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Health

E23 6 July 2018 – Quarterly Review for the Period 1 April to 30 June 2018

This quarterly review provides a summary of significant Māori focused social, economic and Treaty policy developments for the period 1 April to 30 June 2018.

Within the quarter we reviewed 12 data set publications, 10 research reports, 8 Government policy / legislative issues. Information summaries are provided within the following appendices.

This quarter there have been three Māori focused policy items of salient note:

  • Budget 2018/19 reduced specific Māori Development funds – the Finance Minister said this is because Te Puni Kōkiri had not used past money, and that Māori are gaining outcomes elsewhere; whereas the Minister for Māori Development denied (wrongly) that was the Budget reality;
  • Whānau Ora is to be externally reviewed – although a Te Puni Kōkiri evaluation released this month of the initiative finds no issues arising; and
  • the Government has rejected building a mega prison at Waikeria instead a 500 bed rebuild will be undertaken, linked to a 100 bed secure mental health facility, a policy decision which suggests greater awareness of the significant link between criminal offending and poor mental health.

These items are further discussed below. Further information is available within the appendices and Pānui editions as referenced.

Social Policy Matters

Overview of Socio-Economic Matters

Data released this quarter continues to show ongoing socio-economic disparities presenting between Māori and other New Zealanders, with no significant positive or negative change. Two key statistics for the quarter are that:

  • 97,400 Māori (aged 18-64 years) and their household whānau are welfare reliant – this is circa 26% of working age Māori adults; and
  • 6% of Māori in the labour force were unemployed, (33,100 people). By comparison, the New Zealand overall unemployment rate was about half of that, at 4.4%[1]

Education Sector Summary

This quarter the New Zealand Qualifications Authority released the 2017 NCEA results; which showed around 74% of Year 12 Māori learners achieved NCEA level 2. This was about the same as the previous year, and ten percentile points below non-Māori.  Research and ideas for addressing schooling disparities continued to be tabled, with a discussion on racial bias making it into the official policy papers as one rationale for reforming the school sector.

More positively, new research on literacy shows significant gains across the Māori population over the last decade – with 81% of Māori now having fair or better English language literacy (which is needed for workforce gains). Te Reo literacy is also strong, with Māori school learners found to be enjoying this subject and also out-performing others across the board.  This success perhaps links back to the racial bias / differing cultural capital discussion – i.e. if most teachers were Māori and taught subjects such as maths and science from a Māori perspective (as Te Reo is) would the results across the nation be different?  Other education items of note:

  • The Treasury contributed to the disparity discussion with research that confirmed the obvious conclusion that students who change schools a lot are at educational risk – and they noted Māori more than others are in this grouping;
  • the Ministry of Education’s tertiary research analyst released a report that confirms that greater proportions of Māori study at the lower levels in the tertiary education sector (linked to lower school qualifications). The result of the tertiary education outcome is that a qualification disadvantage presents within the workforce thereby suppressing Māori wages and employment opportunities;
  • research about the Youth Guarantee initiative was released, which shows the programme is successful in keeping students engaged in education (good), but that links to tertiary level 4 study and industry training / apprenticeships and the like, are not clearly proven (not good). e. whilst these students (many are Māori) undertake trade preparation type courses, the initiative is not actually giving them a direct pathway into employment within the trade sectors.

Health Sector Summary

In the health sector, as always, an assortment of research data was published. This quarter disparities were shown in areas such as tamariki deaths, abortion rates, children with “major social, emotional and/or behavioural problems”, elderly nutrition, colorectal cancer, and non-seat belt wearing car accident deaths.  Probably all well intended studies and data sets, but collectively all reflecting the differences in how Māori and non-Māori live so differently within the same geopolitical terra firma.

The key item within the health sector, however, was the announcement of a major review of how services work. We note, in regard to the review, Health Minister David Clark states, “we need to face up to the fact that our health system does not deliver equally well for all. We know our Māori and Pacific peoples have worse health outcomes and shorter lives. That is something we simply cannot accept.”   Given the above data, which is relentless every quarter in showing some form of health disparity, in our view the Minister could not be more veridical.

