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E16 Salient Maori News Week ending 17 May 2019

  • Reikura Kahi (Waikato, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been appointed to Te Mātāwai Board)
  • The Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, and the Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, announced that the Government will progress with the larger of two proposed options (recommended by the South East Marine Forum) for a South East Marine protected network. The proposed marine area is situated from Timaru in South Canterbury, to Waipapa Point in Southland and covers 1,267 square km.
  • On Wednesday the Otago Regional Council voted in favour of two Ngai Tahu iwi representatives sitting on the council’s policy committee. The Ngai Tahu iwi representatives will have voting rights and will receive renumeration for their role (20% of what others receive); however the iwi positions are only guaranteed for the duration of the current triennium; meaning incoming councillors will be required to re-debate the matter following the elections scheduled for this October.
  • This week Statistics New Zealand released Māori population estimates for the year ending 31 December 2018. As at 31 December 2018 the estimated Māori population was 744,900. This is an increase of 10,600 from the previous year.  The median Māori age is 24.1 years.  The median age for Māori males is 23.1 years and 26.1 years for Māori females.
  • On Thursday Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Māngai Pāho and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) signed a Memorandum of Understanding  and announced a range of rangatahi-focused te reo initiatives which will be rolled out over the year as part of the implementation of Te Maihi Karauna Māori language strategy. The te reo initiatives include online language lessons, rangatahi workshops and a national youth te reo Māori summit

E15 Salient News Items to 10 May 2019

  • Waitohiariki Quayle (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) has been ordained as an Anglican Bishop of Te Upoko o Te Ika o Maui. Archbishop Waitohiariki is the first female in Aotearoa to be ordained as a Bishop.
  • Rachel Taulelei (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Koata) has been named a recipient of the Kea World Class New Zealand Award for her contribution to the sustainable food industry and her ongoing work promoting Aotearoa as a world-class producer of food and beverages.
  • Philip Broughton (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu) has been appointed to the NZ on Air board.
  • Last Saturday Ngāti Hinerangi (Matamata) and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement. The deed provides for 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 Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, announced details on the Cannabis Referendum, which is to be held with the General Election in 2020. This will help to determine whether personal use of recreational cannabis should be legalised.  Voters will be given the opportunity to answer a simple Yes or No question on the matter, and if the yes vote prevails Parliament will then need to consider enacting legislation to put that into effect.  The provisos are that there will be a minimum purchasing age of 20, there will be regulations to control commercial supply, limited home-growing options, and an educational programme.  We advise the New Zealand Health Survey 2015, indicates up to 25% of Māori adults used cannabis at least once within a twelve-month period (in the years 2013/2014).  In 2018 41% of people convicted of a cannabis offence were Maori.Proactive release – Cabinet paper – 2020 Cannabis Referendum – 7 May 2019.pdf
  • On Wednesday the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament (the Zero Carbon Bill). The Bill, if passed into law, will set a legally binding objective for the Government to seek to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.   The Bill also sets a target for a 10 per cent reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030 – which will likely impact on all Māori agri-busineses.  An independent Climate Change Commission would also be established via the Bill to provide advice on Government’s five yearly targets. www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_87861/climate-change-response-zero-carbon-amendment-bill
  • The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has released discussion papers on the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 and impacts for Māori. This is because this legislation, is being reviewed, and the Ministry is aware of concerns raised by Māori on plant cultivation, particularly through the WAI 262 claim (sometimes called the Flora and Fauna claim).  Subscribers working in this sector can view the documents here https://www.mbie.govt.nz/document-library/search?keywords=Wai+262&df=01%2F04%2F2019&dt=30%2F04%2F2019&sort=&start=10
  • Last week the Government opened an onshore petroleum block offer tender (i.e. a tender for oil exploration rights in Taranaki). Permit holders are now explicitly required to engage with iwi on an ongoing basis, with specific early engagement requirements in relation to activities to be undertaken within 200 metres of areas of significance to iwi.  Ngāti Ruanui iwi leader, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, however has noted the 200 metres is less than what had already been established between iwi and oil companies (which is a 500 metre gap).  Other iwi leaders have expressed concern the onshore activity prevents them from undertaking complete land and farm management activities, as they are not sure if and when oil companies will seek to enact any drilling rights they may acquire.
  • The Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, has announced the establishment of a ‘National New Energy Development centre’ in Taranaki. It’s stated purpose being to ‘help lead New Zealand’s transition to a low carbon future’.   The Government has set aside $27 million for its establishment, and operating funding of $5 million per a

