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E26 06 2021: Statement of Apology from the Prime Minister of New Zealand

The leading Māori policy item to note this week is the apology from the Government to Pasifika communities for immigration ‘dawn raids’ in the 1970s. We consider the statement of apology is worth reading in full (its only a few pages).

Statement of Apology from the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Right Honorable Jacinda Arden, 1 August 2021

“Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa, Fakaalofa lahi atu ki mutolu oti, Tālofa nī, Mālō nī koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Fakatalofa atu, Noa’ia ‘e mauri, Kam na mauri, Malo e lelei, Sioto’ofa, Mālō lava le lagi e mamā ma le soifua maua, Oue tulou, tulou atu, tulouna lava

Tēnei te mihi māhana ki a koutou katoa – ngā uri o te Moana Nui a Kiwa, kua rauika nei i raro i te kaupapa whakahirahira o te wā.

(Translation – Warm greetings to you all – the descendants of the Pacific, who have assembled here at this time for this very important occasion.)

Tapu mo e Ta’ehāmai Mo e ngaahi tu’unga ‘oku fa’a fakatapua. Kau kole ke mou tali ‘a e kole fakamolemole teu fai.

(Translation: In obeisance to the Unseen (God) and in respect of all the positions/strata/hierarchical ranks that are normally acknowledged. I ask that you accept the apology that I will give).

Ou te tula’i atu fua o a’u o ‘Ae. E ui la ua masa’a le ipu vai, ma ua agasala ma agaleaga le Malo i tagata Pasefika Ma e lē mafai foi e timuga ona faamagalo le o’ona o le sami. Ae avea ia lo tatou gafa fa’aleagaga e māgalo ai se leo fa’atauva’a.

(Translation: I stand before you as a representative of those who did you harm. Although spilt water cannot be gathered again. And while no amount of rain can remove the bitter salt from the ocean waters, I ask you to let our spiritual connectedness soften your pain, and allow forgiveness to flow on this day).

Welcome to you all who have come here today for this important occasion.  I stand before you as a symbol of the Crown that wronged you nearly 50 years ago.  Today is a day of solemn reflection and over the past weeks, I have particularly reflected on the story of Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

This is a lengthy story that continues to evolve. One part of this bigger story is the migration from the Pacific to Aotearoa in the 1950s and how this has shaped who we are today as a nation made up of many rich and diverse cultures.

We have experienced the Pacific Aotearoa journey shift from one of new settlement to the present-day Pacific diaspora in New Zealand, where Pacific peoples are an integral part of Aotearoa’s cultural and social fabric and are active contributors to our economic success.

However, in the multiple chapters of Pacific peoples’ story in New Zealand, the chapter of the Dawn Raids stands out as one that continues to cast a long shadow.  During the economic boom of the 1950s, New Zealand encouraged significant migration from the Pacific region to fill labour shortages in the manufacturing and primary production sector.

It was a time of economic prosperity and many migrated from the Pacific to New Zealand as a result.  However, at the downturn of the economy in the early 1970s, parts of our society began to see migrants as jeopardising their financial security and quality of life.  The migrants who became the focal point and scapegoat for these fears were largely Pacific peoples, and when Police and Immigration enforced immigration laws around overstaying, not everyone was targeted.

Instead, Police and Immigration officials overwhelmingly conducted raids on the homes of Pacific families.  Officials, often accompanied by dogs, undertook late night and early morning (dawn) raids of homes. 

Residents in those homes were woken abruptly, physically removed from their beds and forced into Police vans to be taken for questioning.  Some were hauled to the police station to appear in court the next day barefoot, in pyjamas or in clothes loaned to them in the holding cells; others were wrongfully detained.

During what became known as the Dawn Raids period, Police also conducted random stops and checks which required any person, on request, to produce their passport or permit if there was good cause to suspect an immigration-related offence, like overstaying a permit.

This lawful provision was exploited to racially profile those who were suspected as being overstayers, with Pacific peoples, Māori, and other people of colour randomly stopped in the street, at churches and schools, and other public places.

I understand that, at the time, public statements were made that a passport should be carried by those who looked like and spoke like they were not born in New Zealand.  Many groups, such as the Citizens Association for Racial Equality, Ngā Tamatoa, Amnesty Aroha, and the Federation of Labour, took to the streets in protest of these actions.

A prominent youth group was the Polynesian Panthers, a social justice movement that was founded in inner-city Auckland in June 1971. This movement operated to bring awareness to the treatment of Pacific peoples and to protest Crown actions and immigration policies.