Housing Sector Summary

In the housing sector Minister Phil Twyford (re)announced $63.4 million funding for ‘Housing First Fund’, which is focusing on increasing houses available for vulnerable families. The need for this was also (re)confirmed with the Ministry of Social Development also releasing its public housing quarterly report, to 31 March 2018.   The report finds that 36% (23,600-odd) public housing tenants are Māori.  That is disproportionately high, given Māori are 15% of the total population.   In addition, there is a register of who needs a house and qualify for assistance, but do not have one – of these people we advise 44% are Māori (circa 3,500 tangata.)

Overall this type of data points towards housing being an issue of prominence for Māori – i.e. over 10% of all Māori may be living in or needing state/public housing – compared with about 1% of non-Māori. The next policy action required from this Ministry is to better link this data with sole-parent and gender information, as indicative links with household income data point towards sole-mothers, mainly Māori, being the grouping disproportionately in need.

Justice Sector Summary

There were two key items within the justice sector this quarter of relevance to Māori. First, as above, the Government announced it would not build a mega prison at Waikeria, but it would rebuild a smaller prison, and a 100-bed secure mental health facility.  While this is well short of the radical tikanga Māori prison proposal Minister Kelvin Davis broached back when he was in opposition, it is a step towards better recognising the strong link between criminal offending and poor mental health.  The Government’s Waikeria decision ties in well with the second item of note: robust research from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientific Advisor showing that early intervention works best in preventing offending.  This is partially because young offenders often have mental health issues: for example, alcohol or drug dependencies, which can be addressed early thereby mitigating offending and other social ills.  Note also this quarter the Ministry of Health released a research report indicating perhaps 12% of Māori children, around 23,000, may have what they classified as ‘significant social, emotional and/or behavioural problems’.

In our assessment while there has been a known link between criminal offending and health previously, there does appear to be a conceptual shift away from the notion that some people are ‘criminals’ (full stop), towards an understanding that many people who commit offences do so because of a period of poor mental health, which means they do not appropriately regulate their own behaviours. This discussion is particularly important for Māori, as about half of the people incarcerated in New Zealand prisons are Māori, and Māori also have much higher rates of reported mental health issues.  Accordingly, the scientific recommendation to focus on mitigation of poor health and behaviour issues early in life does present as a sensible basis for new policies, including the proposal that Māori approaches be used to support Māori tamariki.  This in our view is ‘not rocket science’, but it is now published scientific research none the less.

Social Sector Summary

In the social wellbeing sector, as noted above, 97,000 Māori households are welfare reliant. Statistics New Zealand also released data which showed poor households such as these face greater inflation pressures.  A link to the increased price of tobacco was made, implying tobacco consumption is detrimental to household finances, not just population health.   In addition, funding to reduce family violence was also (re)announced; and The Treasury released a report indicating they are still beavering away somewhere on what wellbeing might actually be; (possibly it will mean having more money to pay the bills, having a home, being free of violence and the like, but they have not landed it just yet).  A separate Māori wellbeing framework is also being considered by The Treasury.  (We note Whānau Ora contains a solid Māori wellbeing framework, but The Treasury does not acknowledge its existence.)

The annual evaluation of Whānau Ora was released by Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK). We found it to be a weak evaluation report which identified no issues arising and continued to under-explain this initiative.  Ironically, that report was released (without a Ministerial forward) just weeks after the Government announced it would review Whānau Ora, and with terms of reference that clearly signals that transparency and accountability are items for improvement.  We interpret that as a vote of no-confidence in TPK in this work area.   However, perhaps more directly relevant to many Māori whānau (circa one-third) is that this quarter the Government confirmed that it would review the entire welfare system.  Quite what this entails is not yet clear.

Economic Matters

The Budget

The major economic item for the quarter is the Government’s Budget, released in May. Overall the Government is forecasting an operating surplus of $3.1 billion, even after taking into account its new spending.  But as advised above, for Vote: Māori Development funding is to drop, this year, and every year forecast afterwards.[2]  As previously noted Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the drop in Vote: Māori Development reflects programmes that Te Puni Kōkiri did not deliver on being removed from the Budget – so again an implicit vote of no confidence for TPK, which is presenting as somewhat under siege.  In his view, however, Māori whānau are estimated to receive $1.5 billion more in services through the Government’s wider programmes, such as the Families Package: however we can see no means for the Government to evidence that estimate.

