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E27 13 August 2021: Māori News

  • This week a research company has released a report looking at the potential underfunding of Māori Primary Health Organisations (PHOs). The genesis for this is a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation within the Hauora Inquiry Report that consideration be given to this topic (Pānui 24/2019 outlines this inquiry).  The research company involved gives an indicative estimate -based on a few assumptions around service uptake and life/death costs – that the investment needed per annum for Māori PHOs is circa $1 billion, and the cost of not making this investment might be circa $5 billion per year.    These are of course indicative figures, but they give the Waitangi Tribunal claimants a starting point for their discussions with the Government as to what is needed.  This is a technical report which we consider likely adds a useful contribution to these negotiations, although we suspect Government analysts may well apply other methods to derive different figures.  Regardless, it is the next step in a process of better empowering Māori organisations to facilitate stronger wellness outcomes for Māori. https://srgexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Methodology-for-Estimating-the-Underfunding-of-Maori-Primary-Health-Care.pdf



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.

E33 Salient Māori News Items to 28 September 2018

  • On Monday the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament. This bill amends the Crown Minerals Act 1991 to give effect to the Government’s announcement made in April that the offshore block offers for oil and gas exploration permits will end, effective immediately. The block offer was an annual tender process established by the former National led Government that allowed for oil and gas companies to bid for permits.
    – The Government will continue to honour the 22 active offshore licences, which have permits to explore approximately 100,000 square kilometres of ocean: the final offshore permit will end in 2030
    – Ending offshore oil exploration is a major policy shift for New Zealand and demonstrates action towards the Government’s commitment for a carbon neutral economy by 2050. This included a target for a long-term transition away from fossil fuels and 100% renewable electricity, by 2035. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_80358/crown-minerals-petroleum-amendment-bill
  • On Thursday the third reading of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill was completed with  63 votes in favour of the bill and 57 against. The purpose of this bill is to prevent a person from remaining in Parliament if they leave the party for which they stood. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_75706/electoral-integrity-amendment-bill
  • Renata Blair (Ngāti Whātua, Tainui) has been selected as a Crown-appointed trustee to the Eden Park Trust Board. The Board is accountable for the financial and strategic management of Eden Park.
  • Sandra Cook (Ngāi Tahu) and Dr Jane Kitson (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Waitaha) have been appointed Guardians of Lakes Manapouri, Monowai and Te Anau. The Guardians’ role is to advise the Minister of Conservation on matters arising from environmental, ecological and social impacts from the power schemes on the three lakes. The Guardians of Lakes Manapouri, Monowai and Te Anau is a statutory body established under the Conservation Act 1987.
  • Robert McGowan, a rongoā Māori expert and promoter of the use of mātauranga Māori in conservation management, has been awarded the Minister of Conservation Loder Cup for outstanding achievements in flora conservation work.
  • Te Ohu Kaimoana group has released its third quarter report for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018. The report has been published to provide an insight into the work Te Ohu Kaimoana undertakes on behalf of Mandated Iwi Organisations. For the quarter ending 30 June 2018 Te Ohu Kaimoana delivered its services circa $68,000 over budget, however they still expect to distribute a small amount of assets to iwi at end of year.

  • Next Monday voting opens for members of Whakatōhea iwi to choose to continue the current settlement process led by the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust, or alternatively restart the mandating process. Voting ends 26 October. Refer Pānui 13/2018. electionz.com/whakatohea.
  • This week Māori Television staff were advised of a proposed restructure “strategic refresh” which may lead to 19 job losses.
  • This week the Māori Women’s Welfare League National Conference was held in Gisborne.
  • The World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) will be held 9 to 11 October 2018 in Rotorua. See http://wibf.ca/about-us/ for registration and programme details.

Māori news stories for the week ending 14 November 2014 (edition 40)

