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Tags: Covid-19

E16 Salient Māori News to 22 May 2020

  • Poia Rewi has been appointed Tumu Whakarae for Te Mātāwai. Mr Rewi will commence this role on 1 July.
  • Last Tuesday, the Covid-19 Public Health Response Bill was introduced in Parliament and on Wednesday the third reading was completed under urgency and is now law. The purpose of this Bill is to create legislation which provides a framework for responding to COVID-19 over the next two years. Amongst other items, it allows a police constable (or health enforcement officer) to enter a marae, without a warrant, if they have reasonable grounds to believe associated COVID-19 protection rules might be being broken.  The constable/enforcement officer must then prepare a written report, and the relevant marae committee is to receive a copy.
  • Last Friday the COVID-19 Response (Requirements For Entities—Modifications and Exemptions) Act became law. Refer to Pānui E14/2020 for details on this Bill – which contains provisions for many Māori entities to carry on their work without face-to-face meetings and the like in the short-term, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • COVID-19 Update. Last week the State of Emergency was lifted and Zealand returned to COVID-19 Alert Level 2. This week New Zealand has continued to experience low new case numbers, alongside an increase in the number of recovered cases (1,504 COVID-19 cases in total, with 96.6% recovered). For Māori, the infection rate remains low – with no new Māori cases reported for the second consecutive week, so the total number of Māori cases remains at 126, which is 8% of all cases.
  • Last week the Court of Appeal heard Stephen Henare’s appeal against his jail sentence of five years and two months. In 2019 Mr Henare pleaded guilty to five charges of stealing from Parengarenga 3G (the charges were ‘theft by person in special relationship’, as he was a trustee). He was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.  Parengarenga 3G Trust manages a 512ha forestry block of Māori land in Te Taitokerau, but during 2012 and 2013 Mr Henare, with his sister Margaret Dixon, stole circa $1.1 million – leaving the Trust with only $150 in its bank account. The Court has reserved its decision.
  • Tapuaetahi Incorporation and Okaroro Incorporation have been named successful recipients of Provincial Growth funding.  Tapuaetahi Incorporation will receive $858,000 for remedial work and improvements on the trust’s 620ha land blocks and Okaroro Incorporation will receive $658,000 for infrastructure upgrades across its 1,496ha remote stock land.