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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.
    https://teohu.maori.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Quarterly-report-June-2018-FINAL-DRAFT-V9.pdf

  • 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.

Salient Māori News Items to E 32 21 September 2018

  • Dr Charlotte Severne (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe) has been appointed as the new Māori Trustee.
  • Meka Whaitiri was fired on Thursday as a Minister of the Crown by Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. The decision was made after Prime Minister Ardern received a report into an incident that occurred between Ms Whaitiri and one of her staff on August 27. Ms Whaitiri’s portfolios had included Associate Minister for Crown/Māori Relations along with Minister of Customs, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Forestry and Associate Minister of Local Government.  Ms Whaitiri will remain as the Member of Parliament for Ikaroa Rawhiti.
  • This week a reporter on mainstream radio, Heather du Plessis-Allan, when commenting on Prime Minister Ardern’s visit to Nauru for the Pacific Island Forum, advised listeners that the nation was a “hell hole” and that the Pacific Islands “are nothing but leeches on us”. When challenged about the inappropriateness of this comment, she sought to clarify that she was referring to the Governments of Pacific Islands, not the people.  In our assessment, Ms du Plessis-Allan’s comments about Nauru and its economic exchange with New Zealand is almost certainty factually wrong, given it was New Zealand and Australia that largely consumed the island’s phosphate resources for agricultural production purposes, without sufficient recompense.  e. the amount of a half pence per ton in 1921, being raised to one and a half pence in 1927 does have strong parallels with early purchases of Māori land, and extreme lowball prices being paid for resources due to uneven negotiation frameworks being set into motion.[1]  Unfortunately for Pasifika peoples, however, there is no equivalent of a Waitangi Tribunal for Nauruan people to raise this matter with the New Zealand Government now, nor for others such as Samoan people to raise issues of historic incidents of New Zealand Police brutality, etc.  Given du Plessis-Allan’s comments, then perhaps there should be a parallel Pasifika Commission of Inquiry to address such matters to clarify how New Zealand has used Pasifika Islands for resources, labour, defence, and other purposes.  Moreover, however, along with the ill-formed and offensive comments about other Pasifika nations, we consider Ms du Plessis-Allan also makes an incorrect assumption that New Zealand is not a Pasifika nation in and of itself; i.e. her statement indicates no acknowledgement that Aotearoa is the south edge of Pasifika and that Māori are part of Polynesia.
  • This week celebrations of the Women’s Suffrage Movement have been held, as it is 125 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote – i.e. 19 September 1893. Accordingly, from then Māori women were able to vote for Māori men who were standing for election in one of the four Māori Parliamentary seats, established earlier in 1876.  In 1919 women won the right to stand for Parliament in New Zealand, and the first Māori wahine to attempt to do so was Rehutai Maihi, in 1935.  In 1949, following the death of her husband, Potiki Ratana, Iriaka Ratana became the first Māori woman to succeed at winning a seat in Parliament.  Later, in 1972, Whetu Tirikatene became the first wahine Māori member of Cabinet.  The first wahine Māori Prime Minister is yet to be determined.
  • This week the Government’s tax working group has released an interim report. We are reviewing this for implications for Māori, in particular Māori land tax issues, etc.
  • Ngāi Tahu Tourism has announced that it is adjusting wages to ensure all staff are paid at least the living wage of $20.55 per hour.
  • The Māori Carbon Foundation has selected Donna Awatere Huata as their first Māori Climate Commissioner. The role is designed to facilitate opportunities for Māori to learn about climate change.    Ms Awatere Huata has a controversial past, including being convicted and jailed for fraud in 2005.  (Equally she has a history as a Māori rights activist, a writer,  and as a former Member of Parliament.)
  • On Wednesday the Equal Pay Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament. The purpose of this bill is to improve the process for raising and progressing pay equity claims, and to eliminate gender discrimination in the areas of remuneration and employment terms and conditions for work done within female dominated jobs. We note this bill should have a positive effect for Māori as wāhine Māori are, collectively, one of the lowest paid groupings within the workforce.