  • The Department of Corrections has announced that new prisoners will have pounamu or manaia removed, and returned to their whānau.   The stated reason is that the items are beings traded amongst prisoners, which has escalated conflicts.  Prisoners currently serving a sentence will not have to surrender their pounamu or manaia.  Māori Party spokesperson, Marama Fox, has indicated the party is concerned, noting no evidence has been provided by the Department for the decision, and accordingly has requested a meeting with the Minister for Corrections, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.  (We advise, if there is an issue of conflicts over trades, then by limiting but not eliminating supply, the Department could potentially be increasing such conflicts, if demand remains high.)
  • Ngāi Tūhoe is preparing to conduct a review of hunting permits issued within Te Urewera, in accordance with its management role over the area.  The iwi has indicated the review is focused on ensuring appropriate permit systems are in place, and better provide for information sharing.  Chairperson, Tamati Kruger, has indicated that previously there had been no monitoring of permits issued.
  • Media outlets are reporting that further job losses may occur at Sealord, and that iwi groups may be disenfranchised with the performance of the company, and seek a more active governance role in the future (as a potential outcome of the review of the Māori Fisheries Act).  Pānui is reviewing these matters, and will seek to provide a further summary brief on the review of this sector as it develops.
  • East Taupō Lands Trust, a Māori charitable trust has entered a honey supply partnership with Comvita.  East Taupō Lands Trust manage over 30,000 hectares of land south-east of Taupō.
  • A Ngāti Kahungunu Marae, Waipatu, is requesting a moratorium on water consent applications for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.  This is in response to a company, Elwood Road Holdings, seeking to increase its water extraction limitations from the Heretauranga aquifer (from 360,000 to 900,000 litres).  The water is sought for a bottled-water exporting company.


Māori news stories to 16 April 2014

· Social housing reforms came into effect this week allowing third-party entities (including iwi groups) to provide government-subsidised social housing. I.e. selected social housing providers are now able to offer income-related rents to eligible tenants, with the Government providing financial top-ups to ensure viability for housing providers. Pānui 41/2013 outlines this policy change, and other significant housing policy changes in more detail. We advise these policy reforms will have a marked impact on Māori, given high Māori use of state and social housing (circa 70,000 Māori live in state houses), and iwi interests in offering housing provisions.

· This week Tau Henare announced that he will retire from politics at the General Election.

· An application by Patricia Grace to the Māori Land Court to convert some whānau land to Māori reservation land has been successful. The purpose of this was to avert the land being acquired by the Crown under the Public Works Act for the further development of the Kapiti Expressway. The Crown has indicated it will appeal the decision. (Pānui 8/2014 provides further details on this matter.)

· This month an application by two trustees on the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (Sir Edward Durie and Maanu Paul) to replace the current Chair (Angela Foulkes) with a non-voting Chair was rejected by High Court Judge, Joe Williams, who instead requested that the parties work through a further mediation process (which commenced this week). Justice Williams has also determined that a previous decision to remove trustee Alan Haronga and replace him with Neville Back was invalid, as it was not properly supported by both of the two Māori appointing bodies (the Federation of Māori Authorities and The New Zealand Māori Council). Pānui editions 4/2014, 38/2013 and 22/2013 provide details on the internal discord within this Trust, for subscribers that are following this matter. The referal from the Court to a formal mediated-process presents as a positive development for this Trust.

· The Government has amended its Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to remove a clause allowing iwi fishing quota owners an extension until 2020 before implementing changes which prohibit the use of foreign charter vessels. Pānui 17/2012 outlines this matter in detail. We are current undertaking a further assessment of this policy change and will advise accordingly.

Māori news stories for the week ending 4 October 2013

  •  Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has released their annual report to 30 June 2013, which shows the group’s net profit after tax (i.e. all Ngāi Tahu entities) of circa $122 million. A large proportion of this profit comes from a government ‘relativity payment’, which is part of the Treaty settlement agreement between Ngāi Tahu and the Crown, and is not derived from trading activities. (That is, the Ngāi Tahu settlement is required to remain at 16.1 per cent of the total value of all Treaty settlements.) Ngāi Tahu have also confirmed that they are now entering into arbitration with the Government over the relativity payment, to ensure the correct amount of settlement redress is received. We also advise profits from Ngāi Tahu regular trading activities have reduced from the previous financial year.

  •  The New Zealand Māori Council have indicated that Archdeacon Harvey Ruru is no longer the Chair of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui District. There was disagreement between the Archdeacon and the Council Executive as to whether the correct election processes had been held.


  • On Tuesday a partnership initiative between Aotearoa Fisheries, Sealord, Sanford, and the Government announced they were trialling ‘precision seafood harvesting’, in order to reduce by-catch and to better target fish of particular sizes. In essence this technology replaces traditional fishing nets with PVC fishing tubes which allow small fish to escape, and undesired species to be released without harm. (Conceptually similar to traditional hinaki.) The ‘new’ technology is expected to increase New Zealand’s ability to export live fish.


  • On Tuesday the Minister of Housing, Nick Smith, launched a new home purchasing initiative called ‘First Home’. The initiative involves the government gifting 10 per cent of a deposit to low income earners to assist them to purchase vacant state houses. Also on Wednesday, to further progress the Government’s social housing programme, the Associate Minister of Housing, Tariana Turia, officially opened five new kaumatua houses built by Te Rūanga of Kirikiriroa and Te Rauawaawa Charitable Kaumatua Trust in Hamilton.