In our assessment, funds removed from Te Puni Kōkiri will reduce its policy function from this year – effectively retarding its ability to give advice on the impact of mainstream programmes on Māori. This is despite the fact that there are service gaps – i.e. disparities being experienced by Māori in all social areas, including health, education and housing – some of which are shown in the discussion above.

We note there has been no consultation with Māori, and no explanation as to why Māori Development funds went unspent last year. The denials of funding cuts by Ministers Mahuta and Jackson do not help the situation.[3]  In short, the Labour Party holds all seven Māori electoral seats in Parliament and has the largest number of Māori members of Cabinet than at any time previously.  At both Ratana and Waitangi Day earlier this year the Government indicated it would increase Māori services, so it follows some Māori voters may feel betrayed by this Budget, and particularly by the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, who so far has tabled no clear initiatives nor policy plan for Māori Development.  The pressure will be on her to deliver something in next year’s Budget; and she will also need to either express a higher level of confidence in Te Puni Kōkiri or to propose something better.

Pānui also reviewed other Vote areas in regard to Māori specific funding. Information is provided in the appendices: there were no radical changes of note.

 

Other Economic Matters

Six other economic matters of note are listed below.

  • The consultancy firm TDB Advisory released a report summarising the financial performance of eight iwi, from 2011 to 2017.  The iwi groups are Ngāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrakei, Rangitāne o Wairau, Raukawa, Ngāi Tūhoe and Waikato-Tainui. All have made money, a few have made lots of money (e.g. Waikato-Tainui had a strong financial year), with very good returns on their investments.
  • The Productivity Commission released a draft report on climate change, proposing new legislation and a new Commission to assist future Governments achieve a low emission economy. For Māori they suggest a Treaty of Waitangi clause would be useful for incoming legislation, combined with some type of Māori advisory committee.
  • The Ministry for the Environment also published work on climate change, with a report from its technical working group being released. This group has a range of recommendations to reduce emissions, and for Māori specifically they suggest the Government “commission mātauranga Māori-led measures that reflect cultural impacts of climate change and are developed and managed by iwi/hapū”.
  • The Land and Water Forum released a new report focusing on how to prevent degradation of water quality, particularly sediment and nitrogen pollutants. In relation to Māori, the Forum repeats its views that Māori interests in water (i.e. any proprietary and usage rights) are in their ‘too-hard’ basket, and thus the Crown needs to address such matters directly.   They point out the current situation is creating uncertainty which undermines long term investment decisions needed to improve water quality.  Hence their recommendation that “Central government must, as a priority, work with iwi to reach agreement on how to resolve rights and interests in fresh water.”.
  • The Government announced that the offshore block offers for oil and gas exploration permits will end (i.e. no new offers to be made). 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. Many iwi groups had petitioned about oil exploration in their respective off-shore areas.
  • The Government has announced it is reviewing consumer credit regulations, of interest as Māori are identified as one grouping at risk – which is no surprise given the high percentage of welfare reliance noted above.

Treaty Matters

Waitangi Tribunal Matters
This quarter the Waitangi Tribunal released its report on its Whakatōhea Mandate Inquiry. The Tribunal found the Crown breached the Treaty of Waitangi by prioritising its objective of seeking to conclude a Treaty settlement over processes that were fair to the hapū groupings within Whakatōhea.  Thus the decision to recognise the pre-settlement Trust mandate was found not to be fair, reasonable or made in good faith.  This is consistent with the Tribunal’s view in other areas: that mandate issues, including hapū consent must be satisfactorily resolved before the Crown pushes ahead with negotiations.

Treaty Settlements
This quarter Parliament made progress with five Treaty settlements; with two of these reaching conclusion and thus becoming law. The groupings were:

  • Ngāti Rangi (legislation introduced to Parliament);
  • Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Tamaoho (both had respective second readings)[4];
  • Heretaunga Tamatea and Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki both had their respective third readings – thereby concluding these two settlements of circa $100 million and $13 million respectively.

Government and Parliamentary Matters
In addition to the above sector issues, we note three further Parliamentary matters of note this quarter.

