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Māori News Stories for the Week Ending 27 March 2015 (edition 9/2015)

 

  • Last Thursday the Members’ Bill of Meka Whaitiri was drawn from the ballot in parliament, and is now lodged on the Parliamentary Order Paper.[1] The bill is the Environmental Protection Authority (Protection of Environment) Amendment Bill.  Ms Whaitiri proposes to insert a new objective in the Environment Protection Authority Act 2011 to ensure the Authority must, “aim to protect, maintain and enhance New Zealand’s environment”.  In her view, this extended definition of purpose is required to ensure the Authority always puts environmental considerations ahead of other matters.  National Party Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, however, considers that adding such words is superfluous, given the Authority’s sole purpose is to consider environmental matters.  He has indicated the Government will therefore vote against the bill.

    We have previously advised on provisions within this legislation area, particularly in relation to Māori and iwi concerns and submissions (Pānui 7/2012 refers).  Our assessment has been that this legislation underserves Māori.  In part this is because the Māori Advisory Committee established within the Act has a weak legislative mandate as it is unable to make binding recommendations on any party.  The Committee provides case-by-case considerations upon request, is advisory only, and is effectively toothless.  Accordingly from a Māori policy perspective there is scope to improve the legislative framework to better reflect Māori needs and aspirations.  It is then surprising that Ms Whaitiri, who is the parliamentarian representing Ika Rāwhiti constituents – i.e. she represents Māori only – appears to have excluded matters which impact on Māori from her sole legislative proposal.

Appointments 

  • Hinurewa Poutu and Dr Ruka Broughton have been appointed to the board of the Māori Language Commission / Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.
  • Last week Te Puni Kōkiri launched Te Whakahura a Kupe, a web-based socio demographic database tool which disaggregates census data via iwi and rohe.  The database includes 98 iwi, and data sets available include various health, education, employment and housing information collected from both the 2006 and 2013 censuses.  (I.e. how many people of a particular iwi have employment, own their home, have tertiary qualifications, etc).  In our view this is a particularly useful tool for researchers and policy advisors, it can be viewed here:

    http://kupe.tpk.govt.nz/

  • On Wednesday Miraka received the inaugural ‘He Kai Kei Aku Ringa – Māori Excellence in Export’ award at the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards.
  • This week the Annual General Meeting of Te Ohu Kaimoana was held.  Reports of the financial returns of both Aotearoa Fisheries and Sealord have arisen from this meeting, but are not yet publicly available. (We will review when published.)
  • On Thursday three finalist for the 2015 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for sheep and beef were announced.  The finalist are Mangaroa Station (located north-west of Wairoa) Paua Station (located north of Kaitaia) and Maranga Station (located south-west of Gisborne).  The winner will be named at the Awards dinner on May 29 in Whanganui.
  • Today Ngāruahine will receive an apology from the Crown for illegally incarcerating iwi members in the South Island during the 1880s.
  • On 30-31 March Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Māori Unit within the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (Te Wāhanga) will co-hosting a forum on rangatiratanga; entitled ‘Kei Tua o te Pae’.  Details can be found here:

    http://www.nzcer.org.nz/events/kei-tua-hui

  • This week legal action between a grouping of former board members of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whāngaroa and the Ministry of Education has been withdrawn.  (The legal challenge arose from the removal of the school board in 2013).  By way of background, in June 2014 the Secretary of Education and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education, Peter Hughes, dissolved the Board, and replaced it with a commissioner.  This action followed significant student / whanau exit from the school; concerns about an inappropriate relationship between a former principal (Louisa Mutu) and a student; and concerns that board elections were not held in accordance with Education Act (allegedly no formal advertisements, only school newsletter information and letters).

    The former board members objected to the need for a commissioner, indicating that they had address the conduct of the former principal appropriately, and had advertised elections in a means suitable their community.  They also objected to the commissioner appointed, Mr Larry Forbes.  Accordingly they had originally been seeking a High Court injunction against the interventions.  However in December 2014 Hōhepa Campbell took over the commissioner role and new board elections were facilitated this year.  Election results are now pending.  (Pānui 21/2014 refers.)



[1] By way of background, Members’ Bills are proposed changes to legislation lodged by individual members of parliament.  Members are allowed to lodge one bill each of their own design (i.e. it is not required to be a ‘party policy’ bill).  If the bill is drawn in the parliamentary ballot then it is placed on the Order Paper (i.e. parliamentary agenda), and will receive at least a first reading in parliament, and be voted on at that point.

Māori news week ending 20 September 2013

• This week the Government announced that the maximum catch of Snapper for recreational fishing will be reduced from nine to seven fish per day, and the minimum size increased to 30 centimetres, from April 2014.  Chair of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Margaret Mutu, has indicated Ngāti Kahu will ignore the regulations, as it is perceived to interfere with their mana moana.