E14 Salient News Items to 3 May 2019

  • Justice Joseph Victor Williams (Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitaha, Tapuika) has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Jamie Tuuta ((Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Te Ati Awa,Taranaki Tuturu) has been appointed Chair of the New Zealand Tourism Board (known as Tourism New Zealand)
  • This week Statistics NZ advised that due to Census 2018 information being incomplete, it will not be able to produce data on iwi affiliations (when it finally does release census data). This has caused some anguish from various Māori leaders and commentators, as this data is used in a variety of ways, not least of which is to confirm iwi size for Treaty settlement purposes.  In our view, while Statistics NZ obviously cannot undo past poor work, it can and probably should do further surveying in this area so that iwi have a sense of the scale of the issues they are working with.  For example, iwi groups developing education plans need to know how many, and where their tamariki are within the schooling system.
  • Applications are now open for the annual Te Wai Māori Trust – Wai Ora Fund. The purpose of the fund is to assist Iwi and Māori to promote and advance freshwater fisheries development, research and education. The fund value is $250,000.  Applications close 5 June 2018.


  • This week Ngahiwi Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu) has been re-elected as chairman of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Mr Tomoana has declared that this will be his final term as chairman.
  • This week Nuk Korako, a former Chair of the Māori Affairs Select Committee under the last Government, gave his valedictory speech with his retirement from Parliament. Below is a pertinent extract from his kōrero

“I want to turn to our Māori people, because I believe it is time to switch your political allegiance back to yourself, to your own tino rakatirataka. The political tribalism of saying we only vote for the party is not doing us any favours. You must demand on every politician that walks across your marae ātea that they show you the proof of their commitment to working hard for you before you give them your vote, because talk is cheap, whānau. Actions, ringa raupā—the callused hands—those are what spoke loudly to our conservative tīpuna, and it is time to demand politicians show you their calloused hands, their ringa raupā, as evidence of what they have achieved for you.”

