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Treaty of Waitangi settlement agreements

Protocols, accords, whakaaetanga

Through the Treaty settlement process, Manatū Taonga works with Post Settlement Governance Entities (PSGEs). PSGEs are elected to represent their iwi/hapū on many Treaty settlement commitments and partnership agreements relating to their cultural and heritage aspirations.

What is a Deed of Settlement and how is it made? 

  • A Deed of Settlement is the final settlement of all historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of an iwi/hapū, resulting from acts or omissions by the Crown.
  • A Deed of Settlement usually includes a Crown apology and provisions to settle the claims brought against the Crown
  • Official representatives, on behalf of iwi/hapū and the Crown, will negotiate and agree to sign a Deed of Settlement. This work is led by Te Arawhiti.
  • Once the Deed of Settlement is signed and is voted in, Parliament will pass a law to confirm that the settlement is final and make the settlement legally binding. 
  • All Deed of Settlement documentation can be found on using the Treaty Settlement search function. 
  • All Deed of Settlement legislation can be found on

How is Manatū Taonga involved? 

  • A Deed of Settlement can provide for a government agency, such as Manatū Taonga, to issue a protocol document with a PSGE. This sets out how the agency will interact and perform specific operations it is responsible for that are of relevance or interest to the iwi/hapū.  
  • Where relevant, the settlement legislation provides for Manatū Taonga to comply with any protocol issued in respect of Manatū Taonga.  
  • The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, or the Secretary for Culture and Heritage and Chief Executive of Manatū Taonga (if delegated), will issue the protocol on behalf of the Crown. 
  • The agency must make publicly available any protocol documents on its website it has entered into as a result of settlement legislation.  

What do Manatū Taonga call their protocols?  

  • The earliest agreements Manatū Taonga entered with PSGEs are called 'Antiquities Protocols'. The Antiquities Act 1975 was the predecessor to the 2006 amendment of the Protected Objects Act.  
  • Following the 2006 amendment of the Protected Objects Act, Manatū Taonga began calling its agreements 'Taonga Tūturu Protocols'. This was because the earliest protocols mostly focused on the administration of the Protected Objects Act including export of taonga tūturu, how Manatū Taonga should engage with a PSGE regarding found taonga tūturu, and registration of PSGEs as expert examiners and collectors of taonga tūturu.  
  • As early as 2006, the title 'Taonga Tūturu Protocol' became inaccurate as Manatū Taonga and iwi/hapū began to create more bespoke agreements to support iwi/hapū cultural and heritage aspirations.  Not only did Taonga Tūturu Protocols include provisions for taonga tūturu, but their scope widened to include, where agreed, what was relevant/important to the iwi/hapū. This included:
    • Engagement in policy and legislation review where relevant to iwi/hapū interests (detailed in the protocol);
    • Board appointments notification and nominations process;
    • Provision of cultural practices and professional services by iwi;
    • Administration of national monuments, war graves and historical graves in the relevant rohe; 
    • History research and publications, and
    • Terms of Issue and the protocol area.

Whakaaetanga Tiaki Taonga and Te Ara Taonga

  • In 2017, Manatū Taonga implemented the Whakaaetanga Tiaki Taonga (Whakaaetanga) relationship agreement, superseding the 'Taonga Tūturu Protocols'. Whakaaetanga can be translated as ‘agreement’ and tiaki can be translated as ‘protect or look after.
  • Whakaaetanga gives effect to the relationship between iwi and the respective agencies. Some culture and heritage agencies come under this document, the Whakaaetanga Tiaki Taonga, and some have their own agreement.  What remains across these agreements is the relationship approach: that agencies will work collaboratively to support iwi and their taonga aspirations.
  • Manatū Taonga is a participating agency in the Te Ara Taonga grouping. Manatū Taonga also takes a lead role in the co-ordination of the Ara Taonga grouping, involving co-ordinating and facilitating Whakaaetanga negotiations with iwi.  
  • The provisions within a Whakaaetanga are similiar to those contained in a Taonga Tūturu Protocol.
  • For further information, read the Te Ara Taonga guide: Iwi/Crown taonga relationships in Treaty Settlements (PDF 1 MB)


Antiquities Protocols, Taonga Tūturu Protocols and Whakaaetanga Tiaki Taonga are listed below. Some signatures have been redacted for privacy reasons. 




















Updated on 13th November 2023