  • Adding to the Treaty settlement concerns of Whakatōhea, the Minister for Māori Development has advised she has asked for an independent review of the governance and management of the Whakatōhea Trust Board;
  • A Bill to entrench Māori electoral seats was introduced to Parliament.
  • Referenda were held by five local bodies in regard to the establishment of Māori wards – in all cases the notion of Māori wards was rejected by voters. This situation of predominantly non-Māori voters determining how Māori voters may be represented within local Government presents to us as manifestly unjust.  The matter is discussed within Pānui 15/2018.

[1] This data is from Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development data sets.

[2] It will drop by $2 million in the year ahead (even after setting aside all extraordinary increases this year), and by $17 million over the next four years.

[3] Their answers to Parliamentary Questions have been provided in Pānui so that subscribers can determine for themselves the integrity of the responses given to challenging questions.

[4] The Ngāti Porou Bill relates to marine and foreshore matters.

Salient Māori News Items for the Week to 16 March Edition 8/ 2018

  • On Wednesday the sale of plain packaging tobacco products came into force. Plain packaging is a measure introduced under the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Act. The potential benefit of plain packaging should be disproportionally positive for Māori.  This is because the smoking rate amongst Māori is double that of the overall population, and tobacco consumption is believed to account for a significant portion of the life expectancy differential between Māori and non-Māori.[1]More than 600 Māori are said to die ‘prematurely’ each year from smoking related illnesses.  Former Associate Minister for Health, Tariana Turia, should rightly be acknowledged as a driving force behind this legislative change now coming into effect.
  • [1] Ministry of Health research
  • A petition by Renae Maihi asking the Prime Minister to strip Sir Robert Jones of his Knighthood on the basis of alleged inflammatory comments made about Māori has now reached 66,000 people in support. Ms Maihi and her supporters plan to present the petition to Labour MP Kiritapu Allan at Parliament on Tuesday 27th March 2018.  (Note if a petition is formally received at Parliament by a Member of Parliament, then it can be announced to the House, and sent to a Select Committee for formal reporting on.  Having Ms Allan indicate she will do this means it is likely the matter will go further.)   There is a challenge of course, in removing Knighthoods, as that is not something any New Zealand Government has done before – and at present the Government (like the last one) is taking a long time to respond to a request to rescind the Knighthood bestowed upon Sir Ngatata Love for Services to Māori; (given the High Court has found he committed fraudulent activities against his iwi.)  In this context, Ms Maihi’s petition essentially places perceived offences against Māori on a continuum, and could actually make the current considerations regarding Sir Ngatata more challenging.  The petition can be seen here:

https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-jacinda-ardern-strip-racist-sir-bob-jones-of-his-knighthood-read-his-vile-rant-here.

  • Last weekend the inaugural national commemoration of the New Zealand Wars, He Rā Maumahara, was held in the Bay of Islands.
  • Last week an Environment Court hearing between Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust and the Hastings District Council was held. The hearing was regarding the Hastings District Council’s decision to grant resource consent on costal land considered to be wahi taonga, and is required as direct discussions and mediation on the matter have both failed.
  • The Iwi Chairs’ Forum are holding a climate change summit in Wellington on March 24 and 25.

Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry 26 January 2018 (Edition 1/2018)

This week the Prime Minister has released the terms of reference for the proposed Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry. The inquiry is broad in scope, setting out to hear the issues from a people’s perspective, and to make recommendations across all structures within the health and the broader public sector.  The inquiry will be chaired by Professor Ron Paterson, and there are two Māori on the panel of six (Sir Mason Durie and Dean Rangihuna).

This is a policy area of particular importance to Māori, as Māori are significantly over-represented in mental health service areas, and in suicide statistics. We note the terms of reference acknowledge this health inequality, and ask the panel to consider this matter, and to also work in ways appropriate to Māori, and in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi.  The panel will report back their findings to the Minister of Health by 31 October.  Subscribers working in this sector should see this as a renewed opportunity to influence how Government support in this area is funded and delivered.    The terms of reference are here:

https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/Files/Government-Inquiry-into-Mental-Health-and-Addiction/$file/Inquiry-into-Mental-Health-and-Addiction-Terms-of-Reference.pdf

General Article: Plain packaging of Tobacco Products Proposed – 3 June 2016 (18/2016)

 

