|The Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. It is a permanent commission of inquiry charged with inquiring into Maori claims relating to the Treaty of Waitangi. The Tribunal comprises up to 16 members, who are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Maori Affairs, for their expertise in the matters that are likely to come before them. It also has a chairperson, who is either a judge or a retired judge of the High Court or the chief judge of the Maori Land Court, and a deputy chairperson, who is a judge of the Maori Land Court. Approximately half the members are Maori and half are Pakeha (European Settlers).|
The role of the Tribunal is set out in the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, and its amendments which includes inquiring into and making recommendations upon any claim properly submitted to the Tribunal; examining and reporting on any proposed legislation referred to the Tribunal by the House of Representatives or a Minister of the Crown; and making recommendations or determinations in respect of certain Crown forest land, railways land, State-owned enterprise land, and land transferred to educational institutions.