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_80319/equal-pay-amendment-bill

[1] This is the amount the British Phosphate Commissioners paid; the New Zealand Government was a part of this board.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 24 November 2017 (edition 39/2017)

  • Te Puni Kōkiri is continuing to publish regional profiles of the Māori population, and has now uploaded onto its website a profile for Te Tai Hauāuru. This is a one page infographic setting out key statistics, such as population age, education, housing, and other data.

http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/a-matou-mohiotanga

  • Manawatu District Council has voted to establish one or more Māori wards at the next local body elections (unless overturned by a voter referendum). Panui 38/2017 outlines this matter further.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Arden attended the conference of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA) last Saturday, noting that she sees potential for an improved working relationship between FoMA and Government to create employment and economic growth within communities.
  • A grouping of Ngāi Tūhoe marae, called Te Kohinga o Ngā Whānau o Ngāi Tūhoe, has indicated they may remove their support for the tribal development entity, Te Uru Taumatua, unless their request for independent review is agreed upon. We advise such discords between hapū and marae groups within broader iwi entities is not uncommon in light of Treaty settlements.  However, given the renewed emphasis the Waitangi Tribunal is now placing on ensuring informed and ongoing support from hapū/marae to iwi ‘super-structure’ entities, the risks relating to such disharmony have now escalated (with Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Wai being recent examples of mandate risks presenting, Pānui 38/2017 refers).  The Te Uru Taumatua AGM is scheduled for 2 December, so potentially the iwi can avoid potential litigation through discussions then.
  • The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced further funding of $7.4 million for erosion protection initiatives, such as tree planting and land retirement, in the Gisborne district. The Ministry will be working in partnership with Ngāti Porou and the Gisborne District Council to progress the initiative.
  • Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu has elected Lisa Tumahai as its new kaiwhakahaere. Ms Tumahai has been acting in the role since April 2016.
  • Inspector Hurimoana Dennis and Sergeant Vaughan Perry were found not guilty of kidnapping in the Auckland High Court this week. The pair had sought to assist two whānau groups who were upset about a relationship between a 17-year old boy and a 15-year old girl, and had shown the boy Police cells and allegedly facilitated his prompt departure to Australia.  An internal Police review into the matter is still continuing, although to us the matter reads like a tale of cultural misunderstandings, set sometime in the 1950s.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 17 November 2017 (edition 38/2017)

  1. The Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA) is holding its annual conference, which also marks its 30th Anniversary, in Rotorua this weekend. The focus is on future directions, with Chair Traci Houpapa indicating a key objective is to strengthen the existing relationship between the Government and the Federation.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister for Crown/Treaty Relations Kelvin Davis, the Attorney-General (also Minister for Economic Development) David Parker, Sir Tipene O’Regan, Waaka Vercoe, Mavis Mullins, Paul Morgan, and Sir Wira Gardiner are among the keynote speakers.  For attendance details visit:

https://www.foma.org.nz/

 

  1. The New Zealand Māori Arts and Craft Institute (Te Puia) tabled its annual report (to 31 March 2017) in Parliament this month. Results, including financial results, are impressive: a profit of circa $5.0 million was made, thereby raising total equity up to $42.3 million.

E.15 NZMACI Annual Report 2017 official copy [PDF 1178k]

 

  1. The Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, is meeting with Ngāpuhi claimant groups today (both Tūhoronuku and Te Kōtahitanga), and then holding a general hui for Ngāpuhi tomorrow in order to progress a Treaty settlement with the iwi. Overall, progressing this settlement proved just too hard for the last administration, so it will be interesting as to whether the new Government can resolve conflicts sufficiently to allow settlement work to progress.  The open forum is being held at the Waitangi Copthorne from 9am to midday.

 

  1. The Māori Book and Journalism awards were held last week with Wena Harawira gaining a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her services to broadcasting. Renee Kahukura Iosefa was named Māori Journalist of the Year.

 

  1. The Trade and Export Growth Minister, David Parker, has released a statement indicating that the  Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) now meets the expectations of the Government, with issues of dispute suspended at this time (such as labour rates). Amongst other items he advises   Treaty of Waitangi protections are now clear and sufficient.  (The Green Party has indicated they will oppose CPTPP legislation being enacted – while the opposition National has indicated they will support the Government on this matter.)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/revised-trans-pacific-partnership-better-deal-new-zealand

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 10 November 2017 – (edition 37/2017)

  • Keith Ilkin is the new Chief Executive Officer of Maori Televison.
  • Mr Stephen Henare and Ms Margaret Dixon have been charged with fraud in relation to a block of Maori land, managed by Parengarenga 3G Trust.
  • An urgent hearing regarding the Whakatohea Hearing has been held this week. It commenced on Monday 6 November and ends Friday 10 November 2017.

https://waitangitribunal.govt.nz/upcoming-events-2/

The Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Greens – Items of Significance for Māori – 27 October 2017 (edition 35/2017)

  1. In addition to the above, the Labour Party has a confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party. This agreement has twenty policy statements, three of which we consider will be of particular significance to Māori, as outlined below.

