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E32A Māori News week ending 13 September 2019

Parliamentary Matters

  • On Tuesday the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.

http://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-hinerangi/

  • On Thursday the first reading of Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana / Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill, was completed in Parliament. This Bill recognises and addresses the crimes against the Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana, and his community of Maungapōhatu. In 1916 Rua was arrested and charged with sedition, and although he was found not guilty, he was still imprisoned for over eighteen months for resisting arrest.  A statutory pardon is being considered.

Appointments and Awards

  • Antoine Coffin (Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Raukawa) has been appointed to the Resource Management Review Panel. The panel will advise Government on the Resource Management Act and matters concerning freshwater, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances.
  • Topia Rameka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) has been appointed as the inaugural Deputy Chief Executive – Māori for Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections.
  • Hayden Wano (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Awa) has been appointed to and named chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tuhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been appointed a member of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • On Wednesday the Prime Ministers’ Education Excellence Awards were held in Wellington. Award winners included Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, 2019 Focus Prize.

General News Items

  • This week Snap Reo, an online micro Te Reo learning programme, was launched. Snap Reo is funded by Te Māngai Pāho.
  • This week the Financial Markets Authority and Institute of Directors published ‘Ngā Mea Waiwai o te Tūranga Whakataka’ a Te Reo version of ‘The Essentials of Being a Director’. The resource is a guidebook for directors, and Traci Haupapa, Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA), notes it shows an increased commitment to diversity and inclusivity from the Authority. https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Guidance/IoD-FMA-Director-Essentials-in-Maori.pdf
  • On Tuesday the Government conjointly released ‘Every Life Matters, Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019 – 2029’ and an ‘Action Plan 2019 – 2024’. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister for Health, Dr David Clark, also announced that a designated Suicide Prevention Office will be established along with the establishment of a Māori Advisory group and Lived Experience group. This is a significant announcement as the Māori suicide rate is 28.2 per 100,000 tangata compared to the New Zealand overall rate of 13.9 per 100,000 people.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern and Minister Clark also released the draft terms of reference for the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. The Commission will provide independent scrutiny of the Government’s progress in improving New Zealand’s mental health and wellbeing, promote collaboration between entities that contribute to mental health and wellbeing, and develop advice and a framework for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern also announced that the National School Curriculum is to be updated to make explicit the expectation of content taught within the New Zealand’s history curriculum. The changes will take effect for all schools and kura, years 1 – 10, in early 2022. Currently the National Curriculum enables schools and kura to decide how New Zealand history is covered. It is expected that the new curriculum will cover the following topics:
    • arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand;
    • first encounters and early colonial history;
    • Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and its history;
    • colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars;
    • evolving national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
    • Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Pacific; and
    • Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 20th century and evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality.
  • This week Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust opened a show home for the trust’s Te Puna Wai Papakāinga Housing Project, in Wainuiomata. Te Puna Wai is a mixed tenure housing development that will be completed over two stages.  The trust has received from Te Puni Kōkiri a $2.6 million investment grant to support infrastructure costs for 23 housing sites, and the construction of 11 kaumātua rental homes. The trust plans to build 80 dwellings in total.
  • This week the Ministry for the Environment commenced a series of public consultation and feedback hui on freshwater issues, productive land, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances management. Consultation for the various issues closes late September to mid-October 2019. Dates and locations for upcoming Māori specific hui are listed in the table below.
Date Location Time Venue
16 September Blenheim 10:30am – 1:30pm Scenic Hotel
17 September Tauranga 9.00am – 12.00pm Hotel Armitage
18 September Greymouth 12.00pm – 3.00pm Ashley Hotel
18 September Whakatāne 9.00am – 12.00pm Manukatutahi Marae
19 September Rotorua 12:00pm – 3:00pm Te Ao Marama
23 September Gisborne 11:30am – 2:30pm Emerald Hotel
24 September Wairoa 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
24 September Hamilton 11.00am – 2.00pm Hamilton Gardens Pavillion
25 September Napier 1.00pm – 4.00pm East Pier Hotel
25 September Auckland 12:30pm – 3:30pm Potters Park Events Centre
26 September Whangarei 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
27 September Kaitaia 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed

E31 Salient Māori News week ending 6 September 2019

  • On Wednesday the Minister of Housing, Megan Wood, announced changes to the Government’s Kiwibuild programme, which is a policy initiative designed to increase housing affordability for low and middle income first home buyers. One of the main changes is a ‘Progressive Home Ownership Scheme’, via either rent-to-own or shared equity ownership models.  (Both approaches are thought to reduce the deposit burden required by whānau to enter the housing market.) [1]

The shared equity concept may allow for third-parties – potentially iwi entities – to co-own a home with a whānau, until the whānau can afford to purchase outright.  This concept has potential to increase Māori home ownership, and better position iwi/Māori entities in housing provision.  However, no substantive details on how it might work have been provided as yet.  (We also note no new funds are attached, just the redevelopment of existing housing funding.)   Overall, given housing was a major policy platform for this Government, it is difficult to see much gain as yet and the lack of practical details does not instil policy confidence.

