Last Friday a judgement by Justice Gwyn (Wellington High Court) confirmed the rights of Ngāti Tūwharetoa to licence and charge for commercial recreational activities based on Taupō moana (lake Taupō). By way of background, the Ngāti Tūwharetoa ownership of the lakebed and ‘air space above it’ was part of the 2007 settlement between the Crown and the iwi, but a grouping wanted to test to see if this meant the iwi could charge for activities. Justice Gwyn concludes; “it is the Trust Board, and not the Management Board, that has the power and responsibility to approve (and charge for) all commercial activities on Taupō Waters, including commercial recreational activities”.
Parliamentary and Related Matters
- Last Tuesday the third reading of the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament, and passed into law on Monday after receiving Royal Assent. (The final vote was 65 in favour, with 33 against, National and Act being against this law change.) Our full review of this law is provided in Pānui edition 6/2020, but in general terms our assessment was:
- the lack of proper consultation with Māori was poor, showing an ongoing level of paternalism in regard to all thing’s whenua Māori;
- the change not to issue rating invoices to unused Māori land (or deceased owners) is good for local councils, and goodish for Māori. It means councils do not have to pay input tax and wait six years for a refund for monies they are never going to get, and for Māori it means there is no record of unpaid rates on lands that have no income attached (and therefore no means to pay rates);
- removing arbitrary rules on the maximum size of marae blocks, urupā, and culturally set aside lands is good, as is ensuring the 164 marae that happen to be on ‘general title’ can also become exempt from rates (like churches and sports clubs), and be treated like other marae built on Māori land;
- allowing multiple land blocks that function as a single entity (say as a single farm) to be rated as a one is helpful, as it reduces complex accounting for owners; and
- allowing dwellings on Māori land to be rated individually – rather than as a single collective is also good – it means a whānau building on their lands will not necessarily be responsible for the rating charges of any of their relations on the same block, thereby making it more attractive to build on pāpākainga lands.
Last week the first reading of the ‘Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill’ was completed in Parliament. The purpose of this Bill is to remove the ‘subsequent child’ policy from the Social Security Act 2018 and Social Security Regulations 2018.
By way of background, under the current law if someone has another child while they are already receiving a main benefit the work obligations do not adjust for that child, and instead remain based on the age of the other children. In effect it means some beneficiaries with one year old children must complete work obligations or have benefit sanctions. The current law is said to disproportionately impact Māori and women.
- On March 20, Ngāti Paoa and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement. The deed provides for a financial redress of $23.5 million, the return of 12 sites of cultural significance, and the return of cultural and relationship items.
- On March 24, the Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill gives effect to the Deed of Settlement between Ngāti Rangitihi and the Crown. The settlement includes a financial and commercial redress of circa $11 million.
- Last Tuesday the third reading of the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was completed in Parliament, and will now pass into law. Once enacted this law gives effect to the Deed of Settlement between Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown, and provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.
- On 30 March the Wellington High Court overruled a preliminary determination of the Waitangi Tribunal which favoured allowing Ngāti Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa to obtain a resumption order for lands not within their tribal rohe. Justice Cooke found the Tribunal, if it proceeded, would be in breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and was not following tīkanga Māori.
Appointments and Awards
- Last weekend Joe Williams was ceremonially knighted at an investiture ceremony at Manaia Marae, in the Coromandel. Justice Sir Williams is the first (and only) Māori to be appointed to the Supreme Court of New Zealand. (He has also previously been Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal.)
- The Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi, has announced a governance group to consider the feasibility of a new public media entity (merging state television and radio entities). Bailey Mackey (Ngāti Porou) has been appointed as one member of the expert group. Mr Mackey has experience in iwi radio, Māori television and independent Māori media production.
- Dr Curtis Walker has been re-elected as a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand.
- Associate Professor Khylee Quince, has been appointed Interim Dean of the School of Law, Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
Salient Māori News Items to 16 April 2021
- Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Minister of Emergency Management, is undertaking a leave of absence as she undergoes treatment for cervical cancer. Kia kaha wahine toa!
- The Government has announced funding of $850,000 over two years to support tamariki and rangatahi Māori in the South Island whose whānau are experiencing financial hardship, to participate in sporting activities. e. funding for shoes, sports teams registration fees, uniforms, etc. The funding (called Te Kīwai) will be jointly managed by Sport New Zealand / Ihi Aotearoa and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, with the commissioning agency being responsible for fund distribution to whānau.
- Last week the Māori Land Court heard an application from a group of beneficiaries of the Mana Ahuriri Trust concerning the operations of their (Treaty Settlement) Trust. The application is for an independent trustee to be appointed and for an investigation to be undertaken into financial transactions regarding some existing trustees. The allegations are that some trustees hold significant business contracts with which have drained the finances of the trust.
- This week the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) closed Takitimu Seafoods, which is owned by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated. This was due to the failure to renew operating licences on time; however the paperwork is now completed and Takitimu Seafoods is back in business.
- The ESR Māori Impact Team have published a resource in Te Reo Māori and English entitled He Wai Ora Mahere Mātai i Ngā Waikaukau – Is Our Water Safe for Swimming? The purpose of the resource is to raise awareness about testing the safety levels of water, for drinking or used for gathering kai, and bodies of water used for leisure activities. The resource also includes the protocol required for testing water for the faecal indicator E. coli.
- Last week the Electoral Commission referred matters concerning donations to the Māori Party to the Police. It is alleged the Party failed to declare donations or aggregated donations of over $30,000 made to the Party (which combined totalled over $300,000). The Māori Party president, Che Wilson, has acknowledged the referral and the likelihood the Party has breached electoral law.
- The Government has announced funding of $6 million over four years to retain and attract more Māori and Pasifika to midwifery. The initiative entitled Te Ara ō Hine, will fund a liaison person at each of the five midwifery provider institutes, provide pastoral care, academic support, and targeted recruitment to Māori and Pasifika communities. A discretionary hardship fund for students will also be available.
- Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated (Bay of Plenty) have just finished building three more affordable rental homes, plus three more social housing whare. These houses are specifically for sole parent tāne and their tamariki, and bring the total housing for the Incorporation up to 36.
- Pare Kore (Zero Waste) has been granted $3 million from the Ministry for the Environment. The funding will support the delivery of Whakapapa ki a Papatūānuku; which is a marae-based training programme that supports whānau, hapū and iwi to reduce waste.
- Tokomairiro Waiora has received a grant of $54,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries to support counselling services for rural Māori with addiction and mental health issues in South Otago. Tokomairiro Waiora is a Whānau Ora provider.
