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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement

Indigenous Affairs
Friday, 28 February 2020
Publication author(s):
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Publication abstract:

Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand share a close, long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship. Both governments acknowledge our respective indigenous peoples – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, and Māori, tangata whenua of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The Governments of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand establish this Collaboration Arrangement (the Arrangement) in recognition of the unique role of our indigenous peoples in the identity of our respective countries, their rich cultures and languages, as well as their ancestral, spiritual and continuing connections to the land and sea.

Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand share a close, long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship. Both governments acknowledge our respective indigenous peoples – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, and Māori, tangata whenua of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The Governments of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand establish this Collaboration Arrangement (the Arrangement) in recognition of the unique role of our indigenous peoples in the identity of our respective countries, their rich cultures and languages, as well as their ancestral, spiritual and continuing connections to the land and sea.

The Arrangement seeks to:

  • Deepen cultural and people-to-people relationships among Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities, businesses and organisations;
  • Provide a mechanism for collaboration and consultation on areas of mutual interest; and
  • Enable sharing of information between governments and indigenous peoples to inform the development of policies that affect indigenous peoples.

Our collaboration will be based on, and guided by, principles of:

  • Partnership – we will implement the Arrangement using a partnership approach, including meaningful and timely engagement with our respective indigenous peoples;
  • Indigenous-led, government-enabled – collaboration through this Arrangement will be informed and guided by the aspirations of our respective indigenous peoples;
  • Diversity – we acknowledge and value the rich diversity of traditional knowledge, cultures, customs, languages and histories of our respective indigenous peoples; and
  • Respect – all engagement under this Arrangement will be undertaken with due respect to each other and our indigenous peoples.

Our collaboration will be led by annual meetings between our respective Ministers, which will be taken forward at an annual dialogue between the heads of our agencies and guided by priorities as set out in the Schedule and a work plan, as may be mutually arranged from time to time. Our collaboration will be guided by the following four themes and associated sub-themes:

  • Agency – leadership, education, recognition and autonomy;
  • Culture – heritage, identity, language, land and the arts;
  • Economy – business, trade, procurement, policy, development and capability; and
  • Wellbeing – health, custodianship, housing, youth and environment.

Our two governments commit to a continuing indigenous collaboration relationship, as friends and partners. Signed in Sydney, Australia on 28 February 2020.

For the Government of Australia

Hon Ken Wyatt, AM MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians

For the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand

Hon Nanaia Mahuta, MP

Minister for Māori Development
Associate Minister for Trade and Export Growth

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