[Important background context: Housing is one of two policy levers that has high tractability (social change potential), because of the flow-on effects to other socio-economic outcomes – i.e. better education and health outcomes are directly linked to housing quality and stability.  (School participation, for example, is easy and more consistent if children are not moving between multiple rental properties.)  Moreover, better economic outcomes are also linked to home ownership: in short, home ownership allows for the investment of income into an asset (the house), rather than the expenditure of income on rent.  This can lead to inter-generational wealth changes. For these reasons housing outcomes matter to Māori, but Statistics NZ research shows that the (age adjusted) Māori individual home ownership rate is 35% (and falling).  Ultimately most Māori adults and children now live in rental properties – opposite to the non-Māori population.  This is one of the key socio-economic differences between Māori and non-Māori.   (Pānui 19/2016 refers.)]

  • On Monday the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released a 1-page infographic on labour market publication entitled ‘Labour Market Statistics Snapshot to June 2019’. This brings together already published Statistics NZ information and other data.  The Māori labour markets statistics presented are:
  • Ranginui 12 Trust has been granted a $2.8 million investment from Te Puni Kōkiri for the development of a nine home papakāinga in Tauranga. The total cost of the development is circa $4.8 million.
  • This week the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, announced details for the ‘opt-in-donations’ scheme. Up to 1,700 decile 1-7 schools will be given the opportunity to receive additional funding of $150 per student, if they join the scheme, and forfeit the right to seek ‘activity fees’/donations from parents/whānau. The purpose of the funding is to reduce the financial burden of schooling on low income whānau and families.  We expect this will be positive outcome for many Māori whānau.
  • Today the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced that the Central North Island township of Bennydale will now be officially known by the dual name Maniaiti / Benneydale and the main railway line between Te Awamutu and Taumarunui, is now named ‘Te Ara-o-Tūrongo’ The name changes were initiated by Ngāti Maniapoto.
  • On Monday the Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis, announced the launch of Te Mataaho-ā-Iwi: Iwi Education Profiles Dashboard. Te Mataaho-ā-Iwi is an online tool which provides data for Māori Learners including the learners’ iwi affiliation.  We are presently reviewing the usefulness of this tool and will advise further if appropriate.
  • On Wednesday the Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis, launched Kauwhata Reo, an online hub for Te Reo Māori resources.  https://kauwhatareo.govt.nz/
  • This week a prominent Māori Northland doctor, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, called for the Government to make the immunisation of children compulsory and to impose sanctions on caregivers (such as reducing benefit payments) for those who chose not to have their children in the vaccination programme. The Associate Minister of Health, Julie Anne Genter, debunked that as a policy platform, noting that children should not be punished for the actions of their parents.  We are not aware of any evidence to support Dr O’Sullivan’s proposal that sanctions on those receiving state support may increase immunisation rates.

[We note the Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, advises immunisation is the best way to protect against getting measles.  Measles (MMR) vaccination is free to everyone under the age of 50 and is said to be 99 percent effective after two doses.]

[1] Other changes related to minium deposite thresholds.  The annoucement can be viewed here:  https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/kiwibuild-reset-reduces-deposit-needed-buy-first-home

[2] We provide a fuller analysis of unemployment and related data as Statistics NZ releases it.  Refer Pānui x/2019.

E30 30 August 2019 Waitangi Tribunal Freshwater Report

Waitangi Tribunal Freshwater Report

Contextual summary

In regard to the Waitangi Tribunal Report on freshwater, while there are many aspects within this inquiry, its genesis comes from a simple question as to who owns water, and then subsequently who can make decisions about it use. e. does the Treaty guarantee freshwater rights to Māori, and do or should Māori have ownership over their traditional bodies of water?

By way of succinct background, these types of questions were first put to the Tribunal in 2012, in a claim lodged by the New Zealand Māori Council and five hapū groups. (This was, in part, prompted by a pre-election announcement from the National Party that if re-elected they would partially sell State energy companies via share floats).  To tackle the claims the Waitangi Tribunal divided its inquiry into two stages, with the first (urgent) stage heard in August that year, which was limited to considering whether the proposed share sales affected any Māori water rights.

During this first hearing the claimants asserted that Māori interests in freshwater existed in 1840 and had never been extinguished.  The Crown – not being able to demonstrate a fair process for the extinguishing of Māori freshwater rights had occurred – instead contended that “no-one owns water”, but that some specific and localised Māori water rights could still exist, if proven.

[By-in-by the Crown also argued that selling parts of State assets was irrelevant to any such future discussions on water ownership.   The New Zealand Māori Council continued to legally challenge that aspect as well, until March 2013, when ultimately the Supreme Court ruled against them on that, closing all legal avenues.  The Supreme Court found partial privatisation “will not impair to a material extent the Crown’s ability to remedy any Treaty breach in respect of Māori interests in water”. ]

However, the Tribunal found the overall Treaty claim itself was genuine, and that Māori “proprietary rights” over bodies of water were assured under the Treaty of Waitangi, with the closest English equivalent in 1840 being “ownership”, and the closest modern-day equivalent being “residual property rights”.   Putting this another way, in 2012 through this hearing, the claimants, the Crown and the Tribunal all agreed that there may still be some Māori proprietary rights in relation to freshwater.  We note the Iwi Leaders Group did not readily engage in the process at that time (they were instead working with the Government to negotiate policy reforms).

