NZ Maori Council vs Attorney General (1987)
Ngati Tama joined the New Zealand Maori Council challenge in the Court of Appeal against the Crown in respect of the State Owned Enterprises legislation.
Ngati Tama’s case, as presented by Stephen Taitoko White, provided strong evidence to support the claim, which was won by the New Zealand Maori Council.
The Treaty was incorporated into New Zealand law in the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986. Section 9 of the Act said that nothing in the Act permitted the Crown to act in a manner “that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”. This allowed the courts to consider the Crown’s actions in terms of compliance with the Treaty.Contemporary legislation has followed suit, giving the Treaty an increased legal importance.
Implications for Treaty jurisprudence