- Professor Cindy Kiro (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine) has been appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland.
- Ross Wilson (Ngāi Tahu) has been appointed Chair of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board.
- Karis Knight (Ngāti Porou) has been awarded the New Zealand Psychological Society Karahipi Tumuaki Scholarship. Ms Knight (University of Auckland student) has focused her research on the effect of whakamā (shame or embarrassment) on Māori mental health.
- Last month the Ministry of Justice published a factsheet on Adult Conviction and Sentencing for the year ending 30 June 2018. In 2017/18 circa 75,500 adults were charged with a crime, and 83% of charges resulted in a conviction. The most salient population disparity is via gender, with 78% of convictions relating to males. There is also a significant difference between Māori and non-Māori conviction rates, with 41% of all convicted adults being Māori.
- On Monday Mahuru Youth Remand Service was launched in Kaikohe. The service which will be rolled out across the Taitokerau region is a collaboration between Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services and Oranga Tamariki.
- On Monday the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was launched. The Government’s aspiration is that the agency will help reduce homelessness and improve housing affordability. The agency brings together housing policy, funding and regulatory functions from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Social Development and The Treasury. (Housing is a significant issue for Māori with over a third of Housing NZ tenants identifying as Māori, Māori home ownership being 35% and Māori being over-represented within the grouping of families without suitable housing; refer Pānui E24/2018).
- Last Friday the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, advised she has received the report into the investigation into the affairs of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, had considered the findings and recommendations, and written to the Board to implement the recommendations. What she did not do, however, is address the public interest in this matter by releasing the report, nor advising what the findings and recommendations were. We consider that unacceptably poor judgement from this Minister, as this Board is a statutory entity established by the Parliament of New Zealand, in receipt of public funds, and supposedly monitored by Te Puni Kōkiri (i.e. it is not a private entity). Minister Mahuta’s approach goes against the messaging of open and transparent government which we note is being espoused by the Prime Minister. The investigation followed allegations relating to governance and management concerns, and in particular the 2017 triennial elections of the Board. Fortunately, however, the Trust Board itself has acted with greater awareness of stewardship duties than the Minister, and has publicly released the report. Accordingly, we will advise on it further in Pānui edition 36/2018.
[Note: we further advise that voting has opened for members of Whakatōhea iwi to choose to continue the current settlement process led by the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust, or alternatively restart the mandating process. Voting ends 26 October. Refer Pānui 13/2018 for details.]
- On Monday the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) released a report entitled Maiea Te Tūruapō, Fulfilling the Vision. The report is based on the OCC’s independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki policies, practices and services: in particular the current practice of placing young people in large secure residences. This report is particularly important to Māori, given 63% of the circa 5,000 children and young people in State care situations are Māori (circa 3,100). We will provide a review of this report Pānui E36/2018.
Registrations are now open for the Federation of Māori Authorities Conference, to be held: Friday 2 – Sunday 4 November, Emerald