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Oranga Tamariki

E38 Salient Māori News Items to 1 November 2019

 

  • Hone Sadler has reportedly stood down as the chair of Tūhoronuku. (Tūhoronuku is the Treaty settlement trust of Ngāpuhi; which the present Minister, Andrew Little, has indicated does not have a clear mandate to proceed with settlement processes in its current form). The resignation is said to have occurred some weeks back, and appears to have followed the sudden resignation of Sonny Tau from the Chair of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi last month.  No public explanations have been given for this.  Mr James Clyde is the new chair of Tūhoronuku.
  • This week the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care commenced public hearings.  We advise the inquiry will consider “the nature and extent of abuse that occurred in state care and faith based institutes (between 1950 and 1999), what its immediate and long term impacts were, the factors (including systemic factors) which may have caused or contributed to it, and lessons to be learned from the past.”   A key focus remains on understanding any differential impacts of abuse in state care for Māori.  We note Mr Moana Jackson has been giving evidence on the impact of colonisation on fostering conditions for the abuse of Māori children in care.
  • The Waitangi Tribunal has granted an urgent hearing into child uplift policy at Oranga Tamariki . This follows significant Māori concern around the policy, sparked from an uplift attempt in Hastings in March.  The claim was lodged by Dr Rawiri Waretini-Karena, Dr Jane Alison Green, and Kerri Nuku.  Amongst other items they claim that the Crown has breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by failing to protect Māori from the increasing and disproportionate rates of Māori children taken into state care and failing to take reasonable steps to address the institutional racism.  Meanwhile, the whānau of the baby involved that sparked the concerns has refused to participate in an internal review of the matter, indicating a lack of trust in Oranga Tamariki.  (We consider that without their participation a reasonable review process would be near impossible.)   Pānui 21/2019 and 27/2019 refer.
  • On Tuesday the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Shane Jones, announced that three Parihaka Pa Marae will be upgraded to high speed broadband via the Māori Digital Connectivity programme which is funded by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
  • On Monday Te Pūtake o te Riri, He Rā Maumahara, a commemoration of the New Zealand wars and conflicts between Māori and the Crown, were held in Waitara.
  • Independent Commissioners have granted the Wellington Company resource consent for a housing and commercial development at Shelly Bay, Wellington. Several groups have been opposed to the development including a group  called Mau Whenua, who consider that their Trust board, the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, was wrong to sell their land for the development, without explicit iwi consent. They continue to seek legal remedy to overturn the land sales.
  • On Wednesday the National Party held a launch for their Social Services Discussion Document, called the Social Services Discussion Document. The 56-page document outlines the National Party’s proposals on several social issues along with proposed approaches they will introduce if they win the 2020 general election.  Issues raised included a review of Whānau ora, reintroducing some of the benefit sanctions which were removed by the current Government, and “cracking down hard” on gangs.  They suggest welfare payments could be withheld from gang members if found to be receiving other illegal income.  As this is a proposal (and not National Party policy) we have not reviewed this material in full.

https://www.national.org.nz/social_services

E24 Salient Māori News Week ending 19 July 2019

  • The Ministry of Health has now released provisional annual suicide figures for 2016. Their information shows there were 553 confirmed suicides.  This included 135 Māori suicides, of which two-thirds were Māori males.  The Māori suicide rate was then, in 2016, 20.3 per 100,000 tangata.  This is much higher than other ethnic groups, as the New Zealand overall suicide rate is 11.5 per 100,000 people.  However, why the Ministry of Health releases its data so late is unclear – the Ministry of Justice has already released provisional annual suicide figures for 2018.  Unfortunately, that shows a rise to 142 Māori suicides, with the rate being 23 per 100,000 tangata.  The Māori suicide rate is circa 40 percent higher than a decade ago – and shows a demand for improved mental health services and support, and in general terms supports the Tribunal’s view that the health sector is underserving Māori.
  • In June Statistics New Zealand published data tables from the 2018 New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS).[1]  We will provide a further analysis next week, but positively we note it shows 77 percent of Māori have high life satisfaction, and 75 percent rate their whānau wellbeing as high, despite only 50 percent stating they have enough money to meet their everyday basic needs.
  • Last weekend Te Pou Matakana hosted a hui to discuss Māori child wellbeing, and specifically Māori child ‘uplifts’ by Oranga Tamariki. Te Pou Matakana has determined to hold its own inquiry into this area – which makes it the fourth inquiry announced within a few weeks on this topic – but the first inquiry by and for Māori.    Te Pou Matakana will hold four wananga to identify key themes to inform their inquiry.  Pānui 21/2019 discusses Oranga Tamariki and child uplift matters in depth.
  • Earlier this month the Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, announced $6.2 million will be allocated to progress the Crown’s engagement with the Waitangi Tribunal’s Mana Wāhine Treaty of Waitangi Claim (WAI 2700). By way of background, the Mana Wāhine Inquiry derives from statements of claims made in a number of individual iwi/hapū claims, and from a specific claim lodged in 1993, (WAI 381), on behalf of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and all Māori women.  Amongst other matters the claimants allege that, “Māori women individually, as tribal members, family members and leaders have been systematically deprived of their spiritual, cultural, social and economic well-being by Crown actions and policies in breach of Articles II and III of the Treaty of Waitangi; and that The Crown has not fulfilled its obligations ‘to protect and ensure the rangatiratanga of Māori women…”
  • The Office of Māori Crown Relations –/Te Arawhiti has launched Te Haeata, an online tool for entities with Treaty settlement responsibilities such as post-settlement entities, Crown entities, local and regional government and other relevant organisations. tehaeata.govt.nz
  • The Kaingaroa Forest Village has been awarded $2.4 million from the Māori Housing Network Community Development programme for the development of housing for the Kaingaroa community.
  • Last week a group of Taranaki Whānui members, who call their grouping ‘Mau Whenua’ filed legal proceedings against the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust relating to the Trust’s selling of iwi land in Shelly Bay, Wellington. The trust proceeded with the sale despite objections from these iwi members.