These protests, coupled with the increasingly negative public reaction, led to the end of the Dawn Raids in 1976.  When we look back, it is now very clear that the immigration laws of the time were enforced in a discriminatory manner and that Pacific peoples were specifically targeted and racially profiled when these activities were carried out.

The statistics are undeniable.  There were no reported raids on any homes of people who were not Pacific; no raids or random stops were exacted towards European people.  Following an inquiry report of the then Race Relations Conciliator, Walter Hirsh, in 1986, it was found that while Pacific peoples comprised roughly a third of overstayers, they represented 86 percent of all prosecutions.

During the same period, overstayers from the United States and Great Britain, who, together, also comprised roughly a third of overstayers, made up only 5 percent of prosecutions.

Apology statement

While these events took place almost 50 years ago, the legacy of the Dawn Raids era lives on today in Pacific communities.  It remains vividly etched in the memory of those who were directly impacted; it lives on in the disruption of trust and faith in authorities, and it lives on in the unresolved grievances of Pacific communities that these events happened and that to this day they have gone unaddressed.

Today, I stand on behalf of the New Zealand Government to offer a formal and unreserved apology to Pacific communities for the discriminatory implementation of the immigration laws of the 1970s that led to the events of the Dawn Raids.

The Government expresses its sorrow, remorse, and regret that the Dawn Raids and random police checks occurred and that these actions were ever considered appropriate.  Our Government conveys to the future generations of Aotearoa that the past actions of the Crown were wrong, and that the treatment of your ancestors was wrong. We convey to you our deepest and sincerest apology.

We also apologise for the impact that these events have had on other peoples, such as Māori and other ethnic communities, who were unfairly targeted and impacted by the random Police checks of the time.  We acknowledge the distress and hurt that these experiences would have caused.

As a nation, we expect everyone in New Zealand to be treated with dignity and respect and we expect that all individuals are guaranteed their rights without distinction of any kind.  Unfortunately, these expectations were not met in this case and inequities that stem from direct and indirect discrimination continue to exist.

The Government is committed to eliminating racism in all its forms in Aotearoa New Zealand and affording everyone the right to be treated humanely and with respect for their dignity.  I want to emphasise that under our current immigration compliance regime, the Government no longer prioritises compliance activity and deportation on the basis of ethnicity or nationality, but instead seeks to address potential risks to the New Zealand community and the integrity of the immigration system.

Pacific context – reconciliation

As a government we want to honour Pacific ways of seeking reconciliation. We understand that Pacific practices and protocols vary, but the common thread that underpins these practices is the expectation of reconciliation that is meaningful, genuine and that restores the balance from past wrongs.

We want our apology to be in a manner that has meaning to Pacific peoples.  I also hope that our presence and apology here today helps weave together our connections.

Gestures to accompany the apology

But I understand that in many cultures, including in Pacific cultures, words alone are not sufficient to convey an apology and it is appropriate to include tangible gestures of goodwill and reconciliation.

We acknowledge the enduring hurt that has been caused to those who were directly affected by the Dawn Raids, as well as the lasting impact these events have had on subsequent generations.  I have heard that, for many people, the hurt was so deep that nearly 50 years later it’s a struggle to talk about.  We recognise that no gestures can mend this hurt.  However, we hope that the gestures I am about to outline are accepted as a way of expressing our deepest sorrow whilst recognising the wrongs of the past, to pave a new dawn, and a new beginning for the Pacific peoples of New Zealand.

As a government, we commit to the following gestures of goodwill and reconciliation for our Pacific communities:  We will support the development of an historical account of the Dawn Raids which can be used for education purposes.  As part of this, the community will have the opportunity to come forward and share their experiences.  May the process of gathering an official historic account from written records and oral history provide an opportunity for Pacific peoples to begin a new journey of reconciliation and healing that will help restore mana.  We will ensure resources are available to schools and kura who choose to teach the history of the Dawn Raids, which would include histories of those directly affected.  May this opportunity help future generations gain knowledge and understanding that will help them ensure the mistakes of the past are not ever repeated again.

We will provide $2.1 million in education scholarships and fellowships to Pacific communities in New Zealand.  May this gesture provide opportunities for the pursuit of tertiary education on subjects that will build confidence and pride in Pacific peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand.  And we will provide $1 million in Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships for young leaders from Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Fiji. May these opportunities grow Pacific leadership that is confident and proud.

Closing comments

Almost 50 years on from the Dawn Raids, the Pacific story continues to shift.  This chapter sees a Pacific Aotearoa that is self-assured, thriving, prosperous and resilient.

We hope that today has brought some much-needed closure and healing for our Pacific communities and that it will enable us to keep growing together as a community and as a nation.