  1. On Tuesday the Associate Minister of Health, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, released draft regulations and a consultation document which aims to standardise the look of cigarette packets.  This release coincided with ‘World Smokefree Day’, and the regulations are those associated with the Smokefree Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill, which the Government intends to pass into law later this year.  In this information release Mr Lotu-liga also positively notes that raising tax on tobacco products is an effective measure for reducing smoking levels. However, a Māori health researcher, Dr Marewa Glover, has publicly opined that increased taxation has not reduced Māori smoking levels, and is instead a punitive ‘bash’ for Māori smokers.  (Circa one third of the Māori adult population is said to consume tobacco products on a regular basis, leading to circa 600 Māori premature deaths per year.)   Consultation on plain packaging matters is open until 29 July;

    http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/standardised-tobacco-products-and-packaging-draft-regulations

     

General Items and Māori News for the Week Ending 26 February 2016 (5/2016)

 

  • Aligned with the freshwater reforms, The Ministry for the Environment has released a Te Mana o Te Wai funding application guide for 2016 (circa 36 pages).  The purpose of the Te Mana o Te Wai Fund is to enable Māori to improve water quality of freshwater bodies by:
    • supporting iwi/hapū to play an active part in improving the water quality of their local freshwater bodies;
    • enabling iwi/hapū to actively participate in managing their local freshwater bodies;
    • developing partnerships and working in collaboration with others; and
    • assisting iwi/hapū and the wider community to recognise the importance of fresh water in supporting a healthy ecosystem, including supporting human health.

http://www.housing.msd.govt.nz/information-for-housing-providers/register/index.html#Prioritisedethnicityofmainapplicantnbsp31Decembernbsp20155

 

  • Professor Wiremu Doherty has been appointed permanent Chief Executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.


[1] Some applicants will then be invited to proceed to stage two.

[2] 2015 data.

[3] Note this is the ethnicity of the primary application on the register for new housing (not the transfer register which is separate).

Māori News Stories for the Week Ending 3 July 2015

Appointments

  • Sir Wira Gardiner has been appointed the Chairperson to the Local Government Commission.
  • Michael Pohio has been appointed a director of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
  • Dr Wayne Ngata has been appointed Chair of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission).
  • Professor Rawinia Higgins and Charisma Rangipunga have been appointed as commissioners to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission). The appointment is for three years
  • Ron Mark has been elected Deputy Leader of the New Zealand First Party.
  • Dayle Hunia has been appointed to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Board.

Māori News for the week ending 3 July 2015

  • Sonny Tau has been stood down as Chairperson of Tūhoronoku, following a recent investigation into his alleged illegal possession of dead kereru. Mr Sam Napia will become the Acting Chairperson.
  • On Wednesday Ngāti Tūwharetoa finalised the purchase of circa 8,500 hectares of property in the central North Island from the Department of Corrections.  The purchase includes the site of the Tongariro-Rangipo Corrections Facility and Hautu Prison Farm.  The Department of Corrections will continue to own prison buildings and will lease-back the prison facility land from the iwi. The right to purchase this land was provided for in the Central North Island Treaty Settlement.  The price of the land is circa $20 million, excluding forestry on the land which was also purchased (the forestry price is undisclosed).
  • On Thursday the Minister of Social Development, Ann Tolley, announced the successful organisations to receive funding from the Capability Investment Resource 2014/2015. Māori focussed organisations are:
  • Ngā Ngaru Rautahi O Aotearoa Incorporated;
  • Te Aratū Trust;
  • Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe Charitable Trust;
  • Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi Incorporated;
  • Te Ora Hou Whanganui Incorporated;
  • Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou Trustee Ltd;
  • Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Charitable Trust;
  • Tūpoho – Iwi and Community Social Services Trust; and
  • Waikato-Tainui Te Kahanganui Inc
  • On Tuesday the Ministry of Health published (online) data tables on Mortality for 2012.  The table provides information on the underlying causes of all deaths and includes additional information such as age, gender and ethnicity.  Key Māori mortality statistics for 2012 are:
    • 10% of all deaths in New Zealand were Māori. In whole numbers 3,064 Māori died;
    • 35.8% of all deaths among 0 to 5 year olds were Māori. In whole numbers 139 tamariki Māori died;
    • 84.5% of deaths among Māori were attributed to some form of cancer.  In whole numbers circa 2,590 Māori died of a cancer related disease; and
    • 119 Māori died due to suicide.  Of these one was aged between 5 to 9 years, and 7 were aged between 10 and 14 years.
  • Data tables can be sourced at: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/mortality-2012-online-tables