[By way of background, this large parcel of land was returned to the iwi as commercial redress in its 2009 Treaty settlement (i.e. brought by the iwi).  However, as a pricey commercial asset, it made a poor financial return each year, as it only received income from low-end rentals of old buildings and the like.  This situation has undoubtedly been a significant contributing factor to the iwi losing millions of dollars since their settlement.  To address this, in 2016 trustees sought a mandate to sell some of the land for housing development – but that was voted down.  That is because many iwi members do not see the land as a commercial asset at all – rather as cultural redress and their heritage which should be retained for future generations.  (Note the vote was 51% in favour of sale, but 75% support was needed for a major commercial transaction.)  However, under the current leadership of Chair, Wayne Mulligan, the sales and property development imperative has moved forward, but this time as discrete smaller parcels of land – thus avoiding any need for further iwi voting on the matter.  So, the core issue at hand for iwi members who oppose this is whether the four smaller land transactions undertaken by the Trust have effectively circumvented the will of beneficiaries to retain the land, and resulted in unlawful sales.  Adding to this is concern about allegedly low prices received for the land – said to be circa $2 million per block – when the iwi’s purchasing price was circa $13 million.

 

[1] The NZGSS is a biennial survey which provides information on the well-being of New Zealanders aged 15 years and over. The survey covers a wide range of social and economic outcomes across different groups across the population.

 

E13 26 April 2019 Salient News Items

 

  • Briar Grace-Smith (Ngāpuhi) has been appointed to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa (Creative NZ).
  • Shaun Awatere (Ngāti Porou) has been appointed to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment panel. The panel is tasked with creating the framework for New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment. The framework is to be completed by the end of June.
  • Acushla Dee Sciascia (Ngāruahine Rangi, Ngāti Ruanui and Te Āti Awa) has been appointed to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment panel.
  • Niwa Nuri (Te Arawa and Te Whakatohea), Matt Te Pou (Ngāi Tuhoe), and Bonita Bigham (Ngā Ruahine and Te Atiawa) have been appointed to the Lottery Oranga Marae Committee. 
  • The Ministry of Health released maternity data for 2017. The report shows 14,892 (25%) were Māori; and that Māori women continue to have the nation’s highest birth rate of 90.6 per 1,000 Māori females of reproductive age[1]https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/report-maternity-2017
  • The Government has announced increased independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki, via the use of the Ombudsman, and the upcoming introduction of National Care Standards. These actions are to better protect children in State care, most of whom are Māori. https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/news/care-standards-support-tamariki-and-caregivers/#_blank
  • Te Puni Kōkiri has awarded the Taumarunui Community Kōkiri Trust $2.1 million from the Whānau and Community Development Investment programme. The funding will go towards the cost of repairing up to 20 homes, the development and implementation of home maintenance programmes and supporting whānau into home ownership across the Taumarunui and Te Kuiti rohe.
  • This week Des Ratima lodged an urgent application with the Waitangi Tribunal, (Wai 2882), concerning the proposed reform of the vocational education sector. (In brief these reforms propose merging all polytechnics and industry training organisations in one new entity, to commence from next year.) Mr Ratima is a current board member of Skills Active Aotearoa, which is one of the industry training organisations that would be disestablished if the reforms go ahead.  Mr Ratima claims that the Crown has breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in how it has consulted about the reforms, and that the reforms may result in poorer outcomes for Māori trainees.
  • Last week Pae Aronui, a skills and employment programme for rangatahi Māori, was launched in Hamilton. Pae Aronui aims to support and develop employment skills for rangatahi not in employment, education or training (NEET).
  • This week the Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced in 2020 Te Tai Tokerau will pilot Te Kawa Matakura an education programme which aims to develop young Māori leaders through mātauranga and te reo Māori. The pilot will target two groups 15-18 year olds attending formal education; and 15-25 year olds no longer attend formal education but display the necessary qualities and potential. All participates will be required to be endorsed by iwi and whānau.

[1] Median age for Māori women who give birth was 26 years compared to 30 years for all women.

 

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.