Nuk Korako, 1 May 2019


E13 26 April 2019 Salient News Items


  • Briar Grace-Smith (Ngāpuhi) has been appointed to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa (Creative NZ).
  • Shaun Awatere (Ngāti Porou) has been appointed to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment panel. The panel is tasked with creating the framework for New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment. The framework is to be completed by the end of June.
  • Acushla Dee Sciascia (Ngāruahine Rangi, Ngāti Ruanui and Te Āti Awa) has been appointed to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment panel.
  • Niwa Nuri (Te Arawa and Te Whakatohea), Matt Te Pou (Ngāi Tuhoe), and Bonita Bigham (Ngā Ruahine and Te Atiawa) have been appointed to the Lottery Oranga Marae Committee. 
  • The Ministry of Health released maternity data for 2017. The report shows 14,892 (25%) were Māori; and that Māori women continue to have the nation’s highest birth rate of 90.6 per 1,000 Māori females of reproductive age[1]https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/report-maternity-2017
  • The Government has announced increased independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki, via the use of the Ombudsman, and the upcoming introduction of National Care Standards. These actions are to better protect children in State care, most of whom are Māori. https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/news/care-standards-support-tamariki-and-caregivers/#_blank
  • Te Puni Kōkiri has awarded the Taumarunui Community Kōkiri Trust $2.1 million from the Whānau and Community Development Investment programme. The funding will go towards the cost of repairing up to 20 homes, the development and implementation of home maintenance programmes and supporting whānau into home ownership across the Taumarunui and Te Kuiti rohe.
  • This week Des Ratima lodged an urgent application with the Waitangi Tribunal, (Wai 2882), concerning the proposed reform of the vocational education sector. (In brief these reforms propose merging all polytechnics and industry training organisations in one new entity, to commence from next year.) Mr Ratima is a current board member of Skills Active Aotearoa, which is one of the industry training organisations that would be disestablished if the reforms go ahead.  Mr Ratima claims that the Crown has breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in how it has consulted about the reforms, and that the reforms may result in poorer outcomes for Māori trainees.
  • Last week Pae Aronui, a skills and employment programme for rangatahi Māori, was launched in Hamilton. Pae Aronui aims to support and develop employment skills for rangatahi not in employment, education or training (NEET).
  • This week the Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced in 2020 Te Tai Tokerau will pilot Te Kawa Matakura an education programme which aims to develop young Māori leaders through mātauranga and te reo Māori. The pilot will target two groups 15-18 year olds attending formal education; and 15-25 year olds no longer attend formal education but display the necessary qualities and potential. All participates will be required to be endorsed by iwi and whānau.

[1] Median age for Māori women who give birth was 26 years compared to 30 years for all women.


Māori Media Items of Interest week ending 29 March 2019

  • On Tuesday the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, announced that the Lemuel Te Urupu Whānau Trust of Raupunga will receive investment funding of $1.2 million to construct five papakāinga houses.
  • This week hearings for the Wai 2660 Marine and Coastal Area Act  Inquiry were held in Wellington. This Inquiry addresses two main questions:
    • To what extent, if at all, are the MACA Act and Crown policy and practice inconsistent with the Treaty in protecting the ability of Māori holders of customary marine and coastal area rights to assert and exercise those rights? And;
    • Do the procedural arrangements and resources provided by the Crown under the MACA Act prejudicially affect Māori holders of customary marine and coastal area rights in Treaty terms when they seek recognition of their rights?
  • Ngāi Tahu Property, Queenstown Lakes District Council and KiwiBuild have partnered to build a community of 300+ homes in Queenstown. The first homes are expected to be completed in 2022.
  • On Thursday the Hastings District Council (HDC) voted ten to four in favour of appointing non-elected members of its Māori Joint Committee to the council’s other standing committees. The appointees will have full voting rights.
  • Kristy Maria Roa, (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura), Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd, (Ngati Porou) and Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngāti Pakapaka, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tūhoe) have been named finalist for the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award. The winner will be announced on 24 May.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a tātau.

Kia tau te rangimārie ki a tātau.
Koinei te whakataukī nui a te iwi Iharama ka tīkina nei hei kupu whakamihi ki a rātau kua riro nei i a aituā, ki ō rātau whānau e pani nei, ki a tātau katoa e mōteatea nei ki a rātau, ki a tātau tonu. Kātahi nei te parekura nui, nā te ngākau kino. Ka tangi nei ki a rātau mā, ka tangi hoki ki te nui o te aroha kua puta i ngā rangi nei. E tika ana te kōrero kia utua te kino ki te pai. Kia kaha tātau katoa ki te tautoko i ngā pouwaru, i ngā pani, i ngā rawakore e taimaha nei i te kaha o te pōuri me te ohorere. Kei te roa te huarahi ki mua i a rātau hei ngā wiki, hei ngā marama, hei ngā tau e haere ake nei. Me hīkoi ngātahi tātau i tēnei huarahi. Ko rātau tātau, ko tātau tātau.

Tēnei hoki ka mihi ki ngā pirihimana, ki ngā āpiha waka tūroro, ki ngā tākuta me ngā nēhi e whakapau nei i ō rātau kaha ki te āwhina i a tātau.