In addition, however, the Tribunal also noted that some Māori water rights may have been ceded in legitimate ways since 1840, or through Treaty breaches, or may still be in active existence – but such findings would not be clear until stage two of the inquiry was completed.  So it is these specifics – exactly what water rights might exist – and what breaches might have occurred, which were supposed to be the focus of stage two of the WAI 2358 inquiry.[1]

Out-of-scope Questions

We advise, however, the report released yesterday – i.e. the long-awaited stage two report – does not directly answer the question at hand around any existing Māori proprietary rights over bodies of water, or geothermal energy. Nor does it set out a framework for making such determinations.  Instead, on that central matter at the very end of the report – on page 564 – the Tribunal gives just a couple of sentences advising that determining if Māori residual property rights still exist over freshwater, i.e. native title in common law, is something other Courts should determine.

The Tribunal suggests that because their remit is only to make recommendations, a test case should be brought to another Court to decide the matter. So to that end the Waitangi Tribunal, although stating that they agree there is likely to be some Māori common law water rights, and they think the Crown should recognise some Māori water rights, ultimately decide they are not in the best position to resolve this Crown/Māori dilemma, and that others should sort it out instead.

In our view this is a real let down, as it seems to us the whole purpose of having a Waitangi Tribunal is for Māori to have a means to have grievances heard and then addressed outside of standard Court proceedings. It is because of this sidestep that we rate this report as marginal.  Rather than eight years of time, thousands of pages of submissions, and a 500 page plus report; in our view the Tribunal ought to have just declared that it considered it had no mandate to determine water ownership issues much earlier – and it probably could have done than in a paragraph.

That is, however if the Tribunal genuinely has no mandate. We are somewhat sceptical on that point, as although the rationale that “our (Waitangi Tribunal) jurisdiction is recommendations only” is correct, that outcome restriction does not constrain findings from being made – and further, we note it has not previously prohibited the Tribunal from determining taonga / ownership status.  For example, the Tribunal formed a view on radio wave status in an earlier report (finding Māori interests existed).  Because of this the Tribunal has not convinced us that it could not form more solid findings on ownership interests of freshwater, leading us to conclude that a review of the operations and legislative settings for this Tribunal may now be required.

Notwithstanding the above, our review (attached) summarises what the Tribunal has decided it can comment on at this time – essentially two items:  the Resource Management Act (RMA) as it relates to freshwater, and second Government policy reforms centred on freshwater – including the quality of engagements with Māori, between 2002 and 2017.

Also note after a submission from the Crown, in 2016 the Tribunal decided to remove geothermal energy considerations from this second stage inquiry and to deal with that later. However, no details on when or what have been released by the Tribunal to follow-up on that decision regarding geothermal resources.

[By-in-by, one of the reasons the Tribunal’s report is so long is that despite being a contemporary report it contains a bunch of historical research on past legislative settings relating to freshwater.  This is useful for those interested in the background of this matter.  In our view, the nub of it all seems to be that prior to the 1991 Resource Management Act (which the Tribunal focuses on), there was a 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, in which Parliament gave the Government “the sole right to dam any river or stream, or to divert or to take natural water, or to discharge natural water or waste into any natural water, or to use natural water” (underlining added).[2] Prior to that law, English common law was arguably solely in effect over New Zealand waterways.  However,  it is possible/likely neither the 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, nor the 1991 Resource Management Act actually extinguished any existing common law rights – rather these newer laws are said to be regulatory in nature – i.e. setting out the rules relating to water use (namely that the Government can decide usage) – but not actually extinguishing ownership rights or changing titles.

 This Tribunal report appears to suggest that understanding is a position held by claimants, but also largely accepted by the Crown as well.  If correct, this viewpoint supports the notion that seeking native title via other courts might be something worth pursuing for some hapū and iwi groups.  But we surmise all iwi/hapū groups would individually need to prove native title / ownership, and that could be hard for many, particularly given associated land alienation that has occurred.]

The Findings and Recommendations of The Tribunal

The Tribunal finds the RMA, including its development and current administration, is non-compliant with the Treaty of Waitangi in at least four ways.  This includes that the RMA:

  • has weak Treaty of Waitangi provisions;
  • does not sufficiently provide for Māori tino rangatiratanga or kaitiakitanga over bodies of water which are taonga to particular iwi and hapū;
  • was developed exclusive to Māori, meaning Māori are (wrongly) treated as ‘new entrants’ when seeking water rights for their endeavours; and
  • has allowed for serious degradation of water quality to occur, despite Māori concerns.

Regarding policy developments, the Tribunal does note some positive efforts to work with iwi/Māori from the Crown, but that outcomes have been thwarted, often by Crown slowness, and by a prevalent ideology that ‘no one owns’ water. For these types of reasons, the Tribunal is of the view that multiple Treaty of Waitangi breaches have occurred, and that these are not just limited to Māori having kaitiaki interests, but also equitable access to water for economic purposes as well.

The proposed remedy is centred on co-governance. For this report co-governance means an actual entity of some sort.  Other recommendations centre on better monitoring of local councils and the like, more funding for Māori participation in this area, and more enabling regulations to ensure Māori voice is strengthened at all stages in water management processes.