• This week media outlets reported on a Japanese bathhouse that refused entry to Erana Brewerton, because she has a moko kauae.   Ms Brewerton is a Māori language expert, who was in Japan to present at an indigenous languages conference.  The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary responded indicating, “it is important to respect the cultures of foreign countries”.

• Last month five of eleven iwi within the Hauraki Iwi Collective received advanced Treaty-settlement payments totalling $53 million to purchase a LandCorp dairy farm, Pouarua.  The payments will be deducted from the overall settlement redress package for each respective iwi. Namely, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri.  We will advise further on these settlements when they progress to the ‘Agreement in Principle’ stage.

Parliamentary matters from E36 week ending 19 October 2012

  • On Monday the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament.  The Bill implements the Government’s decisions on the prohibition of foreign charter vessels, following allegations of mistreatment and underpayment of foreign crews (refer to pānui E17/2012 for details).
  • On Wednesday the Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empowering Act Repeal Bill was read for a second time (refer to pānui E20/2012 for details.)
  • On Wednesday the Finance and Expenditure Committee tabled their interim report on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. The committee recommends (by majority) that the Bill be passed, with some amendments.  This Bill effects Māori forestry interests in particular, (refer to pānui E11/2012 for details on this policy matter).
  • On Thursday the Education Amendment Bill was read for the first time and referred to the Education and Science Committee.  This Bill sets out the legal framework for partnership schools / kura hourua.  Submissions have not been called for, and a report is due by 18 April 2013 (refer to pānui E26/2012 for details).

Parliamentary matters: from E29 week ending 24 August 2012

On Wednesday the parliamentary committee stage of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill was completed, and the bill reported back with minor amendments.  (Refer to Pānui edition 7/2012 for details on Māori views regarding this matter.)

The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill had its first reading on Thursday.  It has now been referred to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, and it will be reported upon by 17 October.  (Refer to Pānui edition 11/2012 for Māori policy comments on this matter.)

Māori news stories for the weeks ending 13 and 20 July 2012

  • Timoti Te Heuheu passed away last Thursday.
  • Philip Broughton (Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu) has been appointed as a member of the Education New Zealand Board.
  • Dr Selwyn Katene (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Tama) has been appointed as the Massey University Assistant Vice-Chancellor – Māori and Pasifika.
  • Enid Ratahi–Pryor (Ngāti Awa) has been appointed to the Housing New Zealand Corporation Board. 
  • On Monday Nelson’s first Kura Kaupapa Māori was opened, (Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Matangi).
  • Last weekend an official opening was held for Pipiriki forest, Taranaki.  (Pipiriki is twenty hectares of Māori owned wetland. The area has been fenced and stock-proofed with assistance from the Māori Trustee, Te Puni Kōkiri, and other organisations.)
  • Last Monday the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, confirmed that $1 million would be invested into He Toki 2.0, a Canterbury Māori Trade-Training initiative.  He Toki 2.0 will be offered through Te Tapuae o Rēhua with support from Te Puni Kōkiri, which will oversee the initiative, along with the Ministry for Social Development and the Tertiary Education Commission.
  • On Monday the Glenn Family Foundation announced the launch of the ‘Otara Project’.  The project is focused on child and community wellbeing (reducing child abuse and domestic violence), and will receive $8 million from the Foundation.  The Glenn Family Foundation has pledged $80 million to national initiatives of this nature.
  • Te Whānau ā Apanui and Greenpeace are appealing the High Court’s decision not to overturn a permit to drill for oil off the East Cape, which has been issued to Petrobras (a Brazilian oil company).  The Gisborne District Council has also approved, without public notification, a consent for TAG Oil and the Apache Corporation to construct an oil drilling platform on a property north-east of Te Karaka.
  • Enviroschools Taranaki and Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre have signed new agreements to provide agricultural training on Parininihi ki Waitotara Incorporation farms.

Māori News Stories for the week ending 6 July 2012

  • Last Wednesday Nelson-based Wakatū Incorporation lost a High Court claim against the Crown for claimed breaches of fiduciary duty, and good faith in its dealings with the Māori owners of land in the Nelson and Motueka regions.  The decision allows the Crown to proceed with Treaty settlements with iwi groupings at the top of the South Island.
  • Last Friday a high court judge granted Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust the right to deliver (temporarily) the Family Start programme.  A full hearing into the Ministry of Social Development decision to terminate Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust Family Start programme will be held in August.  The Trust has also called a meeting of other Māori social sector providers to discuss a potential Treaty of Waitangi claim against the Crown, alleging that contractual terms and conditions are unjust.
  • On Monday the Minister for Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, announced amendments to New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).  Among the changes is provision to retain the allocation of second tranche compensation for forest owners, where off-setting is not taken up.  This policy will be of significant interest to Māori forest-owners.   (For further details refer to Pānui E11/2012.)
  • This week Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (a Māori Centre of Research Excellence) published a first edition of Mai Journal: A New Zealand journal of Indigenous Scholarship.  The publication will be biannual.
  • On Tuesday an application for bail for Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara (two of the Urewera four) was heard in the Court of Appeal, Wellington.  The men are seeking bail while they wait to have an appeal hearing against their convictions for their involvement in military style camps in Te Urewera National Park in 2007.
  • On Wednesday Orete Incorporation was fined $45,000 for polluting a stream with dairy effluent near Waihau Bay last September.