Hei whakamutu atu, tēnei hoki ka mihi ki a Ngāi Tahu kua tuwhera nei te kokonga ngākau me te kokonga whare ki ngā whānau e pani nei, kei te tautoko hoki i te hapori whānui; ka mihi anō hoki ki ngā iwi me ngā whakahaere Māori, puta noa i te motu, mō rātau e aroha nei, e tautoko nei I a tātau tonu.

Ko te waiata, ko te whiti tuatahi o E Pari Rā, nā Paraire Tōmoana i tito:

 E pari rā, ngā tai ki te akau

E hotu rā ko taku manawa

Auē, me tangi noa ahau i muri nei

Te iwi ē, he ngākau tangi noa.


Kia tau te rangimarie ki a tātau.

Peace be unto us.

This is a traditional Muslim greeting that we have adopted to acknowledge members of our Muslim community who were killed last week, their grieving families and all of us who mourn our people.

In the wake of this national tragedy, caused by evil, we grieve for the people we have lost, and we recognise the outpouring of love over recent days.  We grieve for all of our Aotearoa Muslim community; which numbers over 45,000, including over 1,000 Māori.   We grieve for Aotearoa.

The dictum holds true that we should respond to evil with love. Let us all support the bereaved, the orphaned and the poor who carry this heavy burden of grief and shock. There is a long path in front of them over the coming weeks, months and years. We should walk together with them along this path. They are us, we are us. Ko tātau tātau.

It is also appropriate to acknowledge the Police, Ambulance Officers, Doctors and Nurses who continue to focus on supporting the people most affected.
We also acknowledge Ngāi Tahu for opening their whare to whānau pani, and for their wider community awhi; and to other iwi and Māori organisations across the motu for their aroha and tautoko at this time.

Peace be unto us.

There are no other parliamentary matters of note this week.  All business was rightly deferred.  On Tuesday when the House of Representatives opened leaders of all political parties formally condemned the attacks, and then Parliament was immediately adjourned for mourning.  Hansard documents record the remarks of our Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden on this matter, which says it all:

“The 15th of March will now be forever a day etched in our collective memories. On a quiet Friday afternoon, a man stormed into a place of peaceful worship and took away the lives of 50 people. That quiet Friday afternoon has become our darkest of days. But for the families, it was more than that. It was the day that the simple act of prayer, of practicing their Muslim faith and religion, led to the loss of their loved ones’ lives. Those loved ones were brothers, daughters, fathers, and children. They were New Zealanders. They are us. And because they are us, we, as a nation, we mourn them.”

Pānui will resume next week.
Kia tau te rangimārie ki a tātau,

Nā, te rōpū Pānui.


E8 Salient Māori News Items for the week to 15 March 2019

  • Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana Trust has entered into an agreement with the New Plymouth District Council, signalling their shared intent to work together within the Waitara community. This precedes the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Act, which comes into effect on Sunday, creating new provisions for the sale of Waitara endowment land.  (Pānui 44/2018 refers.)
  • On Monday the Secretary to the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, announced The Treasury’s new Te Reo name is now ‘Te Tai Ōhanga’. This reflects the wider focus on wellbeing that Treasury now has.
  • This week closing submissions for stage one of the Waitangi Tribunal, ‘Māori Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry’, were presented.  This inquiry (WAI 2475) is one of the Tribunal’s major kaupapa inquires, meaning it is considered of national significance and impacts widely on Māori.
  • The 2019 Māori Fisheries Conference will take place on Wednesday 27 March, at the Novotel Hotel Auckland International Airport. The conference theme is ‘Te hā o Tangaroa kia ora ai tāua’- the breath of Tangaroa sustains us.

