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Mana Ōrite Relationship Agreement

(Between): Data Iwi Leaders Group (Data ILG)

Me (And): The Chief Executive of Te Tari Taiwhenua — Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)

Rā whakamana (Date of agreement): 22 June 2021

1. Te kaupapa matua

1. Purpose

This agreement embodies the intention of the Data ILG and DIA to establish a mana ōrite Tiriti relationship. The purpose of the mana ōrite relationship is to help create a future that benefits te oranga whānui o Aotearoa by realising the potential of digital capability to make a sustainable positive difference to outcomes for iwi, hapū and whānau.

2. Te horopaki o tēnei whakaaetanga

2. Context

The Data ILG and DIA have chosen to describe this Tiriti-derived relationship as a mana ōrite relationship, in which the parties have equal explanatory power. This means the parties acknowledge and accept each other’s unique perspectives, knowledge systems and world-views as being equally valid to decisions made under the relationship established by this agreement. This mana ōrite relationship is in addition to, and not a substitute for, the broader relationship between Māori and the Crown. In carrying out any actions or activities associated with this agreement the parties will engage with each other on a mana ōrite basis.

3. Te whakapapa

3. Background

Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti) underpins this relationship

The parties’ agreed understanding is that Te Tiriti provides for the exercise of kāwanatanga by the Crown in exchange for active protection of te tino rangatiratanga of tāngata whenua over their own lands, forests, fisheries and other natural resources and taonga, including their culture, language and learning processes. As such, Te Tiriti provides the context for this mana ōrite relationship.

The parties have chosen to describe their Tiriti-derived relationship as a mana ōrite Tiriti relationship rather than a Treaty partnership, to acknowledge that one of the most critical parts of Te Tiriti is the enduring relationship.

Mana ōrite is understood within the context of this Tiriti-derived relationship as the parties having equal explanatory power within the operation of this relationship. Both parties acknowledge that Te Tiriti partners are iwi and hapū, and the Crown. The parties acknowledge that means that iwi have multiple Tiriti-based relationships, and that the primary Tiriti relationship for individual iwi is with the Crown and its representative minister — in this context, ministers with responsibility for DIA and Digital Public Services. The parties acknowledge that the relationship between the Data ILG and DIA is a sub-set of the overarching Tiriti relationship that iwi have with the Crown. The parties acknowledge that their mana ōrite relationship is in addition to, and not in substitute for, the broader Māori-Crown relationship.

The parties are committed to investing in the durability of a healthy mana ōrite relationship. Mana-enhancing practices will be reciprocated, meaning, the parties will act towards one another at all times, reasonably, honourably and in good faith.

4. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi

DIA acknowledges:

  • the Data ILG brings strategic leadership, knowledge and experience in te ao Māori, and through their technicians, specialist expertise in Māori data and digital interests
  • Data ILG’s mandate as part of the National Iwi Chairs Forum, which brings multi-layered relationships and enables collaboration, collective engagement and feedback with and from many iwi
  • Data ILG’s commitment to provide strategic input, guidance, constructive challenge and support to DIA to strengthen capability, engagement and relationships with iwi throughout Aotearoa to help ensure the current and future digital needs and aspirations of Māori are met.

The Data ILG acknowledges:

  • that DIA brings expertise in digital leadership, governance, design, services, capability and standards
  • DIA’s statutory roles, functions, and duties and its Chief Executive’s mandate as the Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO)
  • DIA’s commitment, as GCDO, to work in partnership with iwi Māori and across the public sector digital system to deliver digital public services that are responsive, accessible and work for iwi and hapū. This includes increasing opportunities for iwi, hapū, whānau and representative Māori organisations to engage in, and have input into, decisions on future system and digital design.

5. Ngā whāinga

5. Goals of the mana ōrite relationship

Through working together and leveraging their respective strengths, the Data ILG and DIA aim to achieve the following goals:

  • Digital strategies and polices, including operational approaches, that enable the current and future digital footprint, digital needs and aspirations of Māori throughout Aotearoa to be met more effectively.
  • Stronger engagement and relationships between DIA / GCDO and iwi and hapū across Aotearoa and the capability to sustain these over time.
  • Co-developed digital public services that are responsive, accessible and work for Māori.
  • A culturally competent and confident Digital Public Service.
  • Equity of outcomes with respect to iwi and Māori digital inclusion across the Digital Public Service system to support decision-making and investment.
  • A te ao Māori lens is embedded in decision-making across the Digital Public Service system.
  • digital commercial and trade opportunities are enabled for Māori business and iwi to contribute to the digital economy.

