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Why is there no reference to the Treaty of Waitangi in the code of conduct?

The Treaty of Waitangi is a cornerstone of New Zealand’s constitutional structure together with the Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, Electoral Act 1993 and Judicature Act 1908.  None of these provisions are specifically mentioned in the code of conduct. However, they are implicitly made part of it through the reference to carrying out the work of New Zealand’s democratically elected governments, and consequentially made part of it through the standards of acting lawfully and objectively, and being professional and responsive.

The code of conduct (www.ssc.govt.nz/code) sets out the behaviour expected of State servants at a lower and more detailed level than the constitutional framework.  Common standards are set for everyone working in agencies covered by the code of conduct, and their responsiveness to the people of New Zealand is not to differ except where there are lawful reasons to do so.  There is no difference for Māori working in the State Services or in relation to any State Services dealing with Māori.

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