- On Thursday, the Ministry of Social Development released the Benefit Fact Sheets for the quarter ending 31 March 2021. There are no significant shifts for Māori – 31% of Māori adults receive one of the main benefits; and we will provide our full review in the next Pānui.
- Last week the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced the successful recipients for the Te Pūnaha Hihiko – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund. Sixteen projects will receive funding, as outlined below.
|Organisation name||Title||Other organisations involved||Funding
|Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited||Advancing equitable wellbeing in rural Aotearoa New Zealand using Te ao Maori in complex Water Management||Environment4Health, Te Kereru Associates, Ngāti Rangi, Te Whanau a Apanui||$249,000
|Kapenga M Trust||Kapenga Tuna Manaaki||National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited||$229,000|
|Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd||Weaving the strands: Mātauranga and palaeoecology at the Ōpihi Taniwha rock art site||Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust||$250,000|
|He Whenua Pungapunga – Exploring the sustainable use of Te Arawa’s natural pumice resources||Tauhara North No. 2 Trust and Zymbl Innovation||$250,000|
|Innovating kaitiaki for indigenous taonga – pupurangi snails
|Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Inc., Genomics Aotearoa, Genomics for Aotearoa New Zealand, Elshire Group Ltd.||$250,000
|Te Aho Tapu Hou – A New Sacred Thread: Taking Muka Fibre to High Value Textiles to Unlock Sustainable Harakeke-Based Māori Enterprise||Rangi Te Kanawa, Region Net Positive Ltd, AgResearch, Aotearoa Back Country Developments Ltd||$249,000|
|National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited||Kia whakamana te hapū hei penapena rawa to rātou moana – Empowering coastal hapū to manage their rohe moana||Ngāti Kere Tangata Kaitiaki representing Ngati Kere hapū for Te Taiapure o Porangahau||$250,000|
|Maaku anoo e hanga i tooku nei whare — Building our own house within a climate change environment||Te Taniwha o Waikato, Swampfrog Environmental & Tree Consultants Ltd||$250,000|
|Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust||Te Kawau Tiripou: Mātauranga Māori through GPS as a tool for Iwi and Hapū governance||Massey University||$250,000|
|Te Reo Irirangi o te Hiku o te Ika||Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere: Machine Learning to Support te reo Māori Pronunciation.||Dragonfly Data Science||$250,000|
|Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Limited||Kā Ara Tīpuna – Growing intergenerational capacity to meet mahika kai aspirations||University of Canterbury, Plant and Food Research Ltd, Keewai Ltd||$250,000|
|The Cawthron Institute Trust Board||Te Kete Raukotahi||Te Arawa Fisheries Group, Te Runanga o te Whānau||$250,000|
|The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited||Te Ao Turoa – Intergenerational Resource Sustainability||Te Aroha Witehira Whanau Trust, Kaingahoa Marae Trust, Te Rawhiti Marae Trust||$249,500|
|Innovations in koi processing for regional economic growth and environmental restoration||Te Riu o Waikato Ltd (TROWL), Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc., AM2 & Associates||$185,000|
|The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington||Matching Haapu Knowledge with Machine Learning during the Construction of the IT Artefact||Te Ruapekapeka Trust||$250,000|
|Whakatohea Māori Trust Board||Hei Arahi i te Ahurea Matihiko o Whakatōhea – Building Capacity for Digital Curation and Cultural Research||University of Waikato||$250,000|
- On Monday the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the General Election will now be held on October 17, 2020.
- Last week the Minister of Defence, Ron Marks announced that former soldier George Nepata will receive a formal apology from the Government and the New Zealand Defence Force for the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide him with a safe system of work and the 31 years he has struggled with his tetraplegia. Mr Nepata has also been awarded an ex gratia payment (amount undisclosed).
- Last week a Deed of Settlement was initialed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown (this is the last of the eight Taranaki iwi to reach this stage in the settlement process). The settlement provides for commercial / financial redress of circa $30 million.
- Ngahiwi Tomoana and Takurua Mutu have been appointed to the Tourism Futures Taskforce. This seven-member taskforce will advise government on what changes can be made to the tourism sector as it looks to rebuild from the impacts of COVID -19.
- On Wednesday, Roberta Little, the former Principal of Te Kura o Waikaremoana, was sentenced in the Gisborne District Court to nine-months home detention and ordered to pay reparation of $45,000 after pleaded guilty to dishonestly and theft charges. Ms Little, along with Moana Shuttleworth stole circa $103,000 from the kura between 2015 and 2017.
- Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and the Department of Conservation will work together on an employment project called Raukūmara Pae Maunga. This project involves the pest control of 150,000 hectares in and around the Raukūmara Forest and it is expected to create over 40 fulltime and seasonal jobs.
 Ms Shuttleworth was a former board of trustee representative who had earlier been convicted of these crimes.
- On Thursday the Tertiary Education Commission announced the appointments to six workforce ‘interim Establishment Boards’ (iEB). The main role of each iEB is to establish Workforce Development Councils for six industry areas. Once established these Councils will take over the role of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) in overseeing workforce training and qualifications in the vocation and trades areas. We advise the following tangata Māori have been appointed to the iEBs.
- John Chapman has been appointed to the Workforce Development – interim Establishment Board for Construction & Infrastructure.
- Renata Hakiwai has been appointed to the Workforce Development – interim Establishment Board for Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics.
- Turi Ngatai, Wini Geddes and Hinerangi Edwards has been appointed to the Workforce Development – interim Establishment Board for Primary Industries.
- Hinurewa te Hau and Karl Wixon have been appointed to the Workforce Development – interim Establishment Board for Creative, Cultural, Recreation and Technology.
- Jean Te Huia has been appointed to the Workforce Development – interim Establishment Board for Health, Community & Social Services.
 These industry areas are: Construction & Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics, Primary Industries, Health, Community & Social Services, Service Industries and, Health, Community & Social Services.
- The Government has announced it will provide $1.25 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rēhia Charitable Trust to upgrade Te Pā Kāinga o Rewa, or Rewa’s Village, in Kerikeri.
- Last week a Waitangi Tribunal claim was lodged against the Crown proceeding with the Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Whakatōhea, (by iwi members opposed to the current process.)