Discussion

As noted above our review finds, despite the length of this report, it is only partially effective in identifying issues and providing analysis on key matters at hand. Clearly the Waitangi Tribunal is more comfortable discussing regulatory and policy shortcomings against a list of Treaty of Waitangi principles, than discussing tougher issues such as proprietary rights.  We note this policy/regulatory approach is consistent with other recent Tribunal reports – in areas such as Corrections and Health – but we question its usefulness for a natural resource such as freshwater.[3]  In our assessment, the Tribunal has largely missed an opportunity to make clearer findings on rights and interests, and has instead taken an easier road in finding fault with policy.

This approach matters not just because it downplays the core ‘ownership’ challenge, but also because it gives limited consideration to whether regulatory matters are improving. e. in this report the Tribunal finds that current policy settings are in breach of their expectations around Treaty partnership, and therefore the Crown must provide redress.   But for policy considerations the question arises, in terms of Treaty of Waitangi compliance, whether the current water management reforms – which include a Māori/iwi developed Mana o Te Wai framework for freshwater – are better than the Resource Management Act of 1991 (which had a Treaty framework); and was that in turn better than the 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, which had no Māori or Treaty referencing? The issue being that if the Treaty is considered to be a living partnership, and Government policy is also continually evolving, then the possibility of the Crown breaching at least the edges of that partnership likely exists in perpetuity.  So how much gain, how much change is occurring, and at what pace, are central questions which matter in terms of Crown responsiveness to Treaty of Waitangi principles within policy frameworks.  However, this type of analysis presents as being outside of the Tribunal’s binary (Treaty compliant or not) framework.  In our view, over the long haul, it would seem to us that Māori representation in water management issues has improved since 1967, but remains largely on the fringes of management decision-making arrangements; and Māori remain entirely locked out of ‘ownership’ type decisions.  Perhaps then the Crown is improving its level of compliance with Treaty expectations but has not yet met a minimum threshold satisfactory to the Tribunal in regard to freshwater.  It would have been useful for the Tribunal to clarify such matters.

We also note the report has significant drift into historic and scientific matters. For example, in their summary chapter one finding of the Tribunal is that, “the nitrate toxicity bottom line would still allow impacts on 20 per cent of aquatic species, and the direction that had been added on nutrient enrichment was acknowledged as incomplete (with further work planned)”.  We don’t question the science, but question whether the Tribunal has lost its way a little in devolving into such areas and debates on operational policy settings of this nature.  We think the point is that the current regulatory settings have not sufficiently protected water quality in accordance with Treaty of Waitangi expectations – i.e. it’s not safe for Māori (and others) to drink from, or even sometimes swim in, their tribal rivers and lakes.  Perhaps, at best a compendium report ought to have been prepared for these more technical findings.

In regard to the key recommendation for co-governance, the Tribunal report mulls over the different views of the claimants (such as the New Zealand Māori Council), and Iwi Leaders Group (as interested parties) as to what might be best. The Māori Council maintained that a Water Commission is required, and that it be a 50:50 partnership between Māori and the Crown, setting out how allocation rights could work.  Iwi, who were silent in the 2012 first stage, now make the point there does need to be some form of allocation or royalty scheme for sure, and yes co-governance is part of that, but that any such framework should occur within the context of existing iwi authorities in relation to their respective water catchment areas (i.e. not so much a single settlement nor a pan-Māori grouping setting allocations for iwi).

Following these submissions the Tribunal recommends an independent Water Commission; but then appears to get lost trying to back the differing views of the New Zealand Māori Council and the Iwi Leaders Group; meaning although the Tribunal is clear a co-governance entity of some sort is needed, and some allocation framework is needed to give Māori water rights – beyond that just quite what functions any such Commission should have is not clear. Hence the unenlightening statement in conclusion:

“we recommend a number of paths and mechanisms for co-governance and co-management which, severally or combined, will enable iwi and hapū to arrive at the most appropriate arrangement for their particular rohe and for each of their water bodies.”

On balance, we consider this cart before horse approach is tilted more towards the requests of the Iwi Leaders Group, which may be a little disappointing for some claimants, given the lack of initial support for this claim from iwi groups.

Last, we note the recommendation that all policy should be co-designed by Māori ‘from now on’, ‘where Māori interests are concerned’. Overall, we cannot think of any policy sector where Māori interests do not exist, so in effect the Tribunal is saying ‘co-design’ with Māori across all areas of public policy is their expectation for a new normal.  That of course will be a tough challenge for governments to maintain, meaning future claims in any sector will be able to use that as a measure for Treaty compliance.  Again, this leads to the view that the future role of the Tribunal will be to undertake Treaty-compliant (or not) evaluations of Government policies, like a watch-dog commission, rather than positioning itself to adjudicate on bigger picture matters of rights and ownership.

[1] And associated claims.

[2] Some provisions for existing landowners were retained in this Act, to ensure they had water for themselves, their livestock and for firefighting.  I.e. existing usage was maintained.

[3] Refer to Pānui editions 12/2017 for Corrections and 24/2019 for Health.