  • On Tuesday Statistics New Zealand released a fact sheet on people aged 65+ years living in New Zealand. The information which has been sourced from the 2013 Census data shows, on Census evening there were 607,000 people aged 65+ years living in New Zealand. Māori represented 5. 6% (circa 34,000) of people in this age group.The factsheet can be sourced at: http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/qstats-65-plus-infographic.aspx  
  • Māori news stories for the week ending 14 February 2014

    • Te Pūmanawa o te Waiora, a partnership school in Whangaruru (Northland) opened on Monday. This is a bilingual (English/Māori) secondary school which offers learning opportunities through farming and outdoor education mediums.  (Pānui 32/2013 outlines policy matters relating to partnership schools.)
    • This week District Court Judge David Ruth lifted name suppression on two people convicted of defrauding Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in 2008-09.  They are Margaret Wood and Ian Wood.  The fraud occurred while Mrs Wood worked for the wānanga in curriculum development.  Both received a sentence of 12-months home detention.  One of the reasons given for lifting name suppression was that Mrs Wood has become a ‘life coach’, and judge Ruth considered it important that potential clients could be made aware of the conviction.
    • On Tuesday, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, announced that legislation will be amended to reduce the size of university and wānanga councils from 12 to 20 members, to 8 to 12 members.  All councils will be required to have at least one member who is Māori, to “assist the goal of boosting the achievement of Māori”.  Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi generally support the changes, while Te Wānanga o Raukawa indicated there was no problem with their current council size.  Aside from efficiency objectives, the reforms also focus on increasing the competency levels, with proposed legislation requiring that appointments have existing governance capabilities.
    • Massey University: Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health (Albany campus) are currently seeking 225 Māori women living in Auckland to participate in an international study into whether women with different body fat profiles, have different risk levels for chronic disease.  For more information email: explore@massey.ac.nz


    [1] Investigating plain package of tobacco products is a specific item agreed to within the relationship accord between the National and Māori parities.

    [2] Ministry of Health research.

    Māori news stories for the week ending 7 September 2012

    • Sir Ralph Norris has been appointed to the University of Auckland Council.
    • Professor Des Gorman has been appointed to the board of the Accident and Compensation Commission (ACC).
    • Rangi Wills has been appointed to the board of the Fire Service Commission.
    • The Health Research Council of New Zealand has signed a trilateral letter of intent to improve research capacity in Indigenous peoples’ health.  This has been entered into with the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
    • This week Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa (the Māori Law Society) hosted an international indigenous lawyers conference in Hamilton.
    • Last month the Education Review Office released a report on Hato Petera College.  Although written somewhat in coded language, the report identifies significant performance issues.  These include governance, financial management, curriculum and assessment, quality of teaching, and student achievement concerns.   (The list of issues is provided on page 8 of the report.)

     

    Māori news stories for the week ending 31 August 2012

    • Tina Ngatai has been appointed General Manager of Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporated. 
    • On Monday an application for bail for Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara (two of the Urewera four) was declined in the Court of Appeal, Wellington.  The men were seeking bail while they wait to have an appeal hearing against their convictions for their involvement in military style camps in Te Urewera National Park in 2007.
    • On Monday Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust commenced its claim against the Ministry of Social Development in the Auckland High Court.  Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust are challenging the Ministry’s decision to end a Family Start contract, valued at circa $1.4 million.
    • On Wednesday the University of Otago hosted, Hui Poutama Research Symposium – Māori research symposium.
    • This week Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust hosted, Ngā Whetū Hei Whai: Charting Pathways for Māori Industry Futures Conference.
    • This week the annual Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association conference is being held at Ahipara.
    • This week the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, announced that some beneficiary jobseekers will be required to take a pre-employment drug test from July 2013.  Jobseekers will be sanctioned if they refuse or fail a drug test.  Sanctions have three degrees of severity; (first) a warning, (second) loss of 50% of benefit payment, (third) loss of full benefit.  Given Māori comprise 32% of beneficiaries, it is possible this policy will affect greater proportions of Māori than others. 
    • Iwi delegates attending the Pacific Island Forum (in Rarotonga) have expressed an interest in joining the forum’s Polynesian Leaders’ sub-group.
    • On Wednesday the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce, and the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, released action plans on the Better Public Service targets relating to boosting skills and employment.   The information presented is largely a reiteration of existing planning in these areas.  There is some Māori-focused content, but it is not significant.  We are presently reviewing these materials, along with the recently released Māori Strategy of the New Zealand Qualification Authority.  