(By way of background, the mandate of Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust to settle historic claims of the iwi was tested via urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing claims in 2017. The Tribunal’s primary finding was that the Crown prioritised its objective of concluding Treaty settlements over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea. The Tribunal found the decision to recognise the Pre-settlement Trust mandate was therefore not fair, reasonable, or made in good faith, and breaches the Treaty principle of partnership. To resolve this, in October 2018 Whakatōhea iwi members were asked to vote on the following: 1) continuing with the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claim Trust as their treaty settlement entity? 2a) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that a mandate process be re-run from the start? and 2b) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea? The results that came out in November 2018 show a small majority (56%) of iwi members voted to continue negotiations with the Crown via the existing entity, but conversely a large majority (73%) voted to also stop negotiations until the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry.
Against that backdrop the Crown has tentatively carried on negotiations, but the new claim is again focused on whether the mandate is strong enough – with claimants saying the 56% in favour is not enough, and is out of step with other settlement approaches. Overall this settlement has a potential fiscal value of circa $100 million, but has experienced long negotiation delays.)
- Last week the Ministry of Justice published Adults Convicted and Sentenced – Data Notes and Trends for 2019. For the year ending December 2019 44% (circa 25,000) of convicted adults were Māori. See Pānui 13/2020 for further information on this matter.
- Susy Frankel has been appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.
- Paul Hamer has been appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.
- The following have been appointed to the subsidiary boards of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (NZIST). The newly established boards will come into effect on 1 April.
- Ripeka Evans, Ngaroma Tahana, and Leith Comer have been appointed to the Toi Ohomai board. Ms Evans has been named deputy chair.
- Melanie Taite-Pitama has been appointed to the ARA board. Ms Taite-Pitama has been named deputy chair.
- Hilton Collier and Chrissie Hape have been appointed to the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) board. Mr Collier has been named chair and Ms Hape deputy chair.
- Steven Renata has been appointed to the boards of Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and Unitec Institute of Technology (Unitec).
- Patrick Smith has been appointed to the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) board.
- Ripeka Evans, Nicole Anderson, Erena Kara, and Bronwyn Yates have been appointed to the NorthTec board. Ms Evans has been named chair.
- Megan Potiki and Karen Coutts have been appointed to the Otago Polytechnic board. Ms Potiki has been named deputy chair.
- Aimee Kaio and Darren Rewi have been appointed to the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) board.
- Kara Edwards has been appointed to the Tai Poutini Polytechnic board.
- Niwa Nuri and Raewyn Mahara have been appointed to the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) board. Mr Nuri has been named chair.
- Beverly Gibson and Colleen Tuuta have been appointed to the Western Institute of Technology (WITT) board. Ms Gibson has been named deputy chair.
- Verne Atmore, Katarina Hina, and Lorraine Stephenson have been appointed to the UCOL board.
- Kura Moeahu and Rainei Wineera-Parai have been appointed to the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Whitireia Community College board.
- Tracey McIntosh has been appointed a member of the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) Establishment Advisory Group.
- Ngai Tukairangi Trust (Mt Maunganui), Otama Marere Trust (Tauranga) and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua Trust from (Te Kaha) have been named as the inaugural horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy excellence in the Māori agricultural sector. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony 22 May 2020.
- Ihumātao. Yesterday Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga confirmed the outcome of its review of the Ōtuataua Stonefields (i.e. the Ihumātao lands). The review revised the lands to a Category 1 listing (was Category 2) and extends the protected area. This means the area is now recognised as a place of special or outstanding heritage significance on New Zealand’s national list of cultural and historic heritage. But that does not extinguish pre-existing resource consents issued to Fletcher Building to develop the land. As yet, no deal has been announced as to how matters might proceed – although the rumour is that the Government will loan/grant circa $45 million to the Auckland Council to purchase the land from the developers; which might then be gifted back to the people of New Zealand. We will advise further once announcements are made.
- Today the Minister for Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, and the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt will sign an Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement. The arrangement aims to promote economic, social and cultural advancement between New Zealand and Australia indigenous peoples.
- On Thursday the Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament. The purpose of this bill is to simplify Māori Land Court processes including the process for Māori land succession. Refer to Pānui edition 24/2019 for background on this bill.
- This week the Ministry for Culture and Heritage announced that the replica of Captain Cook’s ship the Endeavour will not visit the Mangonui inlet. The visit was removed from the itinerary following complaints regarding the Ministry’s failure to conduct a proper consultation process with Ngāti Kahu iwi. The replica of the Endeavour is touring ports and docks around New Zealand as part of the national commemoration marking 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa.
- Applications are now open for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Te Pūnaha Hihiko – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund 2020. The fund is open to people and organisations undertaking or planning research which supports the themes of the Vision Mātauranga Policy:
- indigenous innovation,
- taiao (achieving environmental sustainability),
- hauora/oranga (improving health and social wellbeing) and,
- mātauranga (exploring indigenous knowledge).
The fund value is circa $4 million. Proposals close midday 14 November.
- The Kiingitanga movement has advised mana whenua that they would like the lands at Ihumātao returned, although they consider that it falls outside of Treaty Settlement processes therefore the Government may need to negotiate with Fletchers to achieve that.
- This week Dave Samuels commenced his appointment as Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.
- On Thursday the first reading of the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was completed in Parliament. The bill includes a financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties. https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-hinerangi/
- On Tuesday the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.
- On Thursday the first reading of Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana / Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill, was completed in Parliament. This Bill recognises and addresses the crimes against the Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana, and his community of Maungapōhatu. In 1916 Rua was arrested and charged with sedition, and although he was found not guilty, he was still imprisoned for over eighteen months for resisting arrest. A statutory pardon is being considered.
Appointments and Awards
- Antoine Coffin (Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Raukawa) has been appointed to the Resource Management Review Panel. The panel will advise Government on the Resource Management Act and matters concerning freshwater, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances.
- Topia Rameka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) has been appointed as the inaugural Deputy Chief Executive – Māori for Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections.
- Hayden Wano (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Awa) has been appointed to and named chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
- Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tuhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been appointed a member of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
- On Wednesday the Prime Ministers’ Education Excellence Awards were held in Wellington. Award winners included Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, 2019 Focus Prize.
General News Items
- This week Snap Reo, an online micro Te Reo learning programme, was launched. Snap Reo is funded by Te Māngai Pāho.
