In 1977 The Waitangi
Tribunal was established, under the Treaty of Waitangi Act of
1975, with the aim of studying any legislation, policy or practice
which may have been considered by Māori as a violation of the
Treaty of Waitangi.
In 1985, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal was extended back to
1840, signing date of the Treaty. The Tribunal consists of the Chief
Judge of the Māori Land Court plus 16 members of whom four must
In 1993 the people of New Zealand voted a Mixed Member Proportional
system of government.
In 1996, fifteen Māori MPs entered the 120 member Parliament
of New Zealand. This is the highest number of Māori MPs on record.
Although the Māori were well integrated into New Zealand society,
it was necessary to equally integrate their culture.
Three elements helped to accelerate cultural integration: the
growth of the Māori population, mixed Māori-Pakeha (white)
marriages, and the move by many Māori from the country into
the cities. In view of the high rate of mixed marriages, there are
now very few Māori of pure Māori descent in New Zealand.
The importance of Māori identity is brought out in a number
of political, economic and social institutions. The Minister of
Māori Affairs and Māori Deputies encourage Māori interests
in today's society.
Other structures such as The New Zealand Māori Council, The
Māori Women's Welfare League and the Māori Education Foundation
do their best to promote "Māoritanga" (Māori tradition)
among the Māori. Nearly all cities have Māori cultural festivals,
and a Polynesian festival on a national level takes place every
Māoritanga is instructed in the urban Maraes for the young
city Māori, separated from his tribal roots. Here, they can
meet and learn the history of their people. Māori symbols and
treasures are now considered as a source of pride and identity,
rather than memories of a past world.
Māori radio and television stations ensure the continuation
of the Māori language. Totally Māori schools have grown,
and are increasing in number. Gradually more Māori students
are arriving at higher levels of education, a figure that hopefully
Both Māori men and women play key roles in all aspects of the
various professions today.