6. Uaratanga

6. Relationship principles

Both parties honour the following principles in the conduct of the relationship:

Mana ōrite

Respective views will be heard, considered, and afforded equal explanatory power.


Strong transparent relationships through respect, integrity, empathy, and commitment to the kaupapa.


A culture of moving together with solidarity towards a common purpose.


Leadership that focuses on common purpose whilst also respecting the autonomy and independence of the iwi and members of the Data ILG.


A shared culture of respect, care, protection and guardianship of the global digital futures for iwi Māori and Aotearoa.


A culture of inclusive and nurturing relationships at both an individual and collective level in order to ensure they are maintained and acknowledging the respective values and roles of the iwi, hapū and whānau.


A shared culture of respect of expertise and the shared aspiration to build digital capabilities and expertise for Māori, iwi, hapū and whānau to lead, develop and engage with current and emerging technologies.

7. Ngā hua o te Hononga

7. Agreed deliverables

The parties agree that it is important that effective mechanisms are in place for meaningful interaction, debate and co-development.

The following agreed mechanisms will provide opportunities to achieve the goals of and strengthen the mana ōrite relationship between the Data ILG and DIA:

  • DIA and the Data ILG agree to develop a work programme that defines the annually agreed outcomes, responsibilities, accountabilities and activities to give effect to their mana ōrite relationship.
  • Data ILG and GCDO will meet twice a year, to provide opportunity for:
    • both parties to discuss strategic issues, opportunities and plans, and to strengthen understanding and trust in their mana ōrite relationship

    • discussion of collective and common interests, needs and opportunities to improve Māori digital leadership and outcomes, the sharing of information and feedback on digital strategies, initiatives and outcomes

    • approval and ongoing review of the work programme to ensure it continues to meet the requirements of the relationship.

8. Ngā whakaritenga o tēnei whakaaetanga

He whanaungatanga whānui

The parties agree that this agreement does not create an exclusive relationship and each party may develop other appropriate relationships.

Kōrero muna

The parties will:

  • work openly and in good faith; in particular raising and responding to queries or concerns from the other party regarding privacy or confidentiality
  • treat the information supplied to the other party with the same care and level of stewardship it applies to its own information
  • respect and comply (where reasonably possible) with requests for constraints upon the disclosure of the other party’s information
  • proactively alert each other to any issues or concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality
  • where subject to a legal obligation to provide information (for example, under the Official Information Act 1982 or in response to a court order) consult (where reasonably possible) the other party before releasing information that relates directly to this agreement or when information has been provided in confidence by the other party.


To act transparently and in good faith, honouring the intellectual property of each party, while also sharing information to the extent possible, to ensure that the scope and intention of this agreement is achieved effectively.


This agreement records a commitment to a mana ōrite relationship. The parties acknowledge that over time the nature and focus of the relationship will evolve to reflect changing circumstances. The parties will meet for the purpose of reviewing this agreement, every 3 years or otherwise as agreed. The parties will conduct all review processes in a manner that reflects the principles of this relationship agreement.


The parties may at any time agree to amend this agreement to reflect:

  • changes to the goals of the relationship as they reflect changing circumstances, and
  • any other changes both parties agree are necessary.

Pūtea tautoko

Recognising that this agreement provides access to significant expertise, DIA may provide resourcing (including funding and / or people and / or tools) to assist the relationship or to support the work outlined in the work programme, the details of which will be agreed on between the relevant parties.

Whakatau nawe

Any issues or concerns arising out of this agreement shall be resolved through tikanga based kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) discussion in the first instance. The parties commit to a resolution process that respects the principles of this agreement.

Status of Data ILG signatories

This agreement is entered into on behalf of the Data ILG and they do so in that capacity and not personally (and they shall have no personal liability under this agreement).

9. Kai haina

9. Signatories

Signed for and on behalf of:

Department of Internal Affairs The Data Iwi Leaders Group

Signature of Paul James

Signature of Karen Vercoe

Name: Paul James Name: Karen Vercoe
Position: Chief Executive Position: Chairperson
Date: 22 June 2021 Date:

In the presence of:

Signature Iwi / organisation
Signature of witness Te Kāhui Raraunga
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