- This week the Financial Markets Authority and Institute of Directors published ‘Ngā Mea Waiwai o te Tūranga Whakataka’ a Te Reo version of ‘The Essentials of Being a Director’. The resource is a guidebook for directors, and Traci Haupapa, Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA), notes it shows an increased commitment to diversity and inclusivity from the Authority. https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Guidance/IoD-FMA-Director-Essentials-in-Maori.pdf
- On Tuesday the Government conjointly released ‘Every Life Matters, Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019 – 2029’ and an ‘Action Plan 2019 – 2024’. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister for Health, Dr David Clark, also announced that a designated Suicide Prevention Office will be established along with the establishment of a Māori Advisory group and Lived Experience group. This is a significant announcement as the Māori suicide rate is 28.2 per 100,000 tangata compared to the New Zealand overall rate of 13.9 per 100,000 people.
- On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern and Minister Clark also released the draft terms of reference for the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. The Commission will provide independent scrutiny of the Government’s progress in improving New Zealand’s mental health and wellbeing, promote collaboration between entities that contribute to mental health and wellbeing, and develop advice and a framework for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
- On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern also announced that the National School Curriculum is to be updated to make explicit the expectation of content taught within the New Zealand’s history curriculum. The changes will take effect for all schools and kura, years 1 – 10, in early 2022. Currently the National Curriculum enables schools and kura to decide how New Zealand history is covered. It is expected that the new curriculum will cover the following topics:
- arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand;
- first encounters and early colonial history;
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and its history;
- colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars;
- evolving national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
- Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Pacific; and
- Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 20th century and evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality.
- This week Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust opened a show home for the trust’s Te Puna Wai Papakāinga Housing Project, in Wainuiomata. Te Puna Wai is a mixed tenure housing development that will be completed over two stages. The trust has received from Te Puni Kōkiri a $2.6 million investment grant to support infrastructure costs for 23 housing sites, and the construction of 11 kaumātua rental homes. The trust plans to build 80 dwellings in total.
- This week the Ministry for the Environment commenced a series of public consultation and feedback hui on freshwater issues, productive land, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances management. Consultation for the various issues closes late September to mid-October 2019. Dates and locations for upcoming Māori specific hui are listed in the table below.
|16 September||Blenheim||10:30am – 1:30pm||Scenic Hotel|
|17 September||Tauranga||9.00am – 12.00pm||Hotel Armitage|
|18 September||Greymouth||12.00pm – 3.00pm||Ashley Hotel|
|18 September||Whakatāne||9.00am – 12.00pm||Manukatutahi Marae|
|19 September||Rotorua||12:00pm – 3:00pm||Te Ao Marama|
|23 September||Gisborne||11:30am – 2:30pm||Emerald Hotel|
|24 September||Wairoa||10:30am – 1:30pm||To be confirmed|
|24 September||Hamilton||11.00am – 2.00pm||Hamilton Gardens Pavillion|
|25 September||Napier||1.00pm – 4.00pm||East Pier Hotel|
|25 September||Auckland||12:30pm – 3:30pm||Potters Park Events Centre|
|26 September||Whangarei||10:30am – 1:30pm||To be confirmed|
|27 September||Kaitaia||10:30am – 1:30pm||To be confirmed|
Waitangi Tribunal Freshwater Report
In regard to the Waitangi Tribunal Report on freshwater, while there are many aspects within this inquiry, its genesis comes from a simple question as to who owns water, and then subsequently who can make decisions about it use. e. does the Treaty guarantee freshwater rights to Māori, and do or should Māori have ownership over their traditional bodies of water?
By way of succinct background, these types of questions were first put to the Tribunal in 2012, in a claim lodged by the New Zealand Māori Council and five hapū groups. (This was, in part, prompted by a pre-election announcement from the National Party that if re-elected they would partially sell State energy companies via share floats). To tackle the claims the Waitangi Tribunal divided its inquiry into two stages, with the first (urgent) stage heard in August that year, which was limited to considering whether the proposed share sales affected any Māori water rights.
During this first hearing the claimants asserted that Māori interests in freshwater existed in 1840 and had never been extinguished. The Crown – not being able to demonstrate a fair process for the extinguishing of Māori freshwater rights had occurred – instead contended that “no-one owns water”, but that some specific and localised Māori water rights could still exist, if proven.
[By-in-by the Crown also argued that selling parts of State assets was irrelevant to any such future discussions on water ownership. The New Zealand Māori Council continued to legally challenge that aspect as well, until March 2013, when ultimately the Supreme Court ruled against them on that, closing all legal avenues. The Supreme Court found partial privatisation “will not impair to a material extent the Crown’s ability to remedy any Treaty breach in respect of Māori interests in water”. ]
However, the Tribunal found the overall Treaty claim itself was genuine, and that Māori “proprietary rights” over bodies of water were assured under the Treaty of Waitangi, with the closest English equivalent in 1840 being “ownership”, and the closest modern-day equivalent being “residual property rights”. Putting this another way, in 2012 through this hearing, the claimants, the Crown and the Tribunal all agreed that there may still be some Māori proprietary rights in relation to freshwater. We note the Iwi Leaders Group did not readily engage in the process at that time (they were instead working with the Government to negotiate policy reforms).
In addition, however, the Tribunal also noted that some Māori water rights may have been ceded in legitimate ways since 1840, or through Treaty breaches, or may still be in active existence – but such findings would not be clear until stage two of the inquiry was completed. So it is these specifics – exactly what water rights might exist – and what breaches might have occurred, which were supposed to be the focus of stage two of the WAI 2358 inquiry.
We advise, however, the report released yesterday – i.e. the long-awaited stage two report – does not directly answer the question at hand around any existing Māori proprietary rights over bodies of water, or geothermal energy. Nor does it set out a framework for making such determinations. Instead, on that central matter at the very end of the report – on page 564 – the Tribunal gives just a couple of sentences advising that determining if Māori residual property rights still exist over freshwater, i.e. native title in common law, is something other Courts should determine.
The Tribunal suggests that because their remit is only to make recommendations, a test case should be brought to another Court to decide the matter. So to that end the Waitangi Tribunal, although stating that they agree there is likely to be some Māori common law water rights, and they think the Crown should recognise some Māori water rights, ultimately decide they are not in the best position to resolve this Crown/Māori dilemma, and that others should sort it out instead.
In our view this is a real let down, as it seems to us the whole purpose of having a Waitangi Tribunal is for Māori to have a means to have grievances heard and then addressed outside of standard Court proceedings. It is because of this sidestep that we rate this report as marginal. Rather than eight years of time, thousands of pages of submissions, and a 500 page plus report; in our view the Tribunal ought to have just declared that it considered it had no mandate to determine water ownership issues much earlier – and it probably could have done than in a paragraph.
