Māori data is a taonga. It is protected under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nation’s Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Data sovereignty refers to the rights and interests of Māori in the collection, ownership, and application of their own data.

Recent Waitangi Tribunal reports (Wai 262 and the Priority Report on the COVID-19 response) found failures in recognising Māori rights over their own data and protecting Māori information from improper use. They also highlighted failures in making Māori data accessible to Māori.

A stand-alone Māori data sovereignty framework is needed.

Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora is working with Manatū Hauora to facilitate and support Māori to develop such a framework – for Māori, by Māori.

The first step is to determine the data requirements by collaborating with our Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards, our hauora partners, and data and digital leaders.