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Justice

E36 19 October 2018: Social Research and Policy Snippets

Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry

The Minister of Health, David Clark, has advised that an extension has been given for the report on the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry back to Cabinet. It will now be delivered by 30 November.  This is to recognise the 5,500 submissions were received on this topic.  (Note the submissions are considered sensitive and are therefore not available for public purview.)

By way of background, the inquiry is broad in scope, and the terms of reference enable recommendations to be made across all structures within the health and the broader public sector.  The inquiry is 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. The terms of reference acknowledge this health inequality, and require the panel to consider this matter, and to also work in ways appropriate to Māori, and in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi.


Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historic Abuse in State Care

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, has put out a media statement indicating circa 500 people have expressed interest in giving evidence into the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historic Abuse in State Care. Fifteen staff are also apparently working with the Commissioner Sir Anand Satyanand in preparatory stages of the inquiry.

Yet what is missing from the media statement is any word on the appointment of other Royal Commission members – which is odd given this is such a significant inquiry, and it was announced over six months ago. That is, to date Māori input on this matter remains at zero – despite the draft terms of reference stating that, “a key focus of the Inquiry is to understand any differential impacts of abuse in state care for Māori”.  Māori tamariki comprise over half of young people in State care, so the Government needs to appoint people to this Inquiry with a strong understanding of Māori care and abuse specific matters; and the sooner the better in our assessment.


 Criminal Justice Sector Reforms – Further Consultation

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has announced that his advisory group for justice sector reforms will now hold a series of regional public consultation meetings. By way of background, this initiative is called, Hāpai i te Ora Tangata / Safe and Effective Justice, and commenced with a large national conference/hui in August. A key theme of the work programme is addressing and reducing Māori rates of criminal offending and reoffending; and as previously advised the working group has four Māori members: Quentin Hix, Tracey McIntosh, Carwyn Jones, and Julia Amua Whaipooti.  The following two articles highlight new data relevant to this policy initiative.
Justice Sector Reforms Public Consultation Meetings.

Date Time Location Venue
29 October 12:30pm – 3:30 pm Timaru Timaru Council Chambers
30 October 9:00am – 12:00pm Christchurch Aranui Library
5 November 1:00pm – 4:30pm Tauranga TBA
6 November 1:00pm – 4:00pm Whangārei Whangārei Central Library
13 November 1:00pm – 4:00pm Tokoroa Tokoroa Public Library
14 November 9:00am – 1:00pm Te Kuiti Te Kuiti Community Room
15 November TBA New Plymouth TBA
17 November 9:00am – 11:00am Palmerston North Palmerston North City Library

Homicide Victims Data Released

Last month the New Zealand Police published a report entitled Police Statistics on Homicide Victims in New Zealand 2007 – 2016: Summary of Statistics about Victims of Murder, Manslaughter, and Infanticide. The report showed between 2007 and 2016, 223 Māori were victims of homicide, which was 33% of all victims (686 in total).  Māori males comprised 22% (154) of all victims and 69% of the total number of Māori victims.  These statistics are a sad over-representation, given Māori comprise only 15% of the total population.

http://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/homicide-victims-report-2017-and-historic-nz-murder-rate-report-1926-2017


Injury Data Released

Last week Statistics New Zealand released injury data. There are two stand-out areas for Māori: injuries from assaults at 37 per 100,000 people, and injuries from motor vehicle accidents at 67 per 100,000.  Both rates   are significantly higher than for non-Māori.  The overall injury data shows a similar rate of non-fatal but serious injuries (and a lower rate of Māori having falls).[1]

https://www.stats.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Serious-injury-outcome-indicators/Serious-injury-outcome-indicators-2000-17/Download-data/serious-injury-outcome-indicators-2000-17.xlsx

[1] Falls are associated more frequently with elderly citizens and there are fewer Māori elderly than others, i.e. a life expectancy disparity of 7 years.  This fact sheet does not probe such matters.

