in brokering negotiations between the Papua New Guinea Government and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. That dispute is just as much to do with ethnicity as it has to do with economic development and political sovereignty. The fact that you have been able to oversee this process and bring disputing parties to the negotiations table speaks volumes for your ability to get alongside them and persuade them to work toward ending this long and at times bloody dispute.

Much of the kudos must also go to the Rt Hon Don McKinnon for his outstanding skill as our Foreign Affairs Minister.

This role is in great contrast to the view of New Zealand and its political leadership portrayed in a recently leaked Australian Foreign Affairs confidential briefing document. There New Zealand was described as being unwilling to make tough decisions in its relations with South Pacific governments.

Apparently one of our leaders was even described by the Australians as having an ``impressive physique''.... but Winston will neither confirm or deny this ugly and malicious rumour.

But if these descriptions are what pass as being significant for Australian advisers it perhaps is of little surprise that they were unable to gain the confidence of disputing parties in their closest geographic neighbour, yet a bunch of New Zealand diplomats were.

Without detracting from the significant work done by New Zealand officials in any way, it is probable that New Zealand's record of trying to deal with the relationship between Maori and Pakeha contributed to the willingness of the PNG and BRA leaders to participate in the process.

This relationship has a significant impact on the way in which New Zealand is perceived by our trading partners, and the international community.

I believe that a familiarity with how this country is attempting to deal with:

reconciling its past

accommodating new forms of governance which may be untried but which are nevertheless consistent with our national political institutions.
* and to place the Crown-Maori relationship on a firmer basis can only assist your political analysis of events in other countries.

International Norms

The third range of issues where the Treaty bears on our international relations is in the area of the development of international norms. In this area Maori perceptions may well find themselves at odds with the views of this Ministry, and you should work hard to consult with Maori and listen to their views.

For example, many Maori are very anxious to preserve their intellectual and cultural property rights from international exploitation. You should be working hard to enable Maori to achieve this ambition, since the value of these property rights will be an economic benefit for all New Zealanders, just as preserving the intellectual property rights of the Kiwi Fruit Cultivars that were developed in this country would have been an economic benefit to us all, not just kiwi fruit farmers. We lost that piece of property through carelessness and ignorance.

Many Maori regard the Treaty of Waitangi as a protective mantle, a barrier or check if you like, on some of the perceived dangers of trade liberalization and globalisation. I refer here to the potential for Transnational and Multinational corporations, who have free and often unfettered access to our country, to ignore the rights of Maori in the cultural and other areas. Maori apprehensions in this regard are based on the perceived experience of other indigenous peoples around the world.

Why some Maori are suspicious of the moves towards the new global order of international free trade is becauses it appears to be based on an ideology that does not seem to put New Zealand first. Maori have not been consulted on it much less agreed to it and some see themselves as being badly affected by it

There is currently a Waitangi Tribunal claim which raises issues about the GATT and protecting Maori heritage be it collectively owned knowledge, cultural images, oral traditions and traditional uses of indigenous plants. Clearly there are concerns among Maori which have to be resolved. And I think we would all agree that Maori heritage must be protected from inappropriate exploitation.

On the are of international indigenous rights, I strongly believe that policy on this must be developed in conjunction with debate on the Treaty partnership and the Crown-Maori relationship. Parallels between the meaning of self determination in international law and the Treaty debate on tino rangatiratanga are obvious. The Waitangi Tribunal has said that tino rangatiratanga is akin to local self government and that is as good a basis as any on which to develop our understanding of this concept.

Recently Te Puni Kokiri and this Ministry convened workshops with Maori interests on the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and I hope that these forums will be the basis for substantive dialogue on the above matters.

Those then are three broad areas where the Treaty of Waitangi might be considered as bearing in important ways on our international relations. No doubt there are many more, but I hope that I have given you enough material to think over and a challenge which I am sure you will all be more than capable of meeting.

