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Māori news stories for the week ending 4 July 2014; (edition 23/2014)

Māori news stories for the week ending 4 July 2014; (edition 23/2014)

  • On Tuesday Statistics New Zealand released, Te Ao Mārama 2014.  This is an annual booklet publication of key statistics about the Māori population.  This year the booklet draws heavily on new statistics from the 2013 Census and from the 2013 Māori Social Survey, Te Kupenga.  Pānui has already reviewed both of these key source documents, and detailed information can be found in Pānui editions 15/2014 (Te Kupenga), and 43/2013 (Māori Census data).

    In our view Te Ao Mārama is gradually becoming more useful in tracking a broader range of Māori social and cultural trends (not just population demographics), although we are less sure about the value of including river condition data in the 2014 edition, as the Māori environmental indicator.  (This is data about the levels of phosphorous, bacteria (e coli), ammonia, nitrate and macro invertebrate within rivers.  I.e. although rivers are important to Māori identity, the actual data presented is not clearly linked to the rest of the booklet.)

  • Yesterday an Auckland District Court judge, Philippa Cunningham, discharged Korotangi Paki without conviction on charges relating to burglary, theft, and drink driving.  Mr Paki is the son of Tainui King, Tuheitia.

    The charges of burglary and theft relate to incidents in March, with Mr Paki being one of a group of four who committed the crimes in Gisborne, which involved stealing two surfboards and then goods from the boot of a parked vehicle.  Mr Paki had previously pleaded guilty to these charges.  Mr Paki’s discharge without conviction was consistent with the sentencing imposed on the other co-offenders; Te Ahorangi Totorewa, Hamuera Pugh, and Raa Smith.

    The drink driving charge relates to a separate incident in October last year, to which Mr Paki had also pleaded guilty.  On this matter the Police Prosecutor opposed Mr Paki’s application for a discharge without conviction, on the basis that no individual should be above the law, and treating Mr Paki differently from others who had committed the same crime would send the wrong message to society.  Judge Cunningham, however, accepted advice that a conviction would make Mr Paki ineligible for a future senior role within the Kingitanga, and therefore determined that such a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the crime.  Mr Paki will, however, been required to participate in restorative justice measures (already commenced), and undertake an alcohol dependency assessment.  He was also disqualified from driving for eight months.

  • This week a media outlet published articles on the amount of koha provided by Government agencies and Crown entities.  The media outlet obtained koha records through an Official Information Act request and noted that, in their view, items are not clearly specified or receipted.  No individual items of concern were raised. In total, the media company advises that more than $200,000 dollars has been provided in koha, over a two-year period.  (In our analysis this represents circa 0.005% of Government expenditure.)   Further information to confirm the financial analysis of the media outlet is not available, and presently the matter presents as non-alarming media sensationalism.
  • Yesterday the Environment Minister, Amy Adams, and the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, announced that the Government had confirmed a new policy statement for the management of freshwater.  Refer to Pānui 42/2013 for a review of the proposal which has now been implemented.
  • Yesterday the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, released some 2013 NCEA data, relating to the Better Public Service Goals.  This data shows that in 2013, 63% of Māori 18-years olds had achieved NCEA level 2 (up from 61% in 2012).  We will be reviewing this data further when additional educational data is released.

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