Once again my deepest acknowledgements and respects to all those who were directly affected by the harms caused during the Dawn Raids, including those who continue to suffer and carry the scars.

My acknowledgements and gratitude to the many individuals and organisations who stood up for justice, called out the Dawn Raids for what they were, supported Pacific peoples throughout, and championed the need for an apology.

It is my sincere hope that this apology will go some way in helping the Pacific youth of today know, with certainty, that they have every right to hold their head up high, and feel confident and proud of their Pacific heritage, and in particular the sacrifices their parents and grandparents have made for Aotearoa New Zealand.

May my words today be received in the Spirit of Humility that I convey them.

Ofa atu. Alofa atu.

No reira, Tena Koutou. Tena Koutou. Tena Koutou Katoa.

Kia kaha. Fa’afetai. Malo ‘aupito. Metaki maata. Fakaue!”

Commentary on the Apology and Related Matters

While Pānui focuses on Māori policy matters there are of course strong historic and current interconnects between Māori and wider Pasifika. Presently circa 36,000 Māori (5%) also identify as belonging to a Pasifika ethnic group, and many of the social-economic disparities presenting for Māori, which we advise on regularly, also present for Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa.[1]   By way of example, this week we have provided a summary of the latest employment / unemployment data released on Wednesday by Statistics New Zealand.  Our analysis shows the Māori unemployment rate is 7.8% – which is exactly the same as the Pasifika rate of unemployment, but yet more than double the European NZ rate of 3.1%.  The apology then is important in that it acknowledges the harm caused to Pasifika communities and how that lingers.  In the Prime Minister’s words the past, “remains vividly etched in the memory of those who were directly impacted; it lives on in the disruption of trust and faith in authorities, and it lives on in the unresolved grievances of Pacific communities…”.

Overall, the apology reads as sincere, albeit it in a carefully worded manner, i.e. “immigration laws of the time were enforced in a discriminatory manner”, rather than something stronger, say for example, ‘immigration law was prejudicial against Pasifika peoples and second language English speakers, and that harmful ethos was also carried over to law enforcement operations in a harsh and cruel manner’. We also note the funding attached is low, circa $3 million, and much like Te Tiriti settlements, it reads as somewhat pre-determined by the Crown. Those aspects aside, there is now formal, on the record, recognition of the past harm caused – including to some Māori at the time – and most importantly in our view, a commitment to ensure this history is properly understood and acknowledged, including within school curriculum materials.

There is of course more to do to support Pasifika communities in Aotearoa. For example, we advise seasonal migrant Pasifika workers in Aotearoa have long been very lowly paid, and it was only at the end of 2020, following COVID travel restrictions, that the Government finally establish a policy that these workers must receive at least $22.10 per hour, and must be paid for a minimum of 30 hours per week.  (I.e. bringing people into Aotearoa to do jobs like fruit picking, and then not paying them due to adverse weather or smaller than expected harvesting requirements, has hopefully come to an end.)  Further, positively on Monday the Government also announced that seasonal workers from Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu can now also enter the country without going to managed isolation, given low COVID-19 cases in those countries.[2]  Hopefully the apology then also leads to other supportive policy changes in pressing areas, such as housing and health.

[1] Estimate from Census 2018.

[2] Note in this paragraph we are referring to ‘Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) workers’.  Pre COVID-19 there were circa 14,000 of these workers in New Zealand during fruit and vegatable harvest times, although now the number is estimated at circa 4,000.  There are other countries in the scheme, like Fiji, but the exemption from quarantine only applies to these three countries at present.

Appointments, Awards and Salient Māori News Items to 11 Pipiri 2021

Salient Māori News Items to 11 Pipiri 2021

  • National Party Member of Parliament, Paul Goldsmith, made a comment on television that he considered colonisation was, on balance good for Māori. The comment was not well received by most other politicians, with his own party leader, Judith Collins, not directly supporting that view and noted that no people, anywhere, like being colonised.   (Mr Goldsmith later tried to rephrase the comment to essentially mean New Zealand is a great place to live now.)    Opposition Members of Parliament suggested Mr Goldsmith was politicking, along the lines that ‘Māori should be grateful’ for Aotearoa as it is now.

Queen’s Birthday Honours

The following New Zealand Honours and Queen’s Service awards were conferred to Māori, or people giving services to Māori, on 07 June 2021.


To be Dames Companion of the said Order:

  • Mrs Hinewehi Mohi, MNZM, of Havelock North. For services to Māori, music and television.
  • Ms Ruia Mereana Morrison, MBE, of Rotorua. For services to tennis.


To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

  • Mr Wayne (Buck) Thomas Shelford, MBE, of Auckland. For services to rugby and the community.