Parliamentary Matters

  • This week in Parliament Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, expressed her continued confidence in two New Zealand First Cabinet ministers, namely the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Shane Jones, (Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto) and Minister of Defence and Minister for Veteran Affairs, Ron Marks, (Ngāti Kahungunu). Both have been accused by opposition parties of separately misusing their Ministerial warrants in one way or another.
  • Last week the Māori Affairs Committee has reported back to Parliament on the Ngāti Rangi Claims Settlement Bill – they recommend it be passed, with some amendments. This week the Bill completed its second Parliamentary reading.
  • On Wednesday Green Party Co-leader, Marama Davis, received the Petition from the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) campaign. The group is against a housing development going ahead at Ihumātao (Mangare), because they consider it is their traditional land that contains historic urupa.   Marama Davis has advised she has written to the Prime Minister asking for the development to be halted.

[1] The data is from the period 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2016.  We have used the present tense as it is the most up to-date research in this area, and there is no indication anything as changed.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 8 March 2019

  • The Māori Affairs Select Committee has determined to hold an inquiry into Māori health. The terms of reference are not yet available.  The issue that is somewhat perplexing is why the Committee has chosen to do this now, when the Waitangi Tribunal is already well underway with its own inquiry into the health sector, and services for Māori: namely WAI 2575; the Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry (Pānui37/2018 refers).
  • Eight inaugural forestry scholarships (Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau) have been awarded to allow young Māori and/or females to enrol in a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering. (The rationale being that both Māori and women are under-represented in forestry management.)   The awards were presented by Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, and Forestry Minister, Shane Jones.  Applications are open for further scholarships.
  • Applications have opened for Hauroa Māori Scholarships 2019. The purpose of the scholarships is to increase participation by Māori in the health and disability workforce, and the scholarships provide financial assistance for people to complete study in health studies: information is here. Apply for the 2019 Hauora Māori Scholarships
  • Professor Jarrod Haar (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Mahuta) has been reappointed to the Marsden Fund Council.
  • Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust, in partnership with Te Uru Rākau (the Government’s tree planting programme), has commenced an initiative of replanting former forestry land in Manuka, for future honey extraction. The tree replacing is being done by trainees who are being taught forestry skills over a sixteen-week programme.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 1 March 2019