 

Title: The Stage 2 Report On The National Freshwater And Geothermal Resources Claims (WAI 2358)
Publisher & Date: Waitangi Tribunal: August 2019
Type of Document: Waitangi Tribunal Report
Length, style: 565 pages, academic, technical.  Difficult reading in places.
Recommended readership: This report has implications for all, however it has low accessibility due to its length and style.  We consider it is filled with barely relevant historical and scientific research and would recommend chapter 7 (summary of findings and recommendations) and the opening Ministerial letter as initial readings.[1]
Content summary: The first chapter of this report set out the scope of the inquiry and Treaty principles to be considered.  Chapters two to six provide an analysis of current legal settings (the Resource Management Act (RMA), and Government policy work from (2002 to 2017).  The Act and the policy work are tested for Treaty of Waitangi ‘compliance’.  Chapter seven provides a summary (sic) of findings and recommendations.

Overall, the Tribunal finds that the present law is not consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi.  Regarding the RMA the Tribunal finds that:

·         the Treaty-based section (section 8) is weak, and Māori interests have not been fairly balanced or represented in decision-making processes under the Act (breaching Treaty partnership);

·         it does not provide adequately for ‘tino rangatiratanga’ and the kaitakitanga of iwi and hapū over their freshwater taonga (note implied here is that freshwater can be a Treaty taonga);

·         when the Act was developed the Crown refused to recognise Māori proprietary rights, and the Act still does not provide for such rights (meaning Māori are legally seen as ‘new entrants’ when applying for water usage rights, breaching Treaty equity);

·         the Act has allowed for the serious degradation of water quality to occur in many ‘ancestral’ water-bodies (breaching Treaty active protection).

Regarding policy settings the Tribunal notes some positive types of engagement between the Crown and Māori, but that Crown bottom lines (such as ‘no one owns water’) meant Treaty-based outcomes could not be achieved.   They also note gaps in policy frameworks, such as no compulsory Māori values or monitoring in policy frameworks.

To remedy all this the Tribunal suggests, amongst other items:

·         the Crown now recognise Māori proprietary rights over freshwater and provide redress;

·         a national co-governance body between Māori and the Crown for freshwater management; which would arrange an allocation scheme for iwi and hapū (thus allowing for economic gain to be shared with Māori);

·         the Crown provide resourcing for Māori to participate in RMA processes equally (and continue to fund initiatives such as ‘Te Mana o te Wai’;

·         the Crown institute monitoring of councils in regard to Treaty compliance;

·         the Crown ought to act faster to protect taonga water bodies;

·         the Crown look to determine whether existing Treaty settlements maintain fairness across iwi groups in relation to water management, and ensure rights gained by some iwi are ‘made available more generally’.

Quality rating:[2] Marginal
Assessment Rationale: We consider this report to be of marginal quality as it is only partially effective in identifying issues and providing analysis of matters at hand.  This comment relates in particular to the lack of engagement on the core issue of proprietary rights – with the Tribunal clearly being more comfortable discussing regulatory settings.

Further, we consider many aspects of this report drift too far into historical or scientific debate, obscuring the actual points of focus.

In our assessment the co-governance recommendation is also not sufficiently explained.[3]   That is, what is to be co-governed remains murky water.

Recommendations: a.     The Tribunal should write a summary report on the key issues, findings and recommendations made.

b.     The Tribunal should provide clear details on how and when it will address geothermal energy matters.

c.     Crown and Māori (perhaps in partnership) should review whether the Tribunal has usefully fulfilled its function in relation to freshwater claims, and whether a review of its terms of reference / legislative settings for this Tribunal is required.

Extracts of Note: “In our view, the present law in respect of fresh water is not consistent with Treaty principles.” Page xx.

“The co-design of policy and reform options was an import innovation which we think should become a standard part of Government policy making from now on”. Page xx.

“Our view is that the Crown must now recognise Māori propriety rights and provide what the New Zealand Māori Council called ‘proprietary redress’. We recommend that the Crown arrange for an allocation on a percentage basis to iwi and hapū, according to a regional catchment scheme. We also recommend an allocation for Māori land development, and that the feasibility of royalties and other forms of proprietary redress be investigated” Page xxiv

Hyperlink: https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/Documents/WT/wt_DOC_152208791/Freshwater%20W.pdf

[1] Our review notes are also based mainly on Chapter 7 and the Ministerial summary letter.

[2] Refer to the rubrics table in the endnotes for quality ratings.

[3] Further comment on our assessment of this report is provided in the Pānui summary section.