    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 3 August 2012

    • Doctor Katarina Edmonds and Doctor Poia Rewi have been appointed to the Board of The Maori Language Commission. They will replace outgoing members, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and Ruakere Hond.
    • This week Ngāti Tūwharetoa confirmed that Sir Tumu te Heuheu has withdrawn from his role as chair of the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board. Sir Tumu te Heuheu remains paramount chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.
    • On Monday the launch of Indigenous New Zealand was held in Auckland. Indigenous New Zealand is a collective of eighteen Māori food and beverage producers, working together to increase recognition within local and international markets.
    • This week the Māori Affairs Select Committee continued to hear oral submissions for the Inquiry into the Determinants of Wellbeing for Māori Children.
    • On Monday the Office of the Auditor-General announced that they will not hold an investigation into funding aspects of Te Raukura, Te Wharewaka o Poneke. (In April an unnamed party lodged a request with the Office for an investigation, alleging matters of financial impropriety.)
    • On Wednesday the Ministry for Primary Industries opened a special round of funding, Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), for Māori agri-businesses. The fund will provide $1 million for co-investment into projects that will encourage sustainable resource use in Māori agri-businesses. Applications close on 31 August.
    • This week two Māori writers won awards in the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Chris Winitana (Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāi Tūhoe) won the Māori Language category for his book, Toku Reo, Toku Ohooho: (My Language, My Inspiration). Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai) won the fiction category with her historical novel, Rangatira.
    • This week one case relating to the misuse of Whānau Ora funding at the We Against Violence Trust in Dunedin was heard, with Michael Logan Wong-Tong pleading guilty to conspiracy to sell cannabis. Overall, charges relate to dishonestly offences, with the Police Statement of Facts alleging that public funds were used for the purchasing of illegal drugs. Cases against other people related to this matter are continuing.

    Māori news stories for the week ending 27 July 2012

    • On Wednesday the Coroners’ Office (within the Ministry of Justice) released a report on the deaths of Cru and Chris Kahui – twin babies murdered in 2006.  The investigating coroner, Gary Evans, reported that “the traumatic brain injuries which led to the deaths of Chris and Cru Kahui were incurred whilst they were in the sole custody, care and control of their father Chris Kahui”.  In 2008 Chris Kahui was acquitted of murdering the twins.  We are reviewing this document further, and will provide further analysis if appropriate in the coming weeks.
    • This week Hika Group Limited, in association with Vodafone New Zealand, launched ‘Hika Lite’ – a Māori language learning ‘app’ (application) for mobile phones.
    • On Thursday Statistics New Zealand released Te Āhua o Aotearoa: 2012, a Māori language translation of the Statistics New Zealand in Profile: 2012Te Āhua o Aotearoa: 2012, contains an overview of New Zealand’s people, economy, and environment.
    • On Thursday a Tauranga High Court Judge dismissed charges against Elvis Teddy; a Te Whānau ā Apānui fishing boat captain.  Mr Teddy had been charged after protesting at sea against oil exploration in the Raukumara Basin, off the East Coast.  
    • Last week the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Industry Training Organisation (ATTTO) launched ‘Tourism Aotearoa’.  This is a twelve-month (work-based) training programme, which enables tourism operators and employees to gain a base knowledge of Māori customs and history, and how this relates to their work within the tourism sector.  On successful completion, Tourism Aotearoa learners will be awarded the National Certificate in Tourism Māori, level 3.
    • The West Coast District Health Board has specified that Rata Te Awhina Trust is required to improve its services within six months, or risk funding reductions.  Rata Te Awhina is a health and social services provider and a member of Te Waipounamu Whānau Ora Collective.  The Trust receives circa $500,000 per annum from the Health Board, for the delivery of community-based Māori Health services.