Māori news stories for the week ending 25 May 2012

  • Sir Wira Gardiner has been appointed to the Wellington Regional Governance Review Panel.  The Panel will assess governance options for councils across the greater Wellington region and will provide their recommendations in October.
  • Last Saturday Nelson and Wairoa voters rejected a proposal to establish a Māori ward on their respective Councils.
  • This week former senior students of the Morewa School senior satellite unit recommenced schooling at nearby Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Taumarere.  The students will also be dual enrolled with the Correspondence School for subjects not offered at the Kura (English and Maths).  In addition, financial assist will be providing to ensure teaching support and for general transitional costs (school uniforms, etc).
  • On Monday AFFCO and the Meat-workers union resolved their twelve-week industrial dispute.  Amongst other items, AFFCO will provide a $400,000 fund for workers affected by the lockout, a 3.2% wage increase, and the inclusion of seniority clauses in member’s contracts.  The Meat-workers Union have agreed to AFFCO drug testing their members.  The agreement was reached after mediation facilitated by the Iwi Leaders Group (ILG).  The ILG agreed to become involved noting that the situation was creating significant hardship for many Māori whānau.  We note the Talley’s family (owners of AFFCO) share fishing industry interests with iwi/Māori fishing companies; and would not desire to place that business at risk, particularly given upcoming reform in that sector (as discussed above).    
  • On Thursday Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara (two members of the ‘Urewera Four’) were sentenced to thirty months imprisonment for a range of firearms charges.  The two other members of the ‘Urewera Four’ Urs Signer and Emily Bailey still await formal sentencing.
  • On Wednesday Labour Party MP Shane Jones agreed to stand down from Labour’s front bench and his portfolio responsibilities.  This was because Labour Party leader, David Shearer, asked the Auditor-General to investigate Mr Jones’ ministerial conduct in relation to the approval of an immigration visa in 2008.  (The Visa was approved by Mr Jones against the advice of officials, and the person concerned, Mr Yan Yong Ming was this week on trial for immigration fraud.  However yesterday Mr Ming was found not guilty on all charges.)  The Auditor-General has not yet determined whether or not to investigate the matter – although both Mr Jones and Mr Shearer are of the view that an investigation is required to restore Mr Jones’ reputation. 
  • Last Friday afternoon the Minister of Primary Industries, David Carter, and Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, released the second Land and Water Forum report, Setting Limits for Water Quality and Quantity: Freshwater Policy- and Plan-Making Through Collaboration.  The report provides thirty-eight recommendations on the framework for freshwater management in New Zealand.  It includes a significant reference to iwi interests, and a Māori model of water management.  We will be considering this report in full next week, and if appropriate, will provide further briefing information. 

Māori news stories for the week ending 13 April 2012: omnibus excerpt

 

  • Sir Peter Tapsell passed away last week, aged 82.  Sir Peter Tapsell was the first Māori Speaker of the House and served as Internal Affairs Minister, Arts Minister, Police Minister and Defence Minister.
  • Mr Tom Roa has been named the new chairperson for Waikato-Tainui executive.
  • From 1 July, Sir Henry van der Heyden will chair the Tainui Group Holdings company. 
  • Last Tuesday it was announced that five contract health providers who deliver the Family Start programme will not have their service contract renewed.  The Ministry of Social Development indicated that the contracts have been lost due to poor performance (yet also expressed willingness to consider new proposals from the providers).  The five providers are also organisations within Whānau Ora clusters, and one has publicly questioned how Whānau Ora can be progressed without such contracts.  The providers are Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust, Turuki Health Care, Papakura Marae, Te Ha o Te Whānau Trust, and Te Roopu Awhina Family Start.
  • Last Tuesday Prime Minister John Key unveiled a $62 million Youth Mental Health package.    Two Whānau Ora providers will be allocated $480,000 (over two years) for the provision of youth mental health services to 40 Māori and Pacific youth aged 12 – 19 years. 
  • Last Tuesday Tauranga MP Simon Bridges was promoted to Minister outside of Cabinet.  Mr Bridges has been appointed as Consumer Affairs Minister, Associate Minister of Transport, and Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues.
  • Māori-owned kiwifruit company Te Awanui Huka Pak are currently leading a business and cultural delegation to Tokyo.  The aim of the visit is to increase New Zealand kiwifruit exports too Japan