 

Fair Society

·         ‘Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working for Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities, and lifts children and their families out of poverty.’

o   significant because Māori are over-represented as recipients of social welfare, and in the application of sanctions.

·         ‘Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the country’s founding document’.

·         ‘increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.’

o   significant as Māori are over-represented as consumers of cannabis, and in criminal offending relating to the consumption of cannabis.  (refer to the Ministry of Health Drug Use Survey 2015 for usage information.)

Salient Māori News Items – 13 October 2017 (edition 34/2017)

  • Whakaki 2N Incorporation in Iwitea has received a $40,000 grant from the Ministry for Primary Industries to find the best sustainable use for its 466 hectares adjacent to Lake Whakaki.

 

  • Auckland University is undertaking a survey of Māori adults on financial attitudes. The focus is to better understand Māori financial choices, and how these interact with Māori cultural values, and Māori views of wealth and security.  We note this is a very large survey, (with 100,000 survey forms dispatched), and is being supported by The Marsden Fund, and undertaken by Māori academics.    In our view this work probes into an area where there is limited research knowledge presently, and has the potential to improve policy outcomes.  (I.e. research we have reviewed to date appears to focus only on the value of culture, or financial deprivation/wealth, but it does not readily link the two areas.  Without such linkages matters such as whether Kiwisaver accounts should be able to be pulled together by whānau members to purchase housing cannot be probed in policy work, etc.)

https://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/our-research/research-groups/maori-identity-financial-attitudes-study.html

 

  • Te Puni Kōkiri has published a one-page info-graphic on Māori in Te Waipounamu. This sheet brings together existing quantitative data from a variety of Government sources to provide a snapshot of the region.  Most of the indicators (bar Te Reo and household overcrowding) are showing gains for Māori in the region.  In our view this is a well-presented summary of these data sets, although adult health and social welfare data should be added for completeness.

https://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/mo-te-puni-kokiri/our-stories-and-media/te-waipounamu-regional-profile-2017#.Wd_rrbpuJhh

 

  • Wellington City Council has agreed to sell or lease council-owned land at Shelly Bay for a development being undertaken by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the Wellington Company. This will see circa 350 dwellings, a hotel and shops built on the former air force base – and may finally allow the Trust to gain a reasonable financial return from its largest asset, (its own Shelly Bay land), which to date as failed to make any decent return for the iwi.

 

  • Ngātata Love (former Chair of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust) has now been released from prison after serving about a year of his original two-and-a-half year sentence. Ngātata Love was jailed for fraud relating to the Wellington Tenths Trust (Pānui 18/2017 provides details).

 

  • Professor Tracey McIntosh from the University of Auckland has been awarded the Te Rangi Hiroa Medal from the New Zealand Royal Society for her research into understanding the social injustices experienced by Māori, such as poverty and incarceration.

 

  • Te Puni Kōkiri has moved its Auckland office to Mānukau, and now shares space with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 01 September 2017 (edition 30/2017)

  • The Wellington High Court has ruled that the Government provided insufficient compensation to Teina Pora, and that the Cabinet guidelines on wrongful imprisonment were not correctly applied. (The guidelines, written in 1998, suggest $100,000 of compensation be paid per year of wrongful imprisonment.) When Mr Pora’s compensation was considered the Government rejected adding inflation costs since 1998 to his claim – even through that had been recommended by an independent retired High Court Judge.  In effect then, aside from being wrongly accused by the state, wrongly imprisoned (for twenty years) by the state, Mr Pora was then wrongly compensated by the state for its past actions.  Based on the ruling, Mr Pora’s legal team believe he should receive at least $500,000 more than the $2.5 million paid out last year.