That is, however if the Tribunal genuinely has no mandate. We are somewhat sceptical on that point, as although the rationale that “our (Waitangi Tribunal) jurisdiction is recommendations only” is correct, that outcome restriction does not constrain findings from being made – and further, we note it has not previously prohibited the Tribunal from determining taonga / ownership status. For example, the Tribunal formed a view on radio wave status in an earlier report (finding Māori interests existed). Because of this the Tribunal has not convinced us that it could not form more solid findings on ownership interests of freshwater, leading us to conclude that a review of the operations and legislative settings for this Tribunal may now be required.
Notwithstanding the above, our review (attached) summarises what the Tribunal has decided it can comment on at this time – essentially two items: the Resource Management Act (RMA) as it relates to freshwater, and second Government policy reforms centred on freshwater – including the quality of engagements with Māori, between 2002 and 2017.
Also note after a submission from the Crown, in 2016 the Tribunal decided to remove geothermal energy considerations from this second stage inquiry and to deal with that later. However, no details on when or what have been released by the Tribunal to follow-up on that decision regarding geothermal resources.
[By-in-by, one of the reasons the Tribunal’s report is so long is that despite being a contemporary report it contains a bunch of historical research on past legislative settings relating to freshwater. This is useful for those interested in the background of this matter. In our view, the nub of it all seems to be that prior to the 1991 Resource Management Act (which the Tribunal focuses on), there was a 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, in which Parliament gave the Government “the sole right to dam any river or stream, or to divert or to take natural water, or to discharge natural water or waste into any natural water, or to use natural water” (underlining added). Prior to that law, English common law was arguably solely in effect over New Zealand waterways. However, it is possible/likely neither the 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, nor the 1991 Resource Management Act actually extinguished any existing common law rights – rather these newer laws are said to be regulatory in nature – i.e. setting out the rules relating to water use (namely that the Government can decide usage) – but not actually extinguishing ownership rights or changing titles.
This Tribunal report appears to suggest that understanding is a position held by claimants, but also largely accepted by the Crown as well. If correct, this viewpoint supports the notion that seeking native title via other courts might be something worth pursuing for some hapū and iwi groups. But we surmise all iwi/hapū groups would individually need to prove native title / ownership, and that could be hard for many, particularly given associated land alienation that has occurred.]
The Findings and Recommendations of The Tribunal
The Tribunal finds the RMA, including its development and current administration, is non-compliant with the Treaty of Waitangi in at least four ways. This includes that the RMA:
- has weak Treaty of Waitangi provisions;
- does not sufficiently provide for Māori tino rangatiratanga or kaitiakitanga over bodies of water which are taonga to particular iwi and hapū;
- was developed exclusive to Māori, meaning Māori are (wrongly) treated as ‘new entrants’ when seeking water rights for their endeavours; and
- has allowed for serious degradation of water quality to occur, despite Māori concerns.
Regarding policy developments, the Tribunal does note some positive efforts to work with iwi/Māori from the Crown, but that outcomes have been thwarted, often by Crown slowness, and by a prevalent ideology that ‘no one owns’ water. For these types of reasons, the Tribunal is of the view that multiple Treaty of Waitangi breaches have occurred, and that these are not just limited to Māori having kaitiaki interests, but also equitable access to water for economic purposes as well.
The proposed remedy is centred on co-governance. For this report co-governance means an actual entity of some sort. Other recommendations centre on better monitoring of local councils and the like, more funding for Māori participation in this area, and more enabling regulations to ensure Māori voice is strengthened at all stages in water management processes.
As noted above our review finds, despite the length of this report, it is only partially effective in identifying issues and providing analysis on key matters at hand. Clearly the Waitangi Tribunal is more comfortable discussing regulatory and policy shortcomings against a list of Treaty of Waitangi principles, than discussing tougher issues such as proprietary rights. We note this policy/regulatory approach is consistent with other recent Tribunal reports – in areas such as Corrections and Health – but we question its usefulness for a natural resource such as freshwater. In our assessment, the Tribunal has largely missed an opportunity to make clearer findings on rights and interests, and has instead taken an easier road in finding fault with policy.
This approach matters not just because it downplays the core ‘ownership’ challenge, but also because it gives limited consideration to whether regulatory matters are improving. e. in this report the Tribunal finds that current policy settings are in breach of their expectations around Treaty partnership, and therefore the Crown must provide redress. But for policy considerations the question arises, in terms of Treaty of Waitangi compliance, whether the current water management reforms – which include a Māori/iwi developed Mana o Te Wai framework for freshwater – are better than the Resource Management Act of 1991 (which had a Treaty framework); and was that in turn better than the 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act, which had no Māori or Treaty referencing? The issue being that if the Treaty is considered to be a living partnership, and Government policy is also continually evolving, then the possibility of the Crown breaching at least the edges of that partnership likely exists in perpetuity. So how much gain, how much change is occurring, and at what pace, are central questions which matter in terms of Crown responsiveness to Treaty of Waitangi principles within policy frameworks. However, this type of analysis presents as being outside of the Tribunal’s binary (Treaty compliant or not) framework. In our view, over the long haul, it would seem to us that Māori representation in water management issues has improved since 1967, but remains largely on the fringes of management decision-making arrangements; and Māori remain entirely locked out of ‘ownership’ type decisions. Perhaps then the Crown is improving its level of compliance with Treaty expectations but has not yet met a minimum threshold satisfactory to the Tribunal in regard to freshwater. It would have been useful for the Tribunal to clarify such matters.
We also note the report has significant drift into historic and scientific matters. For example, in their summary chapter one finding of the Tribunal is that, “the nitrate toxicity bottom line would still allow impacts on 20 per cent of aquatic species, and the direction that had been added on nutrient enrichment was acknowledged as incomplete (with further work planned)”. We don’t question the science, but question whether the Tribunal has lost its way a little in devolving into such areas and debates on operational policy settings of this nature. We think the point is that the current regulatory settings have not sufficiently protected water quality in accordance with Treaty of Waitangi expectations – i.e. it’s not safe for Māori (and others) to drink from, or even sometimes swim in, their tribal rivers and lakes. Perhaps, at best a compendium report ought to have been prepared for these more technical findings.
In regard to the key recommendation for co-governance, the Tribunal report mulls over the different views of the claimants (such as the New Zealand Māori Council), and Iwi Leaders Group (as interested parties) as to what might be best. The Māori Council maintained that a Water Commission is required, and that it be a 50:50 partnership between Māori and the Crown, setting out how allocation rights could work. Iwi, who were silent in the 2012 first stage, now make the point there does need to be some form of allocation or royalty scheme for sure, and yes co-governance is part of that, but that any such framework should occur within the context of existing iwi authorities in relation to their respective water catchment areas (i.e. not so much a single settlement nor a pan-Māori grouping setting allocations for iwi).