  • On Wednesday the Government commenced consultation for decreasing the size of wānanga (and university) councils. Presently these councils have up to twenty members, with a representational appointment approach. The proposal is to reduce membership to between eight and twelve members, with a greater focus on competency-based appointments. Consultation closes on 12 November. We advise this week the Government has also released a new draft Tertiary Education Strategy, and a report on tertiary education. We are reviewing implications for Māori from these documents and will provide an analytical assessment in the next Pānui briefing paper.


  • Nursing Council Chief Executive, Carolyn Reed, has advised that Māori now comprise 13 per cent of graduates from nursing programmes. (Māori presently comprise 7 per cent of the nursing workforce.)


  • On Tuesday deregistered lawyer Davina Murray was sentenced to 50 hours community work for smuggling contraband to a prisoner.

Māori news stories for the week 27 September 2013

• Te Kapa Coates has been appointed to the independent Board of Inquiry to consider the Ruakura Development Plan Change Request.

• Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce, and his portfolio Associate Minister, Tariana Turia, have announced that tendering is now open for the provision of Māori and Pasifika Trade Training programmes.  This will be of interest to subscribers involved in Māori tertiary education provision.  This is actually the third Ministerial announcement of this policy, refer Pānui edition 15/2013 for further details.

• This week media outlets discussed findings from a study which explored the importance of racial-ethnic identity in the lives of Year 9 students from secondary schools in Auckland.   The study is called, The importance of race and ethnicity: An exploration of New Zealand Pākehā, Māori, Samoan and Chinese adolescent identity.  It found Māori and Samoan students feel happy and connected to their culture, while Pākehā and Chinese teens are proud to be New Zealanders, but did not think their culture is special. The study was published in the New Zealand Journal of Psychology, August 2013.

• Te Ohu Kaimoana and Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd (AFL) have purchased a fish processing factory from Auckland company Anton’s Seafood Ltd.     Te Ohu Kaimoana, Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd along with Sealord Group Ltd, have also purchased Anton Seafood’s Orange Roughy Quota.

• This week it was announced that the Poutama Trust and the Māori Women’s Development Incorporation will enter into a memorandum of understanding to offer some shared services.  The Incorporation typically offers business loans of up to $50,000 to Māori women and their whānau, while the Poutama Trust typically provides smaller grants for professional business development, feasibility research, and growth projects.

• This week the Ngā Manu Kōrero 2013 National Secondary Schools Speech competitions were held in Hamilton.  The 2013 winners were; Matawhaiti Nepe (Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga), Karewa Cribb (Tamatea College), Raniera Black  (Tū Toa Tai Wananga), Sonny Maaka-Ngatai (Hato Paora College), Hinemaia Takurua (Kuranui College), and Te Whare Kotua Davies (Naenae College).

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).

Māori news stories for the week ending 10 August 2012

  • This week the Treaty Tribes Coalition and the Māori Fisheries Trust held the seventh National Māori Fisheries Conference in Auckland.  The conference focussed on fisheries trading in the present economic climate, and on sector regulatory changes. (Notable regulatory changes include the pending prohibition on the use of foreign-chartered vessels; refer to pānui E17/2012 for details.)
  • On Wednesday the Court of Appeal dismissed the legal challenge from the ‘Independent Purchaser Group’ (a consortium led by Sir Michael Fay), to prevent the sale of the sixteen former Crafar dairy farms to Shanghai Pengxin.  Māori interests (from Ngāti Rereahu and Tūwharetoa) involved in the challenge have ruled out any further legal action.
  • Last Wednesday Te Uri o Hau and the Northland Regional Council signed a memorandum of understanding.  The memorandum confirms a role for Te Uri o Hau in environmental, economic and social matters within the purview of the Council.
  • Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga  have commissioned researchers from the University of Canterbury to study and identify the qualities which make high achieving Te Arawa students successful learners.  The study, Ka Awatea, will be completed in 2014.
  • The Human Rights Commission is consulting on the meaning of ‘rangatiratanga’, in the context of modern Aotearoa / New Zealand.   Further information is available on their website.
  • On Wednesday a financial recovery plan was announced for Rata Te Āwhina Trust.  The Trust is a Whānau Ora provider, which was  placed under the control of a change manager in July, after an independent report identified issues of mismanagement. 

