Matike Mai Aotearoa Te Kawenata

We, as Aotearoa, sheltered and sustained by Papatūānuku, Ranginui and their tamariki, collectively undertake to transform the constitutional arrangements of Aotearoa, to redesign our society in a manner that reflects the rights, liberties, freedoms, obligations, and responsibilities of all who call Aotearoa home.

This covenant recognises that constitutional transformation is critical to realising the vision  of Aotearoa being a fair and just society which acknowledges the rights of tangata whenua and affirms the visions of our ancestors in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. To ensure that the Aotearoa that our mokopuna inherit is created in the image and vision of Te Tiriti, we need to collectively live principles of restoration, to focus on enhancing the dignity of the taiao and all peoples, and to work diligently towards repairing relationships.


We affirm that prior to 1840, hapū and iwi were vibrant and functional constitutional entities that had a distinct and legitimate Māori constitutionalism, underpinned by tikanga and kawa. They had the right, capacity and authority to make politically binding decisions for the wellbeing of their people and their territories.

We affirm that He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi sought to affirm and protect the already-existing Māori constitutional entities where sites of power resided in hapū and iwi and provided a place for all people in Aotearoa.

We affirm that the fundamental imbalance between the Crown’s illegitimate unilateral exercise of constitutional authority and the constitutional powerlessness of Māori continues to be exacerbated by the current political and constitutional systems and structures of Aotearoa.


We commit to promoting a constitution for good, just, and participatory government for and by all peoples that benefits everyone which recognises Māori as the Indigenous people of Aotearoa and ensures that Māori are fully recognised and respected in constitutional, political, social, cultural, and economic terms.

We commit to developing and implementing an inclusive constitution for Aotearoa based on tikanga and kawa, He Whakaputanga o te Rangitiratanga o Nu Tireni, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and other Indigenous human rights instruments which enjoy a wide degree of international recognition.

We commit to the advancement of constitutional transformation which upholds the values outlined in the report of Matike Mai – The value of tikanga, The value of community, The value of belonging, The value of place, The value of balance, The value of conciliation and The value of structure.


We undertake to educate ourselves and our communities on the history of Aotearoa, tikanga and kawa, He Whakaputanga o te Rangitiratanga o Nu Tireni, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We undertake to urgently initiate dialogue amongst our communities, particularly whānau, hapū and iwi and with the Crown and local authorities about the need for and possibilities of constitutional transformation.

We undertake to decolonise and re-indigenise our society, including recognising hapū and iwi tikanga and kawa as a valid system of law that sits alongside, not within the New Zealand legal system.

Constitutional Structure

We advocate for a multi-sphere constitutional structure that enables hapū, iwi and other Māori representation to organise themselves in their respective assemblies which sit adjacent to the Crown in Parliament. It also includes a relational sphere which would have two parts – a set of constitutionally-mandated direct hapū, iwi and Crown relationships and decision-making and perhaps another assembly of broader Māori and Crown representation.

We collectively acclaim and assert that constitutional transformation will be realised in Aotearoa by 2040