Following these submissions the Tribunal recommends an independent Water Commission; but then appears to get lost trying to back the differing views of the New Zealand Māori Council and the Iwi Leaders Group; meaning although the Tribunal is clear a co-governance entity of some sort is needed, and some allocation framework is needed to give Māori water rights – beyond that just quite what functions any such Commission should have is not clear. Hence the unenlightening statement in conclusion:
“we recommend a number of paths and mechanisms for co-governance and co-management which, severally or combined, will enable iwi and hapū to arrive at the most appropriate arrangement for their particular rohe and for each of their water bodies.”
On balance, we consider this cart before horse approach is tilted more towards the requests of the Iwi Leaders Group, which may be a little disappointing for some claimants, given the lack of initial support for this claim from iwi groups.
Last, we note the recommendation that all policy should be co-designed by Māori ‘from now on’, ‘where Māori interests are concerned’. Overall, we cannot think of any policy sector where Māori interests do not exist, so in effect the Tribunal is saying ‘co-design’ with Māori across all areas of public policy is their expectation for a new normal. That of course will be a tough challenge for governments to maintain, meaning future claims in any sector will be able to use that as a measure for Treaty compliance. Again, this leads to the view that the future role of the Tribunal will be to undertake Treaty-compliant (or not) evaluations of Government policies, like a watch-dog commission, rather than positioning itself to adjudicate on bigger picture matters of rights and ownership.
 And associated claims.
 Some provisions for existing landowners were retained in this Act, to ensure they had water for themselves, their livestock and for firefighting. I.e. existing usage was maintained.
 Refer to Pānui editions 12/2017 for Corrections and 24/2019 for Health.
|Title:||The Stage 2 Report On The National Freshwater And Geothermal Resources Claims (WAI 2358)|
|Publisher & Date:||Waitangi Tribunal: August 2019|
|Type of Document:||Waitangi Tribunal Report|
|Length, style:||565 pages, academic, technical. Difficult reading in places.|
|Recommended readership:||This report has implications for all, however it has low accessibility due to its length and style. We consider it is filled with barely relevant historical and scientific research and would recommend chapter 7 (summary of findings and recommendations) and the opening Ministerial letter as initial readings.|
|Content summary:||The first chapter of this report set out the scope of the inquiry and Treaty principles to be considered. Chapters two to six provide an analysis of current legal settings (the Resource Management Act (RMA), and Government policy work from (2002 to 2017). The Act and the policy work are tested for Treaty of Waitangi ‘compliance’. Chapter seven provides a summary (sic) of findings and recommendations.
Overall, the Tribunal finds that the present law is not consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi. Regarding the RMA the Tribunal finds that:
· the Treaty-based section (section 8) is weak, and Māori interests have not been fairly balanced or represented in decision-making processes under the Act (breaching Treaty partnership);
· it does not provide adequately for ‘tino rangatiratanga’ and the kaitakitanga of iwi and hapū over their freshwater taonga (note implied here is that freshwater can be a Treaty taonga);
· when the Act was developed the Crown refused to recognise Māori proprietary rights, and the Act still does not provide for such rights (meaning Māori are legally seen as ‘new entrants’ when applying for water usage rights, breaching Treaty equity);
· the Act has allowed for the serious degradation of water quality to occur in many ‘ancestral’ water-bodies (breaching Treaty active protection).
Regarding policy settings the Tribunal notes some positive types of engagement between the Crown and Māori, but that Crown bottom lines (such as ‘no one owns water’) meant Treaty-based outcomes could not be achieved. They also note gaps in policy frameworks, such as no compulsory Māori values or monitoring in policy frameworks.
To remedy all this the Tribunal suggests, amongst other items:
· the Crown now recognise Māori proprietary rights over freshwater and provide redress;
· a national co-governance body between Māori and the Crown for freshwater management; which would arrange an allocation scheme for iwi and hapū (thus allowing for economic gain to be shared with Māori);
· the Crown provide resourcing for Māori to participate in RMA processes equally (and continue to fund initiatives such as ‘Te Mana o te Wai’;
· the Crown institute monitoring of councils in regard to Treaty compliance;
· the Crown ought to act faster to protect taonga water bodies;
· the Crown look to determine whether existing Treaty settlements maintain fairness across iwi groups in relation to water management, and ensure rights gained by some iwi are ‘made available more generally’.
|Assessment Rationale:||We consider this report to be of marginal quality as it is only partially effective in identifying issues and providing analysis of matters at hand. This comment relates in particular to the lack of engagement on the core issue of proprietary rights – with the Tribunal clearly being more comfortable discussing regulatory settings.
Further, we consider many aspects of this report drift too far into historical or scientific debate, obscuring the actual points of focus.
In our assessment the co-governance recommendation is also not sufficiently explained. That is, what is to be co-governed remains murky water.
|Recommendations:||a. The Tribunal should write a summary report on the key issues, findings and recommendations made.
b. The Tribunal should provide clear details on how and when it will address geothermal energy matters.
c. Crown and Māori (perhaps in partnership) should review whether the Tribunal has usefully fulfilled its function in relation to freshwater claims, and whether a review of its terms of reference / legislative settings for this Tribunal is required.
|Extracts of Note:||“In our view, the present law in respect of fresh water is not consistent with Treaty principles.” Page xx.
“The co-design of policy and reform options was an import innovation which we think should become a standard part of Government policy making from now on”. Page xx.
“Our view is that the Crown must now recognise Māori propriety rights and provide what the New Zealand Māori Council called ‘proprietary redress’. We recommend that the Crown arrange for an allocation on a percentage basis to iwi and hapū, according to a regional catchment scheme. We also recommend an allocation for Māori land development, and that the feasibility of royalties and other forms of proprietary redress be investigated” Page xxiv
 Our review notes are also based mainly on Chapter 7 and the Ministerial summary letter.
 Refer to the rubrics table in the endnotes for quality ratings.
 Further comment on our assessment of this report is provided in the Pānui summary section.
- 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). 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.
 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.
- 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. 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.
 Median age for Māori women who give birth was 26 years compared to 30 years for all women.
- On Tuesday the Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, announced that the Lemuel Te Urupu Whānau Trust of Raupunga will receive investment funding of $1.2 million to construct five papakāinga houses.