Salient Māori News Items for the week ending E35, 5 October 2018

 

  • Professor Cindy Kiro (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine) has been appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland.
  • Ross Wilson (Ngāi Tahu) has been appointed Chair of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board.
  • Karis Knight (Ngāti Porou) has been awarded the New Zealand Psychological Society Karahipi Tumuaki Scholarship. Ms Knight (University of Auckland student) has focused her research on the effect of whakamā (shame or embarrassment) on Māori mental health.
  • Last month the Ministry of Justice published a factsheet on Adult Conviction and Sentencing for the year ending 30 June 2018. In 2017/18 circa 75,500 adults were charged with a crime, and 83% of charges resulted in a conviction. The most salient population disparity is via gender, with 78% of convictions relating to males.  There is also a significant difference between Māori and non-Māori conviction rates, with 41% of all convicted adults being Māori.

https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/adults-convicted-and-sentenced-data-highlights-june-2018.pdf

  • On Monday Mahuru Youth Remand Service was launched in Kaikohe. The service which will be rolled out across the Taitokerau region is a collaboration between Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services and Oranga Tamariki.
  • On Monday the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was launched. The Government’s aspiration is that the agency will help reduce homelessness and improve housing affordability. The agency brings together housing policy, funding and regulatory functions from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Social Development and The Treasury.  (Housing is a significant issue for Māori with over a third of Housing NZ tenants identifying as Māori, Māori home ownership being 35% and Māori being over-represented within the grouping of families without suitable housing; refer Pānui E24/2018).
  • Last Friday the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, advised she has received the report into the investigation into the affairs of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, had considered the findings and recommendations, and written to the Board to implement the recommendations. What she did not do, however, is address the public interest in this matter by releasing the report, nor advising what the findings and recommendations were.   We consider that unacceptably poor judgement from this Minister, as this Board is a statutory entity established by the Parliament of New Zealand, in receipt of public funds, and supposedly monitored by Te Puni Kōkiri (i.e. it is not a private entity).  Minister Mahuta’s approach goes against the messaging of open and transparent government which we note is being espoused by the Prime Minister.    The investigation followed allegations relating to governance and management concerns, and in particular the 2017 triennial elections of the Board.    Fortunately, however, the Trust Board itself has acted with greater awareness of stewardship duties than the Minister, and has publicly released the report.  Accordingly, we will advise on it further in Pānui edition 36/2018.

[Note: we further advise that voting has opened 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 for details.]

  • On Monday the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) released a report entitled Maiea Te Tūruapō, Fulfilling the Vision. The report is based on the OCC’s independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki policies, practices and services: in particular the current practice of placing young people in large secure residences. This report is particularly important to Māori, given 63% of the circa 5,000 children and young people in State care situations are Māori (circa 3,100).  We will provide a review of this report Pānui E36/2018.

Registrations are now open for the Federation of Māori Authorities Conference, to be held: Friday 2 – Sunday 4 November, Emerald

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.

Māori News Stories for the Week Ending 19 June 2015 (edition 21/2015)

  • The submission period for the draft Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill has been extended to Friday 7 August 2015. For further information on the draft bill refer to Pānui edition 18/2015.
  • This week a media outlet reported on a New Zealand Police intervention which refers Māori drivers without a valid licence in the Counties Manukau District to attend training, and gain the correct licence – rather than receive an immediate fine.  If completed successfully no fine is issued.  The purpose of this is to reduce Māori road trauma and offending, in accordance with the Police Turning of the Tide strategy (Pānui 28/2014 refers).   The media outlet suggested this was a race-based policy that benefits only Māori.
  • Ngā Ruahine are considering appealing the Environmental Protection Authority decision to grant a 35-year marine consent to Shell Todd Oil Services to continue running its Maui offshore oil and gas field off the Taranaki coast.
  • Ngāti Ruanui are supporting a petition created by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) calling for a moratorium on all seabed mining in New Zealand waters, until a more thorough understanding of the risks and impacts are understood.
  • Last week we advised Dr Lance O’Sullivan was appointed Chairman of Te Whānau o Hato Petera Trust.  This is the Trust that oversees the hostel at Hato Petera College.  Subscribers may recall quality concerns are presenting at this college, Pānui 43/2014 refers.  However this week, the appointment has been ruled to be invalid by the incumbent Chair, Tame Te Rangi, on the grounds that a 5-1 vote in favour of Dr O’Sullivan failed as there was an insufficient quorum.  (The board has twelve positions, but six are presently vacant.)  In response, Dr O’Sullivan is said to be seeking a whānau hui this weekend, to have more members elected to the board, allowing for a further attempt at gaining the chairperson’s role.  Mr Te Rangi, however, has indicated that there is a formal process for calling a special general meeting which must be followed.  In addition, Dr O’Sullivan has indicated there have been incidents of serious student bullying within the hostel, and a matter has been referred to the Police for their consideration.
  • Last Friday the University of Otago published an online research report called Oranga Niho me Ngā Tangata Whaiora: Oral health and Māori Mental Health Patients.  The research studied the effect of rehabilitative dental treatment on mental health, oral health, and quality of life; and found positive improvements with improved care.   The report can be view here: http://www.otago.ac.nz/sjwri/otago110932.pdf

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 December 2012

 

• Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira, appeared in Court on Thursday in relation to a charge of failing to remove a vehicle (at a protest concerning state housing removals last month).  He pleaded not guilty.  A hearing is scheduled for March next year.  There was some initial ado with this first hearing, as Mr Harawira addressed the Court only in Te Reo Māori and the Court did not have an interpreter readily available.

