Treaty of Waitangi

Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, the Nursing Council of New Zealand (‘the Council’) governs the practice of nurses by setting and monitoring standards and competencies for registration, which ensures safe and competent care for the public of New Zealand. 


Cultural safety, the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori health are aspects of nursing practice that are reflected in the Council’s standards and competencies. Standards for the registration of nurses in all scopes of practice require the content of theory and practice related experience in nursing programmes to include cultural safety, the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori health. Competencies outlined in the scopes of practice for nurses require the nurse to practise nursing in a manner that the health consumer determines as being culturally safe, and to demonstrate ability to apply the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti O Waitangi to nursing practice. These standards and competencies describe the requirements for cultural competence set by the Council under section 118(i) of the Act. In addition to this, the Nursing Council’s Code of Conduct for Nurses also requires nurses to practice in a culturally safe manner, and practise in compliance with the Treaty of Waitangi.

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