- This week hearings for the Wai 2660 Marine and Coastal Area Act Inquiry were held in Wellington. This Inquiry addresses two main questions:
- To what extent, if at all, are the MACA Act and Crown policy and practice inconsistent with the Treaty in protecting the ability of Māori holders of customary marine and coastal area rights to assert and exercise those rights? And;
- Do the procedural arrangements and resources provided by the Crown under the MACA Act prejudicially affect Māori holders of customary marine and coastal area rights in Treaty terms when they seek recognition of their rights?
- Ngāi Tahu Property, Queenstown Lakes District Council and KiwiBuild have partnered to build a community of 300+ homes in Queenstown. The first homes are expected to be completed in 2022.
- On Thursday the Hastings District Council (HDC) voted ten to four in favour of appointing non-elected members of its Māori Joint Committee to the council’s other standing committees. The appointees will have full voting rights.
- Kristy Maria Roa, (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura), Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd, (Ngati Porou) and Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngāti Pakapaka, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tūhoe) have been named finalist for the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award. The winner will be announced on 24 May.
- Last week the biennial Te Matatini competition was held in Te Whānganui-a-Tara (Wellington). The winners were Ngā Tūmanako. Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai gained second place, and Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui gained third place.
- This week Te Puni Kōkiri belatedly released the Cabinet paper associated with the new Government Māori Language Strategy (Pānui 5/2019 refers). In the main the paper confirms Cabinet commitment to the strategy, and we note a couple of points of interest:
- An implementation plan is being developed: it is linked to a Budget bid this year, with a goal being to get Cabinet support for the operational activities in August. This is good, as the strategy needs resourcing to have any real impact, as per our earlier review comments.
- The Minister notes there was a campaign against the strategy via the online consultation: ultimately 45% of the 2,000- odd submissions were negative. In our view this reinforces our observation that online consultation alone is an inappropriate means to gather Māori (and other) input – hui should have been held. We note the same operational error is now occurring for the Māori media review, which has no public hui scheduled. (Pānui 4/2019 refers).
- On Monday the Wellington District Court imposed fines totalling circa $1.1 million on the Directors of Hawkes Bay Seafoods, the company itself, plus a related company and key staff. The directors were Antonino “Nino” Giovanni D’Esposito, Giancarlo “Joe” Harold D’Esposito and manager Marcus Giuseppe D’Esposito. In addition, the company must pay more than $400,000 for the return of its forfeited vessels.
By way of background the offending was identified in 2014, and after years of defensive wrangling, the grouping finally pleaded guilty in 2018 to 131 charges for selling unreported catch. We further advise that the key proprietor of Hawkes Bay Seafoods, Antonio D’Esposito, already had at least 98 fishing convictions – which shows a history of ongoing offending in this sector. (In 1997, he/his company was also required to pay nearly a million dollars in fines for fishing offences.)
This present case matters for Māori because Hawkes Bay Seafoods is the inshore fishing quota leasee for Ngāti Kahungunu – i.e. it catches the inshore settlement quota of the iwi (and for some other iwi). That is, its business is based on a significant Crown / Māori Treaty of Waitangi settlement; and in our view its misuse tarnishes the Treaty settlement process. Put simply, why should/would the Crown provide ongoing settlement redress via quota if fishing rights allocated to iwi are going to be misused and put fish stocks at risk?
Further, although the proceedings against this group commenced in 2014, there were other investigations involving Hawkes Bay Seafoods in 2015 relating to people (staff) involved in a paua and crayfish black market. However, Ngāti Kahungunu has stoically continued its partnership with this company and never openly condemned Hawkes Bay Seafoods for its illegal fishing practices. Rather, in 2017 Ngāti Kahungunu extended the partnership with a joint venture in purchasing an off-shore fishing boat in a 50:50 arrangement with Hawkes Bay Seafoods (again to fish the iwi Treaty settlement quota). In our assessment, despite the seriousness of the fishing offending by Hawkes Bay Seafoods, Ngāti Kahungunu presents as having been undeterred in its business dealings with the company.
However, following the outcome of this most recent case, Ngāti Kahungunu has now expressed a desire to purchase outright Hawkes Bay Seafoods, and is actively taking steps to achieve that. That may be a positive outcome for the iwi – and if successful it may mean that Ngāti Kahungunu is fishing its own quota, and then also processing and selling those fish itself (plus employing iwi members along each link in the chain). However, there is some suggestion in the media that Antonino D’Esposito desires to continue on as a consulting advisor. If so it is difficult to see the value in that; as given the convictions it is possible further association with him would tarnish the fishing brand (‘Takitimu’) that Ngāti Kahungunu is seeking to establish to recover the situation.
Note for absolutely clarity there is no suggestion that Ngāti Kahungunu has ever been involved in any type of illegal fishing practices. The convicted offending discussed herein relates to a company that the iwi has a partnership relationship with.
- The Government’s Welfare Expert Advisory Group has now reportedly submitted their advice to Government. We note the terms of reference for this group (set last June) was somewhat vague, with its role being to ‘provide advice to the Government on options that could best give effect to its vision for the future direction of the social welfare system’. Notwithstanding, the Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, has referred to this work as an ‘overhaul of the welfare system’. Accordingly, we expect the report to have significant implications for Māori, particularly for the 109,000 tangata Māori – and their whānau members – who are reliant on one of the three main benefits. Minister Sepuloni has indicated the report will be released publicly later this month, or in early April. We will advise further at that time.
- Statistics NZ has released its working document on how to measure child poverty; ‘Measuring child poverty: Concepts and definitions’. By way of background, the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Act was in introduced in 2018 to help reduce child poverty in New Zealand – Pānui 8/2018 outlines this policy shift. The new Act now requires Government to set three-year and ten-year targets on four primary measures, and for the Government Statistician to report annually on ten measures of child poverty. The working paper sets out the technical approaches to be used. In addition, three further supporting papers explaining the rationales for statistical and data choices have been released. We have undertaken a summary review of these papers and found nothing untoward: i.e. the measures being used are appropriate, and present as thoughtfully designed. Māori child poverty information is expected to be presented through this work as well – which in part is a result of submissions made by Māori for this to be included. We will advise further once the first data sets are released. The working documentation is available here: https://www.stats.govt.nz/methods/measuring-child-poverty-concepts-and-definitions
- The Labour Party has declined an application from John Tamihere to re-join the party. Mr Tamihere is a former Cabinet Minister, and amongst other portfolios was an Associate Minister of Māori Affairs (2002-2004). Mr Tamihere advises the Party’s council gave no reason for the decline, and indicates that the process presents as unfair, because there was no discussion on why he was declined, nor is there any right of appeal. Mr Tamihere has noted that this action is likely to be because he has announced his intention to seek the role of Auckland Mayor in upcoming elections, although previously the Labour Party endorsed the current Mayor, Phil Goff. (Mr Goff will announce shortly whether he intends to stand for re-election.) The Labour Party’s constitution allows the Party to only endorse one candidate for the mayoralty – meaning if Mr Tamihere had been accepted as a member he could have sought that endorsement ahead of Mr Goff.