• On Monday Michelle Hippolite commenced her role as Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.

• Michael Doogan has been appointed a temporary judge of the Māori Land Court.  Mr Doogan will commence the two-year appointment in January 2013.

• Dr Deidre Brown, Dr Elana Curtis, Dr Te Oti Rakena, Gillian Reynolds, Tanya Savage, Angie Smith, and Matthew Tarawa have received a Group Research Award from the New Zealand Association for Research in Education, for their research on Māori and Pacific student teaching and learning.

• Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, which is a Centre of Research Excellence, has commissioned four new Māori focused research projects.  The four projects are:

  •  In pursuit of the possible: Indigenous well-being – a study of indigenous hope, meaning and transformation led by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Waikato University,
  • Fostering te pā harakeke: Advancing healthy and prosperous families of mana led by Professor Mason Durie, Massey University;
  • How do we return the mauri to its pre-Rena state? led by Dr Kepa Morgan; and
  • Waka Wairua: Landscape heritage and the creative potential of Māori communities, led by Associate Professor Merata Kawharu, University of Auckland.

• Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga has also released its second issue of the MAI Journal online (Māori research articles).

Parliamentary matters from the week ending 31 August 2012

  • On Thursday the Oaths and Declarations (Upholding the Treaty of Waitangi) Amendment Bill was selected from the parliamentary ballot.  This is a private member’s Bill lodged by Te Ururoa Flavell.  The purpose of the Bill is to provide for any person taking a statutory oath to elect to state that they will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi, in addition to repeating the words of the oath.  (By way of background, in July 2011, Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawiri was asked to leave Parliament for failing to swear his allegiance to the Queen.  During a later ceremony Mr Harawira swore allegiance to both The Queen and to the Treaty of Waitangi without incident.)
  • On Wednesday, the first reading of the Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill was completed and referred to the Law and Order Committee.

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 6 July 2012

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

Māori news stories for the week ending 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.

Welfare – Report on Fresh Start policy: omnibus excerpt

From week ending 22 July 2011

On Tuesday the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, released Fresh Start Reforms in Operation – a progress report on the implementation of the Fresh Start youth justice reforms.   The Fresh Start reforms centre on reducing incidences of youth offending, and are an outcome of the ‘Addressing Drivers of Crime’ policy framework.

The report showed that for the 2010/11 (financial) year there were 39,000 incidences of children or youth being apprehended by the Police.  The majority of these incidences, 78%, were addressed through Police diversion.  However there were still 7,500 cases that had to be considered through more formal youth justice processes – and 53% of these cases involved Māori children or youth.  Approximately 20% of youth justice cases are now being referred to Fresh Start programmes.

This year $1.3 million has been made available for Fresh Start programmes. These programmes focus on applying restorative justice practices.  Some of these programmes are being delivered by Māori social service providers, using tikanga-based delivery approaches.  While there is no data yet on the successfulness of the Fresh Start initiatives, research commissioned by the Department of Corrections has found restorative inventions were successful in reducing adult offending (for both Māori and others).  In that context, funding for similar initiatives for Māori youth are well justified.  (For further information on restorative justice research refer to pānui briefing 17 June 11.)

Youth crime prevention funding

Nine community providers  delivering programmes to reduce Youth Crime will receive funding from the Child Youth and Family  -Fresh Start Innovation Fund.  Yesterday, Minister of Social Development and Employment, Paula Bennett announced that  $730,000 has been allocated to the Fresh Start Innovation Fund which is now in its third funding round. 

A key focus of the Fund is to address the high numbers of young Māori within the youth justice system.

Alcohol reform bill

This week Prime Minister John Key announced that the Justice and Electoral select committee report to Parliament on the Alcohol law reform bill will be delayed.  The report which was due to be tabled in Parliament on June 23  has been changed to August 30.