Māori news stories for the week ending 9 March 2012

  • Retired High Court judge and historian Sir Rodney Gallen passed away last Saturday.
  • Te Putea Whakatupu Trust will be offering up to ten Rona scholarships to Māori students completing a degree in fisheries, aquaculture, or marine sciences.  The value of each scholarship is $10,000.
  •  The Bay of Plenty Regional Council will host Te Tōanga Mai o Te Ra, a one-day conference to promote and enhance ways to build Māori capacity and capability to contribute to Council decision-making.  Te Tōanga Mai o Te Ra is to be held on April 23, in Tauranga.
  • An interim report on the Rena grounding was publicly released yesterday by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.  It has found the Rena was taking shortcuts to enter Tauranga harbour, in order to save time and beat the changing tide.
  • The Cabinet Office has posted Ministerial delegations on its website.  We note, of particular interest, that Tariana Turia’s role as Associate Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister has a delegation for leading the development of strategies and programmes to enhance and improve employment outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples.  This is a new delegation and fits with the expressed intent in the National / Māori Party confidence and supply agreement to focus on employment programmes, and other comments from the Māori Party proposing that Te Puni Kōkiri be reoriented towards this task.  

Māori news stories for the week ending 10 February 2012


  • Aotearoa Seafoods, Tohu Wines and Ngātahi Horticulture are now trading under the combined brand name of ‘Kono’ to assist with exporting.
  • A consultation meeting between Ngāti Kahungunu and Government representatives is to be arranged for late February to discuss partial asset sales.
  • On the opening day of parliament, last Tuesday, Winston Peters (NZ First leader) questioned the value of the Whānau Ora initiative describing it as a waste of tax payers’ money.  Māori Party members were also absent from parliament on the opening day, having earlier made statements encouraging iwi to take the Government to court over partial asset sales.  In itself this is quite peculiar considering they are in coalition with the Government.  Party co-leader Tariana Turia has published an open letter setting out her views on the topic.
  • Today a Joint Management Agreement protecting the Waikato River will be signed between Waikato-Tainui and the Hamilton City Council.
  • On Thursday a draft Whanganui National Park Management Plan was handed to the New Zealand Conservation Authority for approval.  The plan which has had significant input from the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board includes training and employment opportunities for Māori.
  • In March Te Whānau ā Apanui will send a representative to GLOBE, an international renewable energy conference in Canada. Te Whānau ā Apanui have been protesting against oil exploration off the East Coast.
  • On Tuesday Te Uru Māraurau, Massey University’s School of Māori and Multicultural Education launched Te Aho Tātairangi, a Māori immersion teaching degree.  Te Uru Māraurau aims to supply 200 Māori immersion graduates by 2020.
  • Waitangi Day protests focused on partial sales of state-owned enterprises, as did Crown / iwi leader discussions.

Ministerial Inquiry panel members and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the inquiry into the operation of fishing vessels, including foreign charter vessels (FCV), in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters

  This week the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Phil Heatley and Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson announced the Ministerial Inquiry panel members and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the inquiry into the operation of fishing vessels, including foreign charter vessels (FCV), in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters.

Chair of Aotearoa Fisheries steps down

Last week Mr Robin Hapi (Ngāti Kahungunu) announced that he will step down as the Chair of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd.  Mr Hapi retirement ends 20 years of  continous leadership within the  fishing industry.  Since 1991  Mr Hapi has held the following positions; Chief Executive of Te Ohu Kai Moana (1991-1997), Director – Sealord Groups Ltd (1997),   Chief Executive of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd (2004 -2007), Chairman  and Director- Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd (2007-2011). 

Mr Hapi will continue  in his current directorships and positions which  include; Director -New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Independent Chair – Business Economics Research Limited (BERL), Commissioner -Tertiary Education Commission, Deputy Chair -Te Wananga o Raukawa, and Adjunct Professor – Massey University, College of Business.

Ministerial Inquiry on Foreign Charter Vessels: omnibus excerpt

Yesterday Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Phil Heatley announced that a Ministerial Inquiry into the operation of Foreign Charter Vessels (FCVs) will be held.  The terms of reference have yet to be set by Cabinet, however the issue of concern relates to employment conditions experienced by foreign crew, while working in New Zealand waters.

The fisheries industry is currently valued at $4 billion dollars, and Māori are well positioned, controlling 37% of the fishing quota.  Like other quota owners, iwi organisations rent out a portion of their quota to operators who then engage foreign vessels and crew to do the fishing. Most of the catch is then taken to China for processing, to reduce operating costs.   In May, Mr Heatley raised the issue of iwi use of foreign charter vessels, questioning whether the practice undermines Māori employment.

In our assessment, the announcement of a Ministerial Inquiry is positive.  We think it unlikely that most Māori would support treaty settlement resource being used in a manner than directly undermines the wellbeing of other people groups, so further clarity on the issue is a step forward.  Note we have provided you with broader information on this topic on 27 May 2011.    

From week ending 15 July 2011