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- Rachel Taulelei ((Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Koata) has been appointed to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
- This week the Minister of Corrections, Kelvin Davis, and the Minister of Forestry, Shane Jones, announced that eleven prisoners from the ‘Release to Work’ programme have secured full time jobs or job offers within the forestry industry. The ‘release to work’ programme is a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, Northland Region Corrections Facility at Ngawha.
- On Friday 29 November 2019 the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) are hosting a Solutions Lab innovation in science co-design hui. The purpose of Solutions Lab is to provide the interface between the customer and the science sector (CRIs and Science system). The hui will be held at the Novotel Auckland Airport.
- This week the Ministry for Women published a profile report on Māori businesswomen, entitled Ngā Wāhine Kaipakihi: He Tirohanga Māori Women In Business: Insights. The report identified that 3-percent of wāhine Māori are business owners.
- The first reading of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill was completed in Parliament and referred to the Health Committee. The purpose of this bill is to establish a 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. We advise that the membership of the Commission must include at least one commissioner who has knowledge, understanding and experience of te ao Māori and tikanga Māori.
- The Health Research Council has published the recipients of the 2020 Māori Health Career Development Awards and the Māori Health Research Summer Studentship. We have listed these people below.
|2020 Māori Health Career Development Awards|
|Dr Aria Graham
|Māmā e Mamia – piloting a marae-based wellbeing model for pēpi and māmā Māori||$328,000|
|Te Wai Barbarich-Unasa||Whakamana te reo a ngā rangatahi ki roto i nga tautuhinga hauora||$127,000|
|Strategies to improve Māori recruitment and retention into nursing||$127,000
|Lisa Kremer||Microdrop administration of phenylephrine and cyclopentolate in neonates||$74,900|
|Georgia McCarty,||Hauora Rangatahi Māori: Appropriateness and acceptability of health measures||$135,000
|Dr Tepora Emery||He Toa Taumata Rau – The many resting places of courage||$10,000|
|Carmen Timu-Parata,||Breastfeeding support for whānau Māori: The Northland experience||$10,000
|2020 Māori Health Research Summer Studentship|
|Hazel Gilbert||Māori women and methamphetamine addiction in pregnancy: A literature review||$5,000|
|Julia Law||Student health professionals’ understanding of tāngata whaikaha Māori concepts||$5,000|
|Māori women and cervical screening: A Kaupapa Māori literature review||$5,000|
|Denver Ruwhiu||Conflicts of professionalism in medical curricula with Māori tīkanga and values||$5,000|
|Rian Sanerive||Use of online technology for effective wellness and exercise programme delivery||$5,000|
|Ben Shine||Positive youth development in Māori youth through an adventure education programme||$5,000|
- Hone Sadler has reportedly stood down as the chair of Tūhoronuku. (Tūhoronuku is the Treaty settlement trust of Ngāpuhi; which the present Minister, Andrew Little, has indicated does not have a clear mandate to proceed with settlement processes in its current form). The resignation is said to have occurred some weeks back, and appears to have followed the sudden resignation of Sonny Tau from the Chair of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi last month. No public explanations have been given for this. Mr James Clyde is the new chair of Tūhoronuku.
- This week the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care commenced public hearings. We advise the inquiry will consider “the nature and extent of abuse that occurred in state care and faith based institutes (between 1950 and 1999), what its immediate and long term impacts were, the factors (including systemic factors) which may have caused or contributed to it, and lessons to be learned from the past.” A key focus remains on understanding any differential impacts of abuse in state care for Māori. We note Mr Moana Jackson has been giving evidence on the impact of colonisation on fostering conditions for the abuse of Māori children in care.
- The Waitangi Tribunal has granted an urgent hearing into child uplift policy at Oranga Tamariki . This follows significant Māori concern around the policy, sparked from an uplift attempt in Hastings in March. The claim was lodged by Dr Rawiri Waretini-Karena, Dr Jane Alison Green, and Kerri Nuku. Amongst other items they claim that the Crown has breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by failing to protect Māori from the increasing and disproportionate rates of Māori children taken into state care and failing to take reasonable steps to address the institutional racism. Meanwhile, the whānau of the baby involved that sparked the concerns has refused to participate in an internal review of the matter, indicating a lack of trust in Oranga Tamariki. (We consider that without their participation a reasonable review process would be near impossible.) Pānui 21/2019 and 27/2019 refer.
- On Tuesday the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Shane Jones, announced that three Parihaka Pa Marae will be upgraded to high speed broadband via the Māori Digital Connectivity programme which is funded by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
- On Monday Te Pūtake o te Riri, He Rā Maumahara, a commemoration of the New Zealand wars and conflicts between Māori and the Crown, were held in Waitara.