- Last Friday the Minister of Agriculture, Damien O´Connor, announced the 2019 Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists for Māori sheep and beef farming. The finalists are: Whangara Farms (Gisborne); Te Awahohonu Forest Trust / Gwavas Station (Hawkes Bay); and Kiriroa Station (Gisborne). The winner will be announced on 24 May at the 2019 Ahuwhenua Awards ceremony, to be held in Gisborne.
- Last Friday the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, announced the Crown’s response to the voting results for the Whakatōhea Settlement Process. In our view the response is essentially to proceed slowly with caution, and to check with officials whether any negotiations can carry on safely and or appropriately now; possibly concurrently with a Waitangi Tribunal hearing.
By way of background, the mandate of Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust to settle historic claims was tested via urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing claims in 2017. The Tribunal’s primary finding was that the Crown prioritised its objective of concluding Treaty settlements over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea. The Tribunal found the decision to recognise the Pre-settlement Trust mandate was therefore not fair, reasonable, or made in good faith, and breaches the Treaty principle of partnership.
To resolve this, in October 2018 Whakatōhea iwi members were asked to vote on the following: 1) continuing with the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claim Trust as their treaty settlement entity; 2a) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that a mandate process be re-run from the start? And 2b) stop current Treaty negotiations in order that the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea?
The results that came out in November 2018 show a small majority (56%) of iwi voted to continue negotiations with the Crown via the existing entity, but conversely a large majority (73%) voted to also stop negotiations until the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry. It is this somewhat contradictory outcome that Minister Little is seeking to address i.e. carrying on working with the current settlement entity, but not getting ahead / or out of step with Tribunal processes that iwi members have stated they desire to occur first.
 Namely, jobseeker support (i.e. unemployment), sole parent support, and supported living.
- Last Friday the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced her decision that Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay was now the official name for what was formally called – in legal contexts – Poverty Bay.
- Last week the Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson, with the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, announced the launch of ‘Ka Hao te Rangatahi’. This is a new training programme based in Ruatoria, focused on developing conservation skills and erosion management for youth who are not in employment, education or training.
- A Waitangi Tribunal hearing commenced this week concerning Wai 2573, which is ‘the Mana Ahuriri Deed of Settlement (Ngāti Pārau) claim’. Ngāti Pārau claimants are challenging the mandate of the Mana Ahuriri post settlement governance entity, on the basis that due processes were not followed in the enacting of this settlement.
- Last Friday Ngāti Paoa negotiators signed the Hauraki Collective deed of settlement – despite opposition from within the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust. This means six of the twelve Hauraki iwi have now agreed to the collective deed of settlement. (The Pare Hauraki Collective redress includes a settlement worth circa $250 million in total, the return of two Maunga Moehau and Te Aroha, along with 25,000 hectares of commercial forests. The collective consists of twelve Hauraki iwi: Hako; Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki; Ngāti Hei; Ngāti Maru; Ngāti Paoa; Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki; Ngāti Pūkenga; Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu; Ngāti Tamaterā; Ngāti Tara Tokanui; Ngaati Whanaunga; and Te Patukirikiri. There has been significant opposition to various aspects of this broader settlement process, including from Ngāi Te Rangi iwi members who are opposed to Hauraki iwi being represented on a Tauranga Moana governance group, and from Ngāti Whātua who opposed Ngāti Paoa being offered property in central Auckland.)
- Last Saturday the Otamataha Trust received an apology from the New Zealand Church Missionary Society for historical grievances against Ngāti Tapu and Ngai Tamarāwaho. By way of background, in 2014 The New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Act was passed. This Act transferred land in Tauranga and some other property from the New Zealand Mission Trust Board to the Otamataha Trust. The New Zealand Mission Trust Board had held parcels of land in trust since 1896, (land which had previously been acquired by the Anglican Church Mission Society from Māori owners in 1838). The beneficiaries of the Otamataha Trust are the hapū of Ngāti Tapu and Ngai Tamarāwaho, and their members (i.e. descendants of the original Māori land owners).
- On Monday the Court of Appeal in Wellington ruled in favour of the Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Incorporated group and quashed the resource consent granted to the Wellington Company by the Wellington City Council for a major housing and commercial development at Shelly Bay. The Port Nicholson Settlement Trust has been working in partnership with the Wellington Company and part of the development was to be built on the Trust’s land. In August a group of Taranaki Whānui members, called Mau Whenua, protested the proposed development. The group were seeking a public inquiry into deals done between the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the Wellington Company. The group believe the development is not in the best interests of the iwi, and that the trustees may have breached a clause within their trust deed requiring 75% iwi consent for a major transaction. The Court of Appeal ruling means a new resource consent process is required (and the Court advises the City Council may need to use an independent person for this). This action will likely please those members of the iwi who are against the development. We also note the annual accounts for this iwi are not available for public viewing this year.
- On Tuesday the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill was introduced in Parliament. If passed into law this bill will empower Te Rūnganga o Ngāi Tahu (TRoNT) to appoint up to 2 members to the Canterbury Regional Council, after the 2019 local body elections.
- This week mainstream media has been reporting on the Nelson Christmas Parade (held last Sunday) which had for the first time a non-traditionally dressed Santa. Instead Santa was Māori, without a beard and dressed in a short-sleeved shirt, and red korowai. The Māori Santa also held a large hei matu (fish hook) designed sceptre. Public opinion on the Māori Santa has been mixed.
- This week the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) held public consultation regarding a proposal to sell up to 45% of the Port of Napier (currently the port is wholly owned by the Council’s investment company). Local Hawke’s Bay iwi, Ngāti Pahauwera, has noted that given much of the land for the port was taken from Māori under the Napier Harbour Board Act, the iwi seeks access to the shares at a reduced rate from the council. The regional council (so far) has not expressed interest in negotiating on this matter with Ngāti Pahauwera.
- Today the report by the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce was published. We will review this report entitled Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini in our next edition of Pānui E44 14 December 2018.