The authors summarised the report’s proposals as a scenario, dubbed “Vision 2040”, consisting of 22 bullet
points under five sub-headings. Vision 2040 is set out below, with Te Reo terms translated into English.

Vision 2040


  1. Māori will be exercising authority over all Māori matters as agreed by Māori, and including exclusive and/or shared jurisdiction over their lands, territories and resources and over all matters related to traditional treasures, knowledge and culture.
  2. Māori tribes and clans will have agreed and established their governance structures, with their authority recognised.
  3. All Māori customary practices will be functional and applicable across New Zealand under Māori authority and also, where appropriate, under Crown or other authority.

Participation in Governance

  1. Māori participation in central and local government will be strong and secure.
  2. Māori will have a meaningful and sometimes dominant voice in resource management decisions.
  3. The governance sphere shall be bicultural.
  4. There will be strong protection for the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights in state law and policy.
  5. Māori will be providing for Māori.

Lands, Territories and Resources

  1. The nation will know and appreciate geographical tribal boundaries, where the tribal exercise of controlling rights and responsibilities is evident.
  2. There will be an enlarged Māori estate supported by significantly increased return of Crown lands and waters, including the marine and coastal areas, to Māori ownership (in addition to Treaty of Waitangi settlements).
  3. Law, policy and processes will support flourishing tribal territories, including where tribes and clans can positively contribute towards the control of, access to, and management of all lands and resources within their tribal territories, in accordance with Māori customary practices and traditional knowledge.
  4. There will be greater relinquishment of Crown-assumed exclusive governance authority over land, resources and treasured possessions.
  5. Law, policy, processes and entities will support a successful bicultural joint sphere of governance and management of resources, possessions and Crown lands.


  1. Māori tribes, clans and families will be exercising authority over all aspects of their culture, including the ability to control, protect and develop their cultural and natural heritage – ngā taonga tuku iho.
  2. The Māori language will be flourishing, its use will be widespread, and its integrity will be protected – for legal documents, for scholarship and for translation.
  3. All Māori will have the opportunity to access, practise and develop their culture and language, connect with their ancestry, and be confident in their indigenous identity.
  4. All New Zealanders will embrace and respect Māori culture as an integral part of national identity, and this will also be reflected in a bicultural state service, informed by Māori traditional learning and governance rights.


  1. New Zealand will be a nation where Māori will be thriving and prosperous in all aspects of life, including across generations.
  2. There will be equity between peoples which means that Māori sovereignty and authority is recognised and upheld.
  3. There will be genuine partnership bodies in the relational sphere.
  4. All Māori will enjoy equity in opportunity and outcomes.
  5. New Zealand’s understanding of well-being will incorporate a holistic perspective including traditional Māori spirituality and knowledge.


The He Puapua Working Group also included “chronologically-designed tables” which it describes as “the heart of the report”. The main aspects are summarised below.



Up to December 2020

  • Publicly announce He Papua and the government’s commitment to it. Cabinet decisions on strategies for implementation.
  • Establish a governance group/secretariat with power to monitor and take remedial action.

To 2021

  • Achieve a reasonable mandate from Māori around the content and direction of the work needed for Vision 2040.
  • Initiate a public education campaign for informed discussions among all New Zealanders about our future constitutional arrangements.

To 2025

  • The government will have begun pieces of work designed to advance the plan. It will hold a constitutional convention on the Crown’s role as Treaty partner in a future constitution.
  • The public education campaign will continue and the Government will encourage the Human Rights Commission with NGOs to build alliances and shape the public conversation about constitutional arrangements.

To 2030

  • Design and implement a multi-stage process of constitutional transformation with three streams reflecting different interests: the sovereignty stream (for Māori), the governance stream (for the Crown) and the equitable outcomes stream (for all New Zealanders).

To 2035

  • Develop a new constitutional convention bringing together the three streams (sovereignty, governance and equitable outcomes) to identify the instruments and processes necessary for a Treaty-based constitution.

To 2040

  • Enable Māori governance and/or participation in the design and delivery of all public services. Our constitutional arrangements will share power more fairly with Māori.

by Barry Brill
15 Jan 2022