- Independent Commissioners have granted the Wellington Company resource consent for a housing and commercial development at Shelly Bay, Wellington. Several groups have been opposed to the development including a group called Mau Whenua, who consider that their Trust board, the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, was wrong to sell their land for the development, without explicit iwi consent. They continue to seek legal remedy to overturn the land sales.
- On Wednesday the National Party held a launch for their Social Services Discussion Document, called the Social Services Discussion Document. The 56-page document outlines the National Party’s proposals on several social issues along with proposed approaches they will introduce if they win the 2020 general election. Issues raised included a review of Whānau ora, reintroducing some of the benefit sanctions which were removed by the current Government, and “cracking down hard” on gangs. They suggest welfare payments could be withheld from gang members if found to be receiving other illegal income. As this is a proposal (and not National Party policy) we have not reviewed this material in full.
- Mere Mangu has publicly advised that she considers she is now the lawful Chairperson of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi, following the resignation of Mr Sonny Tau. (Ms Mangu had been deputy and considers the rūnanga’s constitution stipulates the Deputy becomes Chair, if the Chair resigns.) She has indicated she expects to be challenged for the role, and that a review of services is now required.
- Arihia Bennett (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) has been selected as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. Ms Bennett replaces Ngahiwi Tomoana.
- This week the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Megan Woods, announced the development of a multilingual language platform which will enable users to engage with technology in the language of their choice. The language platform will be first launched in Te Reo Māori. The project will receive funding of $13 million over 7 years.
- Our Marine Environment 2019
“The Māori relationship with te moana is based on whakapapa and a long history of people who were astronomers, scientists, ocean navigators, fishers, and regulators. Before colonisation, the Māori economy was based on fishing and a comprehensive trading system. Advanced fishing methods were used – some nets used at Maketu in the Bay of Plenty were up to 1,900 metres long. In addition, the people of Muriwhenua in the Far North identified and named hundreds of fishing grounds within 25 miles offshore, including seasonal descriptions and the species present (Waitangi Tribunal, 1988). As Treaty partners, Māori have a role as kaitiaki of te moana and mātaitai (fish or food obtained from the sea). Kaitiaki are guardians who carry out the act of tiaki and look after, protect, and conserve the resource or taonga; kaitiaki can be a human, animal, or a spiritual being. This role and the close relationships that Māori have with the moana are acknowledged by the Crown and reflected in Treaty settlements and post-settlement agreements.” (Page 9)
Last week the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand released a report on the status of the marine environment. It identifies four issues of concern: (i) our native marine species and habitats are under threat; (ii) our activities on land are polluting our marine environment; (iii) our activities at sea are affecting the marine environment; and (iv) climate change is affecting marine ecosystems, taonga species and us. This report is not specifically Māori-focused but will be of interest to Māori working in this area, with clear scientific data presented, and an exemplar around kuku. It is a sobering report. The report also acknowledges Māori views of the marine environment; as shown in the following text.
Appointments and Awards
- Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahine, Ngā Rauru) has been selected to stand for the Māori Party in the Te Tai Hauāuru electoral seat, 2020 General Election.
- Dr Matt Roskruge (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Rārua) Te Au Rangahau has been awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship for research entitled ‘The economics of social capital from a Māori perspective’. The fellowship fund is circa $800,000 over five years.
- On Tuesday the first reading of the Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament and referred to the Māori Affairs Select Committee. The purpose of this bill is to simplify Māori Land Court processes including the process for Māori land succession. Submissions close 28 November 2019. Refer to Pānui edition 24/2019 for background on this bill.
General News Items
- Last Thursday Mr Sonny Tau resigned as the chairman of Te Rūnanga ā iwi o Ngāpuhi which had immediate effect. We advise that Mr Tau was successfully re-elected to the Rūnanga in August. Reasons for the resignation are not given although in the public statement, Chief Executive Lorraine Toki states, “any pending investigations into allegations lay solely with the police and is official business which we are not a part of, therefore we have no further comment to make at this time.”
- The ‘Tuia – Encounters 250’ commemoration is now underway, with the replica of the Endeavour now sailing around Aotearoa New Zealand with other vessels (including waka haurua). The Ministry of Culture and Heritage describes Tuia – Encounters 250 as events which “celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific voyaging heritage and acknowledges the first onshore encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769–70”. However, some iwi groups have not welcomed the commemorative activity in their rohe, and there has also been some Māori protest and petition against the commemorations (on the basis that the Endeavour’s first encounters were harmful to Māori.) We note earlier this month the British High Commissioner, Laura Clarke, met with iwi leaders from the Tūranganui-A-Kiwa region (Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Te Aitanga a-Māhaki, and Ngāti Oneone) to express regret on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the deaths of nine iwi members killed during the first encounters with the crew of the ship Endeavour, captained by Lieutenant James Cook.