E30 Salient Māori News week ending 30 August 2019

  • Following Te Rūnanga-Ā-iwi O Ngāpuhi elections Rāniera (Sonny) Tau has retained the roles as Hauāuru Takiwā Trustee elect and chair for Te Rūnanga-Ā-iwi O Ngāpuhi.
  • On Monday Pita Paraone (MNZM) died.[1] Mr Paraone was a Member of Parliament (New Zealand First) between 2002 and 2008 and then between 2014 and 2017. E te rangatira, e moe; e moe i te manaakitanga o te wāhi ngaro.
  • On Wednesday Tahu Potiki died. Mr Potiki was a former Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.  E te rangatira, e moe; e moe i te manaakitanga o te wāhi ngaro.
  • Last week Ngai Tūhoe signed a Relationship Agreement with Oranga Tamariki to work together when Ngai Tūhoe children become part of Oranga Tamariki services. We advise Oranga Tamariki have entered working agreements with Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu and Waikato / Tainui.
  • This week the National Iwi Chairs Forum was held in Hastings. This coincided with a hui session on indigenous trade, with representatives from Pasifika nations, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that from term 1 of 2020, the Government will fund a trial daily school lunch programme for the students of 30 primary and intermediate schools (including kura). The trial schools will be a mix of rural and urban schools with high levels of disadvantage located across the Bay of Plenty/Waiariki and Hawkes Bay / Tairawhiti regions.  As the 2020 year progresses other schools in these areas will be invited to join the trial. The free school lunch programme was announced at the launch of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. We will review the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy next week in Pānui E31/2019.
  • This week Stephen Henare was sentenced at the Auckland High Court to five years and two months’ imprisonment on five counts of ‘theft by person in special relationship’ and one count of ‘attempting to pervert the course of justice’. Mr Henare and his sister, Margaret Dixon, while in their roles as trustees, stole circa $1 million from the Parengarenga 3G Trust. In July Mrs Dixon was sentenced to 12 months home dentition and ordered to pay $5,000 in reparations.
Notice of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the year ending 30 June 2019.

The AGM will take place on 27 September 2019 at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson, , starting 10:00am. Please find the full notice here.

 

 

 

[1] Rewiti Pomare Kingi Paraone.

E29 Salient Māori News week ending 23 August 2019

  • This week Shaun Keenan – former CEO of Ngāti Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust was sentenced to three years and 8 months imprisonment in the New Plymouth District Court for 46 charges related to the theft of circa $480,000 from the Trust. This theft has impeded a marae-hub development project the Trust had received funds for.
  • Paraone Gloyne (Ngāti Raukawa) has been appointed to the Te Māngai Pāho Board.
  • Nominations are being called for Te Taumata Aronui – a working group which will be set up to provide Māori community and employer perspectives regarding  the tertiary education sector,  including the reform of vocational Nominations are to be emailed to: Tertiary.Strategy@education.govt.nz  by 6 September 2019.
  • On Wednesday Kiingi Tūheitia delivered his annual coronation speech (it is his 13th anniversary in the role). Amongst other items he noted that matters at Ihumātoa needed time to resolve, and that the Government should not be blamed for child protection matters.

“My challenge is to the whānau, hapū, iwi to take care of our tamariki and where the need arises to place them in a safe home. We must avoid blaming the government and instead work on a solution. We have a chance to design a solution on our own.” Kiingi Tūheitia 21 August 2019.

 

E28 Salient Māori News for the week ending 16 August 2019

  • Last week we reviewed Statistics New Zealand unemployment data, and again noted critical gaps in matters relevant to Māori from this Department. (For example the Department failed to produce Māori youth unemployment data, which is actually what is needed for the Government’s new Strategy and Action Plan, see items above.)
    This week, we note a review of the Department’s management of the 2018 Census has been completed, which shows that only 68.2 percent of Māori responded to the 2018 Census. This has compromised the ability for iwi data to be collated through the Census, and as previously advised, iwi-based analysis from the 2018 Census now seems unlikely. Amongst other items the independent reviewers found that:
    “due to a lack of field resources combined with the decisions to remove paper and contact from list-leave operations, targeted populations and dwellings were not properly equipped to fully participate. The strategies developed to increase participation, particularly for Māori, were not effective and in some cases not well executed.”
    As an outcome some Māori leaders have – rightly in our assessment – expressed their disappointment with the Department in the media this week. We also note the Chief Executive, Liz MacPherson, has now tendered her resignation over the problems with the Census, and her resignation has been accepted by the State Services Commissioner. What is less clear is why the responsible Minister, James Shaw, is publicly thanking MacPherson and in particular affirming her work relating to Māori since the Census? To be clear, literally millions of dollars in Treaty settlements, as with health and education sector funding, is directly linked to Census data, meaning Mr Shaw’s comments are, in our view, well out of line and demean Māori expectations from the State for this service.
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, The Department of Conservation (DOC), the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Fisheries New Zealand are calling for feedback on the recently released Te Kaweka Takohaka mō te Hoiho/Yellow-eyed Penguin Recovery Draft Strategy. Submissions close 20 September 2019.
    https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/native-animals/birds/sea-and-shore/draft-te-kaweka-takohaka-mo-te-hoiho-2019.pdf
  • This week media articles named Mr Uenuku Fairhall as the former Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu principal who had his teacher’s registration cancelled for breaching professional boundaries during a school trip to Mexico. It is reported that breaches included sleeping in the same bed as a student while naked, using sexualised talk with students, being partially clothed in front of students, and entering a bathroom and washing the back of a student.
  • This week Te Puni Kōkiri published a brochure on how to apply for Whenua Māori funding. (This is a four year $56 million fund to support Māori land owners navigate through regulatory barriers to increase land productivity.)
    https://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/a-matou-mohiotanga
  • This week the New Plymouth Council agreed to make available a contestable fund of up to $50,000 a year for the up-keep of 43 urupa on Māori freehold or reservation land.
  • The occupation of land at Ihumatao is continuing, with various parties and special guests visiting. Earlier this month Kingi Tūheitia visited, and this week Ms Universe New Zealand contestants were on the manuhiri list. The Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, however, has not taken up the invitation to visit as yet, and in response a petition is now circulating requesting that she go to the site and meet with the occupiers.
  • This week the Government announced that the ‘Mana in Mahi’ programme will be expanded to support up to 2,000 young people into employment. Mana in Mahi is an apprenticeship programme targeting youth who have received a benefit for six months or longer. The programme seeks to promote apprenticeships, in lieu of these youth being in receipt of welfare. To facilitate this employers receive wage subsidies, generally equivalent to a benefit that Government would have otherwise paid to the youth, and the employer is then required to top-up that amount to at least the minimum wage. Employers can also access additional funding for the provision of pastoral care. (The Mana in Mahi programme is not Māori specific, but given its focus will have a high Māori uptake, and forms part of the Youth Employment Action Plan.)
  • This week the Government announced three Northland based providers which will receive funding from the Provincial Growth Fund – He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) for initiatives specifically targeting rangatahi not currently in employment, education or training (NEET). The providers and initiatives are:
    He Puna Marama Trust – will receive funding of $990,000 for NGEN Room a 12-month digital technology, life skills, education and work experience programme;
    Kamo Driving School – will receive funding of $396,000 for 12-week digital skills, work skills development and driver licencing programme; and
    The Ministry for Social Development – will receive a co investment of $2.5 million for He Poutama Taitamariki (HPT) an intensive employment and training outcomes programme focussed on youth at risk of long-term unemployment and poor social outcomes. The Ministry for Social Development will invest an additional $2.7 million into the programme.