ENDS40 THE TERRACE, WELLINGTON

(Maori Introduction)

The Treaty of Waitangi was the first written international agreement made by this country with the outside world. That might be one reason it is an appropriate topic for this Ministry. On the other hand the major preoccupation of Aotearoa/New Zealand with the Treaty in recent years has been its impact on domestic affairs. I want to talk to you about the international significance of the Treaty for New Zealand, but I will begin with a few remarks closer to home.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Manatu Aorere, made a particular effort to recruit Maori staff as long ago as the mid 1970s. It is one of the few policy ministries in which there has been above average Maori representation since that time. Manatu Aorere has also run training courses to familiarize its Pakeha staff with Maori language, culture and political issues.

The Ministry began its Treaty response programme before that term had become part of our bureaucratic jargon. Manatu Aorere had begun to attempt to meet its Treaty obligations ten years or more before the central legal importance of the Treaty of Waitangi was re-established by Mr. Justice Cook. You will remember that in 1987, Justice Cook, as President of the Court of Appeal, set out the view that the Treaty expressed a still valid partnership between the races and imposed a duty of care on the Crown.

This lecture is part of the tradition launched in Manatu Aorere over two decades ago. I congratulate you on this history. It increases my pleasure at being here today to talk to you.

I want to talk about several things today on the process of settling Treaty of Waitangi Claims and the issues it raises for the country as a whole. The importance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand's standing overseas is probably not frequently addressed. And because MFAT is not primarily concerned with domestic issues some people might think that that the Treaty of Waitangi is not directly relevant to the conduct of our international relations.

Treaty developments are important to foreign service officers in at least three ways.

First, many of you will represent this country overseas and you are obliged to present an accurate and informed view on developments in this country. In my view, the Treaty debate has been the most important domestic debate over the last ten years, and this after many years of being confined to the marae or to the halls of academia. Now the Treaty occupies a central place in our political life.

The Treaty now mediates interaction between the indigenous people of New Zealand and the descendants of later immigrants. It mediates relations between Maori and Pakeha and gives moral legitimacy to our nation.

I am a bit suspicious about terms like national identity. I know my own name and address, thank you. I am not keen on other people telling me who I am. But if we are going to use the word identity I would want to say that the Treaty is important because it goes to the core of our national identity. Perhaps coalition identity would be a better expression! In practical terms the Treaty provides us with a philosophical framework that will enable us to build a diversity of strong communities at the local level that will add up to a strong nation.

In short, a proper understanding of the Treaty will enable you as foreign service officers to explain to others where you come from and who you are and what manner of nation you represent.

Second, an understanding of how the Treaty is working in New Zealand today will help you understand what is happening overseas. You will have better informed assessments of changing relationships between ethnic communities in countries with whom we have important trading or political links.

For years New Zealanders have followed events in Southern Africa with great anxiety. Developments in racial reconciliation in both South Africa and Zimbabwe appear to be moving in satisfactory directions, but we cannot foresee what the future might hold. Furthermore, we do not have to look so far from home as the African continent. There are or have been problems of ethnic conflict in New Caledonia, Fiji and right now the Ministry is involved in helping with a particularly difficult problem in Melanesia.

So proper understanding of the working of the Treaty here in New Zealand will give you a framework for understanding similar problems between different cultures in other nations.

Third, the Treaty bears on particular international policy issues which this ministry has the responsibility to carry. Some of these are the UN Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which incorporate such issues as indigenous rights, intellectual and cultural property rights, and biodiversity where New Zealand's international policy stance should reflect the internal relationship between Crown and Maori.

New Zealand also has international obligations to report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and a moral obligation to assist it with its work, and obligations under a raft of other international human rights instruments. The Treaty relationship should be something you naturally apply to your reporting or policy development in these areas.

For example, New Zealand should support every effort in the international arena to achieve for all indigenous peoples the rights enjoyed by indigenous New Zealanders under the Treaty. On the other hand New Zealand should resist any international law making which would limit or otherwise undermine the rights of Maori in terms of the Treaty. Achievement of these objectives will require a good understanding of the Treaty in its contemporary setting.

In summary a Treaty analysis should always be in your back pocket as you conduct the core work of this department, the promotion of New Zealand's position overseas and advocating this country's interests in both bilateral and multilateral settings.

Let me deal with each of the above three general areas in turn.

An accurate and informed view

The on-going public debate on Treaty issues is a positive and healthy thing. Many times I wish that it was more coherent, however. I wonder sometimes how our representatives overseas depict this country if they are operating on the basis of newspaper reporting, which is frequently inaccurate, and perhaps several days or even weeks old by the time your posts receive them.

So I hope that you are ensuring posts are well briefed on policy developments in this regard. I hope that all posts have ready access to Treaty of Waitangi reports and publications and sound briefing material on the process of settling claims under the Treaty.

One thing you should be telling them is that the Coalition Government made several important undertakings in the Treaty area and there has been significant progress in the nine months of government. One undertaking was to resource the Waitangi Tribunal adequately and this was partly addressed in the last budget.

A second was to clarify the trusteeship obligations of bodies established to administer Treaty settlements. I will have more to say about this soon.

Third, the fiscal cap on Treaty claims was also abolished but some fiscal discipline retained through ensuring that existing settlements are used as a benchmark for future ones.

Fourth, a review of claimant funding was recently carried out. This has resulted in a more flexible process of making funding available to claimants to assist them to develop a mandate and prepare for negotiations with the Crown.

Lastly, a review of the Crown's proposals for dealing with Treaty claims to natural resources was also endorsed. This review is due to be bought before Ministers soon. I am very hopeful that the basis for the recognition of Maori interests in such resources will be developed.

In the negotiation of specific claims much effort has been put into the Ngai Tahu, Whakatohea and Ngati Awa claims, with the negotiation of the Taranaki claims hopefully soon to be initiated.

In the Ngai Tahu negotiations, several important policy advances were made to recognise the customary interests of Ngai Tahu in lakes, rivers and land in ways consistent with existing public interests. These mechanisms - statutory acknowledgments and deeds of recognition - recognise common law entitlements, and have a sound basis in international jurisprudence. But nevertheless, their development has provoked much criticism from conservation groups who unfortunately, have seen them only as diminishing public access.

In a similar vein I was struck by the reaction of many people to the decision earlier this year by the Wanganui District Court recognising local tangata whenua retained a right to fish for customary purposes under certain conditions. This seemed to me to be an eminently fair and sensible recognition of customary title and, again, consistent with international jurisprudence. Unfortunately, not all of my Cabinet colleagues were ready to agree. After much debate however, I can say that the Crown will not be joining the appeal of the court's decision. But it may play the role of amicus curae, or friend of the court.

My experience in dealing with my ministerial colleagues on this matter, highlighted the difficulties and the opportunities intrinsic to coalition governments. With the advent of MMP and the presence of 15 Maori MP's how we deal with Treaty issues has become an even more important factor in the political management of government.

Among Maori people themselves, the Treaty debate has turned to new areas such as the accountability of their leaders, the distribution of benefits of settlements and tribal governance. The Coalition Agreement stressed the need for clarity in trusteeship obligations for the administration of settlement assets to reflect these concerns. Maori want their tribal institutions to be accountable and to ensure that settlement assets are transferred to entities representative of claimant groups.

These tandem responsibilities mean that we will need to make room for democratic tribal entities at the local level. I suspect that eventually the Crown may be faced with treating representative pan tribal interests at the rengional and national level. There will be some discomfort for both Maori and the Crown in such a process, but it will be part of the maturing of this nation.

A lens on the world

The second range of issues bear on how the Treaty can provide you with a lens through which you will be able to view developments overseas with greater understanding.

Since the end of the so-called Cold War we have seen the re-emergence of ethnicity as a force of political upheaval and social change in advanced societies with complex economies and state institutions. In the former states of the Soviet Union what we once may have thought was a binding sense of nationhood now is revealed to have been a fragile consensus imposed by an authoritarian government.

The relevance of ethnic issues in foreign affairs and international trade obviously has many dimensions.

As occurred in Fiji ten years ago, the potential for ethnic change to affect our political relationships is deep and ongoing. But our ability to understand other cultures is also important to our trade. An understanding of ethnic dynamics is also important in trading with countries where ethnic or religious affiliations are central to a country's national life and political culture. You will know more than I that familiarity with these issues is very important to judging how to do business in other countries and providing the leg in for New Zealand businesses to seek opportunities abroad.