To be Companions of the said Order:

  • Professor Angus Hikairo Macfarlane, of Christchurch. For services to education, psychology and Māori.
  • Mr Harry Haerengarangi Mikaere, of Coromandel. For services to the aquaculture industry and Māori.
  • Mr John Webster Te Kapene Thatcher, of Tauranga. For services to Māori and education.


To be Officers of the said Order:

  • Ms Esther Rata Jessop, QSM, of London, United Kingdom. For services to Māori and to New Zealand-United Kingdom relations.
  • Ms Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp, of Auckland. For services to street dance and youth.
  • Dr Benjamin Frank Pittman, of Hikurangi. For services to Māori and art.
  • Ms Gwendoline Tepania-Palmer, of Hamilton. For services to Māori and health.


To be Members of the said Order:

  • Mr Adam Ngawati Blair, of Auckland. For services to rugby league and the community.
  • Ms Yvette Louise Couch-Lewis, of Christchurch. For services to conservation and Māori.
  • Mr Ted Turua Ngataki, of Auckland. For services to Māori and the community.
  • Ms Maxine Khrona Shortland, of Kawakawa. For services to netball and governance.
  • Ms Gina Solomon, of Kaikoura. For services to conservation and governance.
  • Ms Mairehe Louise Marie Tankersley, of Christchurch. For services to prisoners’ welfare and Māori.
  • Mr Gabriel Pikiao Edward Te Moana, of Turangi. For services to Māori and governance.
  • Ms Karen Vercoe, of Rotorua. For services to governance and sport.
  • Ms Tracey Lee Wright-Tawha, of Invercargill. For services to health and Māori.

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM)

  • Mrs Michelle Susan Grant, of Gisborne. For services to victims of sexual violence.
  • Mr David Matthews, of Christchurch. For services to people with disabilities.

E8 Salient Māori News Items to 19 March 2021


  • One media outlet has run a story which appears to indicate that two Government agencies – the transport agency Waka Kotahi and Heritage New Zealand allegedly colluded to ensure a Taranaki hapū grouping, Poutama, was purposely not properly consulted with on a roading project which affected them. If proved to be true this would suggest legal breaches, and agency conflicts of interest, may exist.  Again, we consider this is the type of matter that a strong Te Puni Kōkiri should immediately be alert to and ready to proactively review and, if necessary, remedy.
  • The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Carmel Sepuloni has announced four entities are to receive funding, collectively totalling $5.5 million, for increased Māori Trades and Training initiatives. The recipients are Manaia SAFE Forestry School and the ICONIQ Group in Tairāwhiti-East Coast, North Drill Ltd in Northland-Tai Tokerau and Minginui Nursery in the Bay of Plenty.
  • Te Puni Kōkiri is investing circa $1 million in Papakāinga developments on Wharekauri (the Chatham Island) to create 5 new homes.  (Sounds great, but again, is this core business, or something Whānau Ora was originally scoped out to do?)
  • Sir Kim Workman has been appointed Chair of an Independent External Reference Group to support research into how the Police can ensure its services are fair and equitable.
  • Earlier this month the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) published the Social Housing Register data sheets for the quarter ending 31 December 2020. The data shows that 11,171 Māori (and their whānau) are in need of a house and qualify for assistance. This is 49% of all those registered, meaning Māori housing needs continue to be dispproportionately higher than others. Housing Register – Ministry of Social Development (msd.govt.nz)
  • Surf Lifesaving New Zealand published a report entitled National Beach & Coastal Safety Report 10-Year Overview 2010-2020 & 1-Year Overview 2019-20. The report showed that during the period 2010 to 2020, Pacific Peoples and Māori had the highest fatal drowning rates of 1.31, and 1.13 per 100,000 respectively, compared to the national rate of 0.85 per 100,000 .slsnz-beach-coastal-safety-report-2020_single-pages-for-digital-use.pdf (surflifesaving.org.nz) 

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 8 February 2019 – Edition 3

  • On Monday former Māori Party co-leader, Marama Fox, was convicted and fined for driving while over the legal blood alcohol level. The incident occurred in November 2018. Ms Fox received a fine and has been disqualified from diving for six months.
  • Otangarei Papakāinga has secured circa $1.13 million of funding (including a $200,000 loan) for insulation and other healthy homes initiatives within the community of   For this project Otangarei Papakāinga have partnered with Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangarei Trust.
  • Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa has been awarded investment funding of circa $2.3million for housing initiatives in Tākou Bay, Whaingaroa.

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.

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.


[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.


  • 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:



  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.)


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.


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.)



  • 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.



  • 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: