- This week the Māori Affairs Select Committee heard oral submissions in relation to the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori). A number of speakers expressed a level of concern with the structural proposal within the Bill, to create a new Māori language entity called Te Mātāwai. For example, Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie, for the New Zealand Māori Council, suggested “form follows function” and that the Bill was not clear on the actual Māori language strategy. Written submissions are not yet available for perusal. (Pānui 25/2014 provides a review of this Bill and outlines the structural proposals being made.)
- This week Te Wānanga o Aotearoa advised that phase two of its current restructuring is to be implemented (phase one brought its Open Wananga subsidy company back into the wānanga). Phase two is focused on the regional network of campuses. The wānanga intends to consolidate its existing six ‘territories’ into three ‘districts / takiwā’.
In the new structure Tamaki Makaurau and Northland will become one takiwā called Te Ihu. The second takiwā is Te Waenga, which will include sites from the Waikato region, Waiariki, Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay. The third takiwā, Te Kei, include sites from Hawkes Bay, Manuwatu, Taranaki, Wanganui, Wairarapa, Wellington and the South Island. Some redundancies are expected after employment consultation processes conclude.
- The New Zealand Māori Council has released a series of brochures on its history and services, including a proposed freshwater policy framework. We are presently giving these documents further consideration. The brochures can be found here:
- Tau Henare has been appointed as a Treaty Negotiator to facilitate discussions between the Crown, Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Te Whakatōhea. Mr Henare also received media attention this week in relation to a charge of breaching a name suppression order in 2011. Mr Henare pleaded guilty, apologised for wasting police and court time, and was fined $1,200.
- In December the Wanganui District Council voted in favour of applying to the New Zealand Geographic Board to change the spelling of Wanganui to Whanganui. In addition, the Council also determined to consult further on this matter, and invited submissions (including online form submissions). Circa 2,000 submissions have been made, which the Council will provide to the Board for its consideration.
- On Tuesday a group of children affected by the 2007 Police raids in Ruatoki travelled to Wellington as guests of the New Zealand Police. The purpose of the hikoi was to help restore relationships between Tūhoe and the Police. (Pānui 17/2013 refers.)