[By way of background, in 1994 Mr Pora was found guilty of the 1992 rape and murder of Ms Susan Burdett, on the basis of his confessions to the crimes.  However, two years later, in 1996, scientific (DNA) evidence linked Malcolm Rewa to the rape of Ms Burdett.  In 1998 Mr Rewa – who was already a convicted serial rapist – was then found guilty of Ms Burdett’s rape, but not her murder (there was a hung jury on that charge).  Following this, Mr Pora’s case was then reheard, however in 2000 he was again found guilty of the rape and murder of Ms Burdett (i.e. that he was with Mr Rewa).  This conviction ultimately led to the appeal to the Privy Council, which centred on both the reliability of Mr Pora’s confessions – given at age 17 after alleged duress from police officers – and on the fact that another person had already been convicted of the rape.    In 2015 the Privy Council quashed the convictions of Teina Pora.  The Law Lords found that the effects of Pora’s foetal alcohol disorder meant reliance on his confessions gave rise to the risk of a miscarriage of justice.  Mr Pora was released at that time.]

  • NZ Pure Blue has had its request for a non-notified consent to take water from the Pataruru Blue Springs declined by Ngāti Raukawa. The iwi considers it will be harmful to the health of the waterway.  This means the company must now go through a formal consenting process should it wish to proceed with its application.

The coronial inquest into the death of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, who died 10th August 2015 is underway in Rotorua.  The media articles are heavy and sad reading.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 25 August 2017 (edition 29/2017)

  • The Probation Board has announced that Sir Ngātata Love will be released from prison on parole in October, as he is of low risk of reoffending. He will be barred from having any direct or indirect contact with the Wellington Tenths Trust or Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust until April 2019.  We also note the Prime Minister has deferred any decision as to whether Sir Ngātata Love should lose his knighthood for services to Māori until after the General Election.  The Tenths Trust continues to seek an apology from Sir Ngātata.  (Pānui 18/2017 provides further details on this matter.)
  • The Māori Television Service has opened its new offices in South Auckland, and consider the premises will better assist them deliver content via emerging digital technologies. Kiingi Tūheitia, however, has also indicated he is displeased with the service, as the content presents as too negative in his opinion.
  • The Prime Minister, Bill English, has written to Ngāpuhi entities, Tūhoronuku and Te Kōtahitanga, again offering mediation services. We consider this is likely because Te Kōtahitanga is now considering filing a Treaty of Waitangi claim against the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend Treaty negotiations (and the Prime Minister therefore needs to demonstrate good intent).   At present the two opposing groups are refusing to hold formal discussions with each other.  (Pānui 19/2017 refers.)
  • The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has opened its funding round for 2018 Treaty of Waitangi commemorative community events. Community grants average at $3,000.  Details here:

http://www.mch.govt.nz/funding-nz-culture/ministry-grants-awards/commemorating-waitangi-day-fund

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 11 August 2017 (edition 27/2017)

New Zealand Māori Council Chairpersonship Determined

  1. The Wellington High Court has declared Sir Taihakurei (Edward) Durie the sole chair of the New Zealand Maori Council – potentially ending a dispute over the matter with Mr Maanu Paul.
  2. By way of background, in 2012 Maanu Paul and Sir Taihakurei Durie were appointed co-chairs of the New Zealand Māori Council.  However, they disagreed on a range of matters, including whether Donna Hall – wife of Sir Taihakurei Durie – should provide legal counsel to the Council, or whether that is a conflict of interest.  Accordingly, after years of disquiet, in February 2016 some of the chairs of the District Māori Councils met, determined that the Council’s co-chair arrangement was dysfunctional, and voted that Maanu Paul become the sole chair, with Des Ratima to be the deputy chair, reporting directly to the districts (i.e. disbandment of the executive committee).  However, of the sixteen districts, only seven voted in favour of these changes (the majority of those in attendance), and other districts elected not to participate.
  3. Following this Sir Taihakurei Durie sought a High Court ruling as to the validity of the decisions made.  In April 2016 Justice Mallon determined that the February meeting did not have a quorum and was invalid, but that a properly constituted hui to be held during the month would provide an opportunity to resolve matters. Accordingly, the Council held the meeting – with Sir Wira Gardiner acting as the independent facilitator – and this time Sir Taihakurei Durie was elected (sole) chair.  Owen Lloyd was elected deputy chair.  Other decisions made in February 2016 were also rescinded, including disbanding the executive committee, and conducting an independent audit.  The meeting also determined that Donna Hall’s legal firm, Woodward Law, would provide advice on the Council’s claim to the Waitangi Tribunal concerning Māori water rights.  In effect these decisions were a complete reversal of earlier decisions.  However, during the process seven districts abandoned the meeting in protest against the appointment of Sir Taihakurei Durie, which is perhaps why Maanu Paul considers that meeting was also unconstitutional. He therefore appears to have carried on as if he was still co-chair, which lead to Sir Taihakurei seeking the High Court declaration as made this week.
  4. We are optimistic that this last ruling may settle the matter, but regardless, the end result is that the credibility of the New Zealand Māori Council, as some type of united voice to Government on matters of Māori interest, is in tatters.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 04 August 2017 (edition 26/2017)

  • Tēnei rā ka mihi ki a Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori kua eke ki tōna toru ngahurutanga. Ka hoki ngā mahara ki ngā kaumātua i hapai i te kaupapa o Te Taura Whiri, pēnei i a Tā Kīngi Īhaka, i a Kahurangi Kāterina Te Heikoko Mataira, i a Mīria Simpson, i a Ērima hoki nō nā tata tonu nei i riro ai ki Paerau. Moe mai rā koutou, waiho mai ko tō koutou pā harakeke, arā ko te reo Māori e ora nei, e kōrerotia nei, e tukuna nei ki ngā whakatipuranga. Taihoa rā a Pānui ka titiro ki te taha ki te hunga ora, arā ko ngā mahi me ngā whakamāherehere a Te Taura Whiri mō te toru tau kei mua i te aroaro.
  • This week marks thirty years since the introduction of the first Māori Language Act, which brought about recognition of Te Reo as an official language, and the establishment of the Māori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori). Coinciding with these achievements Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori has now tabled a renewed Statement of Intent (strategic plan) in Parliament, aligning with its new role under the new Te Ture Mō Te Reo, (Māori Language Act) which was passed into law last year.  Next week we will provide a review of this document, and related annual planning material.
  • This week the Māori Affairs Select Committee has reportedly delivered its report on the Waitara Lands Bill. This bill concerns the freeholding of Māori land to current leaseholders.  Media are reporting that the report recommends some significant changes in fund administration, including that a proposed council/iwi partnership fund be replaced with a hapū managed fund (for a percentage of monies received via freehold land sales).  The Committee’s report, however, has not been successfully uploaded onto the Parliamentary website as yet, so we will advise more fully once the detailed report is available.
  • This week media outlets have sought to force Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei to further clarify where she was living, and who she was living with, while she claimed the Domestic Purposes Benefit in the early 1990s. (Two weeks ago while launching her party’s welfare policies, Ms Turei indicated she once claimed more welfare than she was entitled to, Pānui 24/2017 refers). Via the media Ms Turei has now confirmed that she was also incorrectly enrolled at a wrong address on the electoral roll at the time.  Because of this David Seymour (ACT party leader) has now called for her resignation from Parliament.
  • The Ngātiwai Trust Board has put out a media statement on whether a luxury lodge in Helena Bay should be granted consent to take 60,000 litres of water per day to irrigate its grounds. Some iwi members oppose this, on the basis that the water draw will be harmful to the environment and whānau.  The Trust Board has asked Mokau Marae to work with the lodge and the regional council to assess the matter, and has indicated they will support the decision of the marae whānau.  The Board has also noted the positive economic impacts of the lodge for the area, and advised there are no financial ‘kickbacks’ for its trustees.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 28 July 2017 (edition 25/2017)

  • A digital health initiative called MaiHealth is being established in Patea by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Dr Lance O’Sullivan. The initiative allows for patient information to be gathered locally (in this case at the Patea Māori Club), and sent to a remotely based doctor for assessment, who can then recommend treatment options.  There is no General Practitioner based in Patea so the service allows for initial treatment considerations without whānau needing to travel to other towns.
  • Shaun Keenan, the former project manager for developing Ngāmotu Marae in New Plymouth, has been charged with theft by a person in a special relationship. The allegation is that he stole funds that were to be used for the marae development.  Since the arrest conflict has arisen between trustees and beneficiaries in regards to governance – with some beneficiaries seeking to have all the trustees removed.
  • Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Minister Peter Dunne have announced that, following a successful trial, the Ministry of Health will extend its funding for the Suicide Mortality Review Committee (SuMRC). This is useful for Māori, given disproportionately high rates of suicide.
  • Te Puni Kōkiri is committing $390,000 to support the redevelopment of Mataura Marae, Te Hono o te Ika a Maui ki Ngāi Tahu.
  • Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has confirmed she will be meeting with officials from the Ministry of Social Development  to discuss her benefit history, after she announced she had mislead Work and Income in the 1990s (Pānui 24/2017 refers).

Salient Māori News Items to 21 July 2017 (edition 24/2017)

  • As advised in the quarterly edition of Pānui (23/2017) the Te Ture Whenua Bill will not be read for a third time in Parliament before the election. As previously advised we agree with this deferral, as there is insufficient evidence to show that the majority of Māori land owners outrightly support the reforms.  (Notwithstanding positive aspects proposed, Pānui 21/2017 refers.)  Labour Party Member of Parliament, Meka Whaitiri, is claiming some degree of victory in getting the deferral, whereas Māori Party President, Tukoroirangi Morgan, considers the Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell, has made the right decision to seek not to rush the matter (although it has taken six years to get to this point).   In our view, the reforms now hinge on the outcome of the General Election – in short the Māori Party must at least maintain its position with the National Government in order for the reforms in the current format to go ahead.
  • A scoping study centred on the feasibility of establishing an iwi investment fund has been agreed to between He Kai Kei Aku Ringa (the Crown-Māori Economic Development Partnership) (HKKAR), Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. In our view this is a practical first step towards co-investment considerations (as opposed to the ‘iwi rail’ political proposal).
  • Te Puea Memorial Marae is recommencing its winter emergency housing initiative, making available cabins for whānau without homes. The Marae commenced their ‘Manaaki Tangata’ initiative last winter, initially without Government support.  This year, however, public funding has already been secured, with the Social Housing Minister, Amy Adams, indicating it was a ‘partnership’ programme and the Government will provide $125,000.   This year the Marae is also focusing mainly on securing housing for whānau in need, as opposed to individual ‘rough sleepers’.
  • Discussions between the Crown and the whānau of Maungapōhatu are underway to determine how best to recognise and address the crimes against the Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana and his community. 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.
  • This week the Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, has announced the opening of the next round of applications for the Commercial Advisors Scheme funding. The scheme provides up to $60,000 for Māori collectives to pair up with advisors to progress commercial ventures.  Applications close on 11 September.  Further details here.
  • A campaign to encourage more Māori aged 18-29 to vote in the General Election has commenced. It is called ‘For Future’s Sake Vote – #FFS Vote’.  (At the last election 45% of Māori voters in this age group did not vote.)
  • Hawkes Bay Seafood company director Antonino ‘Nino’ D’Esposito, and skipper Robert Harvey, have both been convicted and fined for allowing a fishing boat to go to sea without an observer on board.[1] The men have been fined $5,000 each, but the bigger financial implication for the company is the forfeiting of a fishing boat to the Crown.  We advise Hawkes Bay Seafood is the inshore fishing quota leasee for Ngāti Kahungunu, and for some other iwi – i.e. a company which catches fishing quota that has been allocated to iwi groups through Treaty of Waitangi settlements.  (The company has an agreement with Ngāti Kahungunu to employ at least 80 members of the iwi.)  By way of further background, Mr D’Esposito already has at least 98 convictions relating to false declarations of fish catches, and in 1997 he was required to pay nearly a million dollars in fines for fishing offences. Ultimately this type of previous conviction record does bring into question whether Ngāti Kahungunu has undertaken sufficient due diligence into its fishing partnership, and also whether there is a deficiency in the current regulatory framework, if it allows repeat fisheries offenders to continue operating within this sector.  We advise other allegations of possible fisheries offences by this company are still to be determined (Pānui 36/2015 refers).
  • The Wellington Tenths Trust has successfully gained a Court Order to freeze assets of Lorraine Skiffington, in a bid to recoup losses arising from fraudulent activities against the Trust by Sir Ngatata Love (Pānui 31/2016 refers). (Note there is a stay on criminal charges being brought against Ms Skiffington, due to her ill health.)

[1] Judgement made in February 2017, offences from 2015; information only now available.