    Māori news stories for the week ending 29 June 2012

    • Sir Eddie Durie and Maanu Paul have been appointed co-chairs of the New Zealand Māori Council.  Sir Graham Latimer becomes the first president of the organisation.  The Council has also indicated that it is the only legislatively-enabled, pan-Māori organisation – and should be a natural choice for Crown-Māori dialogue.  (We presume that this is in response to increased Crown dialogue with the Iwi Chairs Forum.)
    • On Monday William Rātahi Pitman, former National President of the 28 (Māori) Battalion Association passed away, aged 94 years.
    • On Monday Major Hone Hikitia Te Rangi Waititi, company commander of the 28th Māori Battalion passed away, aged 91 years.
    • Greg McManus has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Waitangi National Trust.  Mr McManus will commence his role in August.
    • Rea Wikaira has been appointed to the Health Promotion Agency board.  The Health Promotion Agency will bring together the functions of the Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council, the Health Sponsorship Council, and some health promotion work of the Ministry of Health. The new agency will be established on 1 July.
    • On Thursday the Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust legal challenge against the Ministry of Social Development decision to terminate their Family Start programme commenced in the Auckland High Court.
    • On Wednesday Statistics NZ launched Te Ao Mārama, 2012, an online-publication showing economic, social, cultural, and environmental statistics on Māori.
    • From Sunday Māori Television will introduce a new programming format where Te Reo tuition programmes will broadcast from 10am-3pm.

    Key Māori news stories for the week ending 22 June 2012

    • On Monday Nga Pae o te Maramatanga (the Māori-focused Centre of Research Excellence), announced funding for six projects:
    • Investigation into the fisheries resources and interests of iwi, hapū and marae within Tauranga Moana and the impacts caused by the grounding of the CV Rena (Associate Professor Paul Kayes, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi)
    • Networks of support for Māori mental health: The response and recovery of Tangata Whaiora through Ōtautahi earthquakes (Dr Simon Lambert, Lincoln University, )
    • Ka Awatea: An iwi case study of Maori student experiencing success (Professor Angus Macfarlane, University of Canterbury)
    • Indigenous agroecology (Dr Marion Johnson, University of Otago)
    • Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Māori childrearing within a context of whānau ora (Dr Leonie Pihama, University of Waikato)
    • Aue Ha! Māori men’s relational health (Mohi Rua and Professor Darrin Hodgetts, University of Waikato)
    • Humphrey Wikeepa has been appointed to the board of Network for Learning Limited, a new Crown-owned company.
    • Last Wednesday an Iwi Education Authority was established, to ‘improve achievement of tamariki and mokopuna’. Twenty-three kura are reported associated with the initiative.
    • A number of Māori providers have been successful in gaining contracts, (or have become preferred bidders), for the supervision and care of young beneficiaries as a part of the welfare reforms. (Refer pānui 2 March E6/2012 for details, i.e. the outsourcing and extension of the former Youth Transition Service). Māori providers includes Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Porou (Gisborne), Te Rūnanga o Turanganui a Kiwa (Gisborne), Tui Ora (Taranaki), Whai Marama (a division of Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa) (Hamilton), Solomon Group (Manurewa), and Ngāti Hine Health Trust (Whangarei).
    • On Thursday Urs Signer and Emily Bailey (two members of the ‘Urewera Four’) were sentenced to nine months home detention for a range of firearms charges. Signer and Bailey have indicated that they will appeal their sentences.

     

    Māori news stories for the week ending 4 May 2012

    • The Auckland Independent Māori Statutory Board has commenced a series of six hui to consult on health and wellbeing issues such as Te Reo Māori, housing and co-governance of natural resources.  Feedback from hui will be used to develop the Tāmaki Makaurau – Māori Wellbeing Plan.
    • Ngāti Kahungunu iwi continues to support locked out AFFCO (Wairoa) workers and their whānau through the provision of weekly food parcels and welfare advice.  The AFFCO  (Wairoa) plant is now in its tenth week of industrial action.
    • On Tuesday, Just Speak, the youth arm of Rethinking Crime and Punishment released a preliminary position paper called Māori and the Criminal Justice System: A Youth Perspective.  The position paper is highly supportive of research and recommendations made in Moana Jackson’s 1988 report He Whaipaanga Hou.