  • Last week the biennial Te Matatini competition was held in Te Whānganui-a-Tara (Wellington). The winners were Ngā Tūmanako.  Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai gained second place, and Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui gained third place.
  • This week Te Puni Kōkiri belatedly released the Cabinet paper associated with the new Government Māori Language Strategy (Pānui 5/2019 refers). In the main the paper confirms Cabinet commitment to the strategy, and we note a couple of points of interest:
    • An implementation plan is being developed: it is linked to a Budget bid this year, with a goal being to get Cabinet support for the operational activities in August. This is good, as the strategy needs resourcing to have any real impact, as per our earlier review comments.
    • The Minister notes there was a campaign against the strategy via the online consultation: ultimately 45% of the 2,000- odd submissions were negative. In our view this reinforces our observation that online consultation alone is an inappropriate means to gather Māori (and other) input – hui should have been held.  We note the same operational error is now occurring for the Māori media review, which has no public hui scheduled. (Pānui 4/2019 refers).
  • On Monday the Wellington District Court imposed fines totalling circa $1.1 million on the Directors of Hawkes Bay Seafoods, the company itself, plus a related company and key staff. The directors were Antonino “Nino” Giovanni D’Esposito, Giancarlo “Joe” Harold D’Esposito and manager Marcus Giuseppe D’Esposito. In addition, the company must pay more than $400,000 for the return of its forfeited vessels.
    By way of background the offending was identified in 2014, and after years of defensive wrangling, the grouping finally pleaded guilty in 2018 to 131 charges for selling unreported catch.   We further advise that the key proprietor of Hawkes Bay Seafoods, Antonio D’Esposito, already had at least 98 fishing convictions – which shows a history of ongoing offending in this sector.  (In 1997, he/his company was also required to pay nearly a million dollars in fines for fishing offences.)
    This present case matters for Māori because Hawkes Bay Seafoods is the inshore fishing quota leasee for Ngāti Kahungunu – i.e. it catches the inshore settlement quota of the iwi (and for some other iwi).   That is, its business is based on a significant Crown / Māori Treaty of Waitangi settlement; and in our view its misuse tarnishes the Treaty settlement process.  Put simply, why should/would the Crown provide ongoing settlement redress via quota if fishing rights allocated to iwi are going to be misused and put fish stocks at risk?
    Further, although the proceedings against this group commenced in 2014,  there were other investigations involving Hawkes Bay Seafoods in 2015 relating to people (staff) involved in a paua and crayfish black market.  However, Ngāti Kahungunu has stoically continued its partnership with this company and never openly condemned Hawkes Bay Seafoods for its illegal fishing practices.  Rather, in 2017 Ngāti Kahungunu extended the partnership with a joint venture in purchasing an off-shore fishing boat in a 50:50 arrangement with Hawkes Bay Seafoods (again to fish the iwi Treaty settlement quota).   In our assessment, despite the seriousness of the fishing offending by Hawkes Bay Seafoods, Ngāti Kahungunu presents as having been undeterred in its business dealings with the company.
    However, following the outcome of this most recent case, Ngāti Kahungunu has now expressed a desire to purchase outright Hawkes Bay Seafoods, and is actively taking steps to achieve that.  That may be a positive outcome for the iwi – and if successful it may mean that Ngāti Kahungunu is fishing its own quota, and then also processing and selling those fish itself (plus employing iwi members along each link in the chain).  However, there is some suggestion in the media that Antonino D’Esposito desires to continue on as a consulting advisor.  If so it is difficult to see the value in that; as given the convictions it is possible further association with him would tarnish the fishing brand (‘Takitimu’) that Ngāti Kahungunu is seeking to establish to recover the situation.
    Note for absolutely clarity there is no suggestion that Ngāti Kahungunu has ever been involved in any type of illegal fishing practices.   The convicted offending discussed herein relates to a company that the iwi has a partnership relationship with.
  • The Government’s Welfare Expert Advisory Group has now reportedly submitted their advice to Government.  We note the terms of reference for this group (set last June) was somewhat vague, with its role being to ‘provide advice to the Government on options that could best give effect to its vision for the future direction of the social welfare system’.  Notwithstanding, the Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, has referred to this work as an ‘overhaul of the welfare system’.  Accordingly, we expect the report to have significant implications for Māori, particularly for the 109,000 tangata Māori – and their whānau members – who are reliant on one of the three main benefits.[1]  Minister Sepuloni has indicated the report will be released publicly later this month, or in early April.   We will advise further at that time.
  • Statistics NZ has released its working document on how to measure child poverty; Measuring child poverty: Concepts and definitions’. By way of background, the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Act was in introduced in 2018 to help reduce child poverty in New Zealand – Pānui 8/2018 outlines this policy shift. The new Act now requires Government to set three-year and ten-year targets on four primary measures, and for the Government Statistician to report annually on ten measures of child poverty.  The working paper sets out the technical approaches to be used.  In addition, three further supporting papers explaining the rationales for statistical and data choices have been released.  We have undertaken a summary review of these papers and found nothing untoward: i.e. the measures being used are appropriate, and present as thoughtfully designed.  Māori child poverty information is expected to be presented through this work as well – which in part is a result of submissions made by Māori for this to be included.  We will advise further once the first data sets are released.  The working documentation is available here:  https://www.stats.govt.nz/methods/measuring-child-poverty-concepts-and-definitions
  • The Labour Party has declined an application from John Tamihere to re-join the party. Mr Tamihere is a former Cabinet Minister, and amongst other portfolios was an Associate Minister of Māori Affairs (2002-2004).  Mr Tamihere advises the Party’s council gave no reason for the decline, and indicates that the process presents as unfair, because there was no discussion on why he was declined, nor is there any right of appeal.  Mr Tamihere has noted that this action is likely to be because he has announced his intention to seek the role of Auckland Mayor in upcoming elections, although previously the Labour Party endorsed the current Mayor, Phil Goff.   (Mr Goff will announce shortly whether he intends to stand for re-election.)   The Labour Party’s constitution allows the Party to only endorse one candidate for the mayoralty – meaning if Mr Tamihere had been accepted as a member he could have sought that endorsement ahead of Mr Goff.
  • Last Friday the Minister of Agriculture, Damien O´Connor, announced the 2019 Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists for Māori sheep and beef farming. The finalists are: Whangara Farms (Gisborne); Te Awahohonu Forest Trust / Gwavas Station (Hawkes Bay); and Kiriroa Station (Gisborne).  The winner will be announced on 24 May at the 2019 Ahuwhenua Awards ceremony, to be held in Gisborne.
  • Last Friday the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, announced the Crown’s response to the voting results for the Whakatōhea Settlement Process. In our view the response is essentially to proceed slowly with caution, and to check with officials whether any negotiations can carry on safely and or appropriately now; possibly concurrently with a Waitangi Tribunal hearing.
    By way of background, the mandate of Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust to settle historic claims was tested via urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing claims in 2017.  The Tribunal’s primary finding was that the Crown prioritised its objective of concluding Treaty settlements over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea. The Tribunal found the decision to recognise the Pre-settlement Trust mandate was therefore not fair, reasonable, or made in good faith, and breaches the Treaty principle of partnership.
    To resolve this, in October 2018 Whakatōhea iwi members were asked to vote on the following: 1) continuing with the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claim Trust as their treaty settlement entity; 2a) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that a mandate process be re-run from the start?  And 2b) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea?
    The results that came out in November 2018 show a small majority (56%) of iwi voted to continue negotiations with the Crown via the existing entity, but conversely a large majority (73%) voted to also stop negotiations until the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry.  It is this somewhat contradictory outcome that Minister Little is seeking to address i.e. carrying on working with the current settlement entity, but not getting ahead / or out of step with Tribunal processes that iwi members have stated they desire to occur first.


