Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has released their annual report to 30 June 2013, which shows the group’s net profit after tax (i.e. all Ngāi Tahu entities) of circa $122 million. A large proportion of this profit comes from a government ‘relativity payment’, which is part of the Treaty settlement agreement between Ngāi Tahu and the Crown, and is not derived from trading activities. (That is, the Ngāi Tahu settlement is required to remain at 16.1 per cent of the total value of all Treaty settlements.) Ngāi Tahu have also confirmed that they are now entering into arbitration with the Government over the relativity payment, to ensure the correct amount of settlement redress is received. We also advise profits from Ngāi Tahu regular trading activities have reduced from the previous financial year.
- The New Zealand Māori Council have indicated that Archdeacon Harvey Ruru is no longer the Chair of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui District. There was disagreement between the Archdeacon and the Council Executive as to whether the correct election processes had been held.
- On Tuesday a partnership initiative between Aotearoa Fisheries, Sealord, Sanford, and the Government announced they were trialling ‘precision seafood harvesting’, in order to reduce by-catch and to better target fish of particular sizes. In essence this technology replaces traditional fishing nets with PVC fishing tubes which allow small fish to escape, and undesired species to be released without harm. (Conceptually similar to traditional hinaki.) The ‘new’ technology is expected to increase New Zealand’s ability to export live fish.
- On Tuesday the Minister of Housing, Nick Smith, launched a new home purchasing initiative called ‘First Home’. The initiative involves the government gifting 10 per cent of a deposit to low income earners to assist them to purchase vacant state houses. Also on Wednesday, to further progress the Government’s social housing programme, the Associate Minister of Housing, Tariana Turia, officially opened five new kaumatua houses built by Te Rūanga of Kirikiriroa and Te Rauawaawa Charitable Kaumatua Trust in Hamilton.
- On Wednesday the Government commenced consultation for decreasing the size of wānanga (and university) councils. Presently these councils have up to twenty members, with a representational appointment approach. The proposal is to reduce membership to between eight and twelve members, with a greater focus on competency-based appointments. Consultation closes on 12 November. We advise this week the Government has also released a new draft Tertiary Education Strategy, and a report on tertiary education. We are reviewing implications for Māori from these documents and will provide an analytical assessment in the next Pānui briefing paper.
- Nursing Council Chief Executive, Carolyn Reed, has advised that Māori now comprise 13 per cent of graduates from nursing programmes. (Māori presently comprise 7 per cent of the nursing workforce.)
- On Tuesday deregistered lawyer Davina Murray was sentenced to 50 hours community work for smuggling contraband to a prisoner.