Māori News for the week ending 9 August 2019

  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released eligibility information for the 2019 He Tupu Ohanga: Commercial Advisor Scheme (CAS). CAS is designed to allow Māori collectives to work with a commercial advisor for up to two years.  Government funding of up to $60,000 per collective is offered, on the proviso there is a further co-funding from the Māori entities of 25% of the total costs.  The advisor will “mentor and support the Māori collective to identify opportunities, develop business cases, and obtain professional advice”. Applications open 19 August and close 30 September. The 2019 Commercial Advisors Scheme Eligibility Criteria
  • The Wellington Tenths Trust has reached an agreement with the New Zealand Police that will see the Trust receive proceeds from the sale of a house purchased with funds fraudulently obtained by Lorraine Skiffington (deceased) and Sir Ngātata Love (deceased). The $1.5 million property was restrained by the Police Commissioner in 2014 as it was deemed to be procured from criminal activity.
  • The Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA) National Conference and Annual General Meeting 2019 will be held in Nelson 27 and 28 September 2019. Confirmed speakers include Dame Jenny Shipley, Adrian Orr (Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand) and Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Go to https://www.fomaevents.org.nz/event1_2 for more information.
  • Moana Mackey and Dean Te Kanawa have been appointed to the Representation Commission. The Representation Commission is the body that determines the number of electoral districts and sets the boundaries of Ms Mackey and Mr Te Kanawa are the representatives for the Māori electoral boundaries only.  They fulfil that role with other members of the Commission and the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.
  • Dame Naida Glavish, Dame Areta Kopu, Dame June Mariu, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Dame Tariana Turia, Lady Tureiti Moxon, Sir Toby Curtis, Sir Mason Durie, Sir Wira Gardiner, Sir Pita Sharples, Sir Robert McLeod and Sir Mark Solomon are the members of the governing group for the Independent Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki.

Salient Māori News week ending 26 July 2019

Appointments and Awards

  • Rangimarie Hunia (Ngāti Whātua) has been appointed Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Māori Fisheries Trust).
  • Matanuku Mahuika (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa) has been appointed to the Callaghan Innovation Board.

Research Snippets

  • This week Oranga Tamariki published information on the number of tamariki who had experienced some type of harm while in the care of the service. In the quarter January to March 2019, 154 harm incidents were identified and 103 children were found to be harmed – an astounding 76% of these related to Māori tamariki.  In short, the number of tamariki Māori with findings of harm while in care is proportionately greater than the number of tamariki Māori in care or custody (59%).

https://orangatamariki.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/safety-of-children-in-care/2019/Safety-of-children-in-care-Q3.pdf

  • Last week the deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, and the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, announced the Māori Wardens will receive $3.75 million over three years for training and capacity building (ref E18/ 2019).
  • This week Māori Television apologised to Donna Hall and Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie for the broadcasting of and publishing of an unfounded story concerning allegations of conflict between Donna Hall, Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie and the New Zealand Māori Council Executive. The broadcast and publication occurred on 3 August 2015

The Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA) National Conference and Annual General Meeting 2019 will be held in Nelson 27 and 28 September 2019. Go to https://www.fomaevents.org.nz/event1_2 for more information