[1] Namely, jobseeker support (i.e. unemployment), sole parent support, and supported living.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 22 February 2019


  • Last Friday the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced her decision that Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay was now the official name for what was formally called – in legal contexts – Poverty Bay.
  • Last week the Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson, with the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, announced the launch of ‘Ka Hao te Rangatahi’. This is a new training programme based in Ruatoria, focused on developing conservation skills and erosion management for youth who are not in employment, education or training.
  • A Waitangi Tribunal hearing commenced this week concerning Wai 2573, which is ‘the Mana Ahuriri Deed of Settlement (Ngāti Pārau) claim’. Ngāti Pārau claimants are challenging the mandate of the Mana Ahuriri post settlement governance entity, on the basis that due processes were not followed in the enacting of this settlement.
  • Last Friday Ngāti Paoa negotiators signed the Hauraki Collective deed of settlement – despite opposition from within the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust. This means six of the twelve Hauraki iwi have now agreed to the collective deed of settlement. (The Pare Hauraki Collective redress includes a settlement worth circa $250 million in total, the return of two Maunga Moehau and Te Aroha, along with 25,000 hectares of commercial forests. The collective consists of twelve Hauraki iwi: Hako; Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki; Ngāti Hei; Ngāti Maru; Ngāti Paoa; Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki; Ngāti Pūkenga; Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu; Ngāti Tamaterā; Ngāti Tara Tokanui; Ngaati Whanaunga; and Te Patukirikiri.    There has been significant opposition to various aspects of this broader settlement process, including from Ngāi Te Rangi iwi members who are opposed to Hauraki iwi being represented on a Tauranga Moana governance group, and from Ngāti Whātua who opposed Ngāti Paoa being offered property in central Auckland.)