- FOMA Innovation and the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) have entered into a partnership to increase the capacity for FOMA ‘s members in the areas of physical sciences, technologies and engineering, in September. FOMA Innovation is centred on providing leadership in sciences for the benefit of FOMA members. Key foci include: regenerative food production, tech incubation and acceleration, solutions lab, biosphere and rangatahi support.
Whangaparaoa Māori Lands Trust and EBOP Dairy have joined a Māori Agribusiness Extension (MABx) with the Ministry for Primary Industries. The purpose of MABx is to provide shared group learning opportunities and explore sustainable system changes for participating collectives.
 The Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) formed FOMA Innovation last month.
 (a cluster of ten Māori land organisations)
 a cluster of five Māori dairy farms located between Torere and Whangaparaoa
- Judge Heemi Taumaunu (Ngāti Pōrou, Ngāi Tahu) has been appointed Chief District Court Judge.
- Verity Webber (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe) and Kauahi Ngapora (Waikato Tainui, Ngāi Tahu) have been appointed independent members of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy Advisory Group.
- Yesterday Te Tumu Paeroa and Te Puni Kōkiri entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly work together to support and fund Māori housing repairs in the Te Tai Tokerau and Te Tai Rāwhiti regions. Te Puni Kōkiri has the regional staffing base to oversee administration, and Te Tumu Paeroa will commit $2 million towards the programme. This is of course positive for those who will benefit from the work, although our questions (see article above) around making decisions about other people’s money remain.
- On Thursday the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment released the draft ‘New Zealand’s Research, Science & Innovation Strategy’, Feedback and submissions on the draft are now open, until 10 November 2019. The Ministry will also hold a series of consultation workshops during October. For further detail refer to links below. https://mbie.wufoo.com/forms/research-science-innovation-strategy/ https://www.mbie.govt.nz/dmsdocument/6935-new-zealands-research-science-and innovation-strategy-draft-for-consultation
- Ngāi Tahu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kataoka Corporation/Sankou Foods (of Japan), to turn Undaria/ Wakame seaweed into a high-value product. This partnership will generate jobs in the East Otago region.
- This week Statistics New Zealand announced that at the next general election the number of electorates will increase from seventy-one to seventy two, to reflect population growth. There will still be seven Māori electorates. (The Māori electoral population is 473,077, up 12 percent from 2013.). Note one extra electorate seat means one less party list seat in the next Parliament.
- This week the Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson, announced that Wairoa Young Achievers Trust (WYAT) will receive funding of $305,000 to support rangatahi into employment and education in Wairoa. The funding is from the He Poutama Rangatahi
 Note Te Tumu Paeroa does recieve an annual Crown allocation of circa $11 million however that is for administration purposes, so funds for this initiative will be sourced from the General Fund.
 Electoral populations were calculated using data from the electoral rolls (following the Māori Electoral Option 2018), and results from the 2018 Census of Population and Dwellings.
- On Thursday the Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament. The purpose of this bill is to simplify Māori Land Court processes including the process for Māori land succession. Refer to Pānui edition 24/2019 for background on this bill.
- This week the Ministry for Culture and Heritage announced that the replica of Captain Cook’s ship the Endeavour will not visit the Mangonui inlet. The visit was removed from the itinerary following complaints regarding the Ministry’s failure to conduct a proper consultation process with Ngāti Kahu iwi. The replica of the Endeavour is touring ports and docks around New Zealand as part of the national commemoration marking 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa.
- Applications are now open for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Te Pūnaha Hihiko – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund 2020. The fund is open to people and organisations undertaking or planning research which supports the themes of the Vision Mātauranga Policy:
- indigenous innovation,
- taiao (achieving environmental sustainability),
- hauora/oranga (improving health and social wellbeing) and,
- mātauranga (exploring indigenous knowledge).
The fund value is circa $4 million. Proposals close midday 14 November.
- The Kiingitanga movement has advised mana whenua that they would like the lands at Ihumātao returned, although they consider that it falls outside of Treaty Settlement processes therefore the Government may need to negotiate with Fletchers to achieve that.
- This week Dave Samuels commenced his appointment as Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.
- On Thursday the first reading of the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was completed in Parliament. The bill includes a financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties. https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-hinerangi/
- 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.
- 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.
|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|
- 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.) 
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.]
 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
 We provide a fuller analysis of unemployment and related data as Statistics NZ releases it. Refer Pānui x/2019.
Waitangi Tribunal Freshwater Report
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.
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). 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.
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. 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.
 And associated claims.
 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.
 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.|
|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’.
|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. 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
 Our review notes are also based mainly on Chapter 7 and the Ministerial summary letter.
 Refer to the rubrics table in the endnotes for quality ratings.
 Further comment on our assessment of this report is provided in the Pānui summary section.