E24 Salient Māori News Week ending 19 July 2019

  • The Ministry of Health has now released provisional annual suicide figures for 2016. Their information shows there were 553 confirmed suicides.  This included 135 Māori suicides, of which two-thirds were Māori males.  The Māori suicide rate was then, in 2016, 20.3 per 100,000 tangata.  This is much higher than other ethnic groups, as the New Zealand overall suicide rate is 11.5 per 100,000 people.  However, why the Ministry of Health releases its data so late is unclear – the Ministry of Justice has already released provisional annual suicide figures for 2018.  Unfortunately, that shows a rise to 142 Māori suicides, with the rate being 23 per 100,000 tangata.  The Māori suicide rate is circa 40 percent higher than a decade ago – and shows a demand for improved mental health services and support, and in general terms supports the Tribunal’s view that the health sector is underserving Māori.
  • In June Statistics New Zealand published data tables from the 2018 New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS).[1]  We will provide a further analysis next week, but positively we note it shows 77 percent of Māori have high life satisfaction, and 75 percent rate their whānau wellbeing as high, despite only 50 percent stating they have enough money to meet their everyday basic needs.
  • Last weekend Te Pou Matakana hosted a hui to discuss Māori child wellbeing, and specifically Māori child ‘uplifts’ by Oranga Tamariki. Te Pou Matakana has determined to hold its own inquiry into this area – which makes it the fourth inquiry announced within a few weeks on this topic – but the first inquiry by and for Māori.    Te Pou Matakana will hold four wananga to identify key themes to inform their inquiry.  Pānui 21/2019 discusses Oranga Tamariki and child uplift matters in depth.
  • Earlier this month the Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, announced $6.2 million will be allocated to progress the Crown’s engagement with the Waitangi Tribunal’s Mana Wāhine Treaty of Waitangi Claim (WAI 2700). By way of background, the Mana Wāhine Inquiry derives from statements of claims made in a number of individual iwi/hapū claims, and from a specific claim lodged in 1993, (WAI 381), on behalf of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and all Māori women.  Amongst other matters the claimants allege that, “Māori women individually, as tribal members, family members and leaders have been systematically deprived of their spiritual, cultural, social and economic well-being by Crown actions and policies in breach of Articles II and III of the Treaty of Waitangi; and that The Crown has not fulfilled its obligations ‘to protect and ensure the rangatiratanga of Māori women…”
  • The Office of Māori Crown Relations –/Te Arawhiti has launched Te Haeata, an online tool for entities with Treaty settlement responsibilities such as post-settlement entities, Crown entities, local and regional government and other relevant organisations. tehaeata.govt.nz
  • The Kaingaroa Forest Village has been awarded $2.4 million from the Māori Housing Network Community Development programme for the development of housing for the Kaingaroa community.
  • Last week a group of Taranaki Whānui members, who call their grouping ‘Mau Whenua’ filed legal proceedings against the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust relating to the Trust’s selling of iwi land in Shelly Bay, Wellington. The trust proceeded with the sale despite objections from these iwi members.

[By way of background, this large parcel of land was returned to the iwi as commercial redress in its 2009 Treaty settlement (i.e. brought by the iwi).  However, as a pricey commercial asset, it made a poor financial return each year, as it only received income from low-end rentals of old buildings and the like.  This situation has undoubtedly been a significant contributing factor to the iwi losing millions of dollars since their settlement.  To address this, in 2016 trustees sought a mandate to sell some of the land for housing development – but that was voted down.  That is because many iwi members do not see the land as a commercial asset at all – rather as cultural redress and their heritage which should be retained for future generations.  (Note the vote was 51% in favour of sale, but 75% support was needed for a major commercial transaction.)  However, under the current leadership of Chair, Wayne Mulligan, the sales and property development imperative has moved forward, but this time as discrete smaller parcels of land – thus avoiding any need for further iwi voting on the matter.  So, the core issue at hand for iwi members who oppose this is whether the four smaller land transactions undertaken by the Trust have effectively circumvented the will of beneficiaries to retain the land, and resulted in unlawful sales.  Adding to this is concern about allegedly low prices received for the land – said to be circa $2 million per block – when the iwi’s purchasing price was circa $13 million.

 

[1] The NZGSS is a biennial survey which provides information on the well-being of New Zealanders aged 15 years and over. The survey covers a wide range of social and economic outcomes across different groups across the population.

 

E20 Salient News Items to 14 June 2019

  • The Mōkai Pātea Waitangi Claims Trust is seeking a mandate to settle their claims, and consultation hui for that are in train for iwi members; and
  • Rangitihi is in the process of setting up its Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE), to look after its settlement when it lands, and iwi consultation hui for this are also scheduled.
  • Applications are open for Te Uru Rākau’s (Forestry New Zealand) Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau scholarships. The scholarships provide $8,000 a year to six Māori or female students enrolling in either a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Scholarship recipients also receive a paid internship with Te Uru Rākau or other forestry employers.

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/about-us/our-work/scholarships-and-awards/nga-karahipi-uru-rakau-forestry-scholarships/

  • Presently there are continuing media articles on the financial affairs of the Port Nicholson Settlement Trust. Some current trustees are alleging that past financial mismanagement, including unpaid invoices, gave them little choice in having to on-sell land-based assets to property developers.  However, a past Chief Executive is refuting such claims, indicating the financial situation was dire from an early time period, and that he had actually been addressing the matters to stabilise the Trust.  (We have elected not to provide further details as the financial statements of this Trust are not available to review: however, it is clear there remains bitter division within the iwi, particularly in relation to whether Shelly Bay land ought to have been sold.)
  • As advised last week, Budget 2019/20 contained $42 million of funding to restart an educational programme called Te Kōtahitanga.  We advise that this week the responsible Minister, Kelvin Davis, gave this initiative its own post-Budget announcement.  It will now be known as Te Hurihanganui, and the funds will be used to ‘boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori’.  (Pānui 19/2019 refers.)