But there have been times when I have not understood the rationale for why we have done things in a certain way. A few years ago I was privileged to participate in a Parliamentary delegation to East Timor. That experience affected me deeply and I have not been shy in suggesting to my Cabinet colleagues that we should be more up-front in defending the rights of the East Timorese communities to determine their future free from interference from Indonesia. The East Timor experience is one which many Maori communities experienced last century and we are still trying to resolve these grievances.

Closer to home, and more recently, your Ministry has been involved in brokering negotiations between the Papua New Guinea Government and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. That dispute is just as much to do with ethnicity as it has to do with economic development and political sovereignty. The fact that you have been able to oversee this process and bring disputing parties to the negotiations table speaks volumes for your ability to get alongside them and persuade them to work toward ending this long and at times bloody dispute.

Much of the kudos must also go to the Rt Hon Don McKinnon for his outstanding skill as our Foreign Affairs Minister.

This role is in great contrast to the view of New Zealand and its political leadership portrayed in a recently leaked Australian Foreign Affairs confidential briefing document. There New Zealand was described as being unwilling to make tough decisions in its relations with South Pacific governments.

Apparently one of our leaders was even described by the Australians as having an ``impressive physique''.... but Winston will neither confirm or deny this ugly and malicious rumour.

But if these descriptions are what pass as being significant for Australian advisers it perhaps is of little surprise that they were unable to gain the confidence of disputing parties in their closest geographic neighbour, yet a bunch of New Zealand diplomats were.

Without detracting from the significant work done by New Zealand officials in any way, it is probable that New Zealand's record of trying to deal with the relationship between Maori and Pakeha contributed to the willingness of the PNG and BRA leaders to participate in the process.

This relationship has a significant impact on the way in which New Zealand is perceived by our trading partners, and the international community.

I believe that a familiarity with how this country is attempting to deal with:

reconciling its past

accommodating new forms of governance which may be untried but which are nevertheless consistent with our national political institutions.
* and to place the Crown-Maori relationship on a firmer basis can only assist your political analysis of events in other countries.

International Norms

The third range of issues where the Treaty bears on our international relations is in the area of the development of international norms. In this area Maori perceptions may well find themselves at odds with the views of this Ministry, and you should work hard to consult with Maori and listen to their views.

For example, many Maori are very anxious to preserve their intellectual and cultural property rights from international exploitation. You should be working hard to enable Maori to achieve this ambition, since the value of these property rights will be an economic benefit for all New Zealanders, just as preserving the intellectual property rights of the Kiwi Fruit Cultivars that were developed in this country would have been an economic benefit to us all, not just kiwi fruit farmers. We lost that piece of property through carelessness and ignorance.

Many Maori regard the Treaty of Waitangi as a protective mantle, a barrier or check if you like, on some of the perceived dangers of trade liberalization and globalisation. I refer here to the potential for Transnational and Multinational corporations, who have free and often unfettered access to our country, to ignore the rights of Maori in the cultural and other areas. Maori apprehensions in this regard are based on the perceived experience of other indigenous peoples around the world.

Why some Maori are suspicious of the moves towards the new global order of international free trade is becauses it appears to be based on an ideology that does not seem to put New Zealand first. Maori have not been consulted on it much less agreed to it and some see themselves as being badly affected by it

There is currently a Waitangi Tribunal claim which raises issues about the GATT and protecting Maori heritage be it collectively owned knowledge, cultural images, oral traditions and traditional uses of indigenous plants. Clearly there are concerns among Maori which have to be resolved. And I think we would all agree that Maori heritage must be protected from inappropriate exploitation.

On the are of international indigenous rights, I strongly believe that policy on this must be developed in conjunction with debate on the Treaty partnership and the Crown-Maori relationship. Parallels between the meaning of self determination in international law and the Treaty debate on tino rangatiratanga are obvious. The Waitangi Tribunal has said that tino rangatiratanga is akin to local self government and that is as good a basis as any on which to develop our understanding of this concept.

Recently Te Puni Kokiri and this Ministry convened workshops with Maori interests on the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and I hope that these forums will be the basis for substantive dialogue on the above matters.

Those then are three broad areas where the Treaty of Waitangi might be considered as bearing in important ways on our international relations. No doubt there are many more, but I hope that I have given you enough material to think over and a challenge which I am sure you will all be more than capable of meeting.

ENDS