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E42 Salient Māori News Items to 29 November 2019

  • Lil Anderson (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) has been appointed Chief Executive of the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti.
  • Last Saturday the Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, announced the Government will introduce an Electoral Amendment Bill which will restore the rights of people imprisoned to remain on the electoral roll and vote in a general election, if they are serving a term of less than three years. (Rights to vote were removed in 2010.)  We advise in the Waitangi Tribunal report – WAI 2870 The Māori Prisoners’ Voting Rights Inquiry (refer E31/ 2019), the Tribunal found:
  • the current legislation is inconsistent with the Treaty of Waitangi;
  • Crown officials failed to ensure adequate consultation with Māori which led to Crown officials offering support and advice to the Law and Order Select Committee which failed to provide sufficient information about the effect the legislation would have on Māori, (breaching Treaty active protection);
  • the Crown failed in its duty of informed decision-making (breaching Treaty active partnership); and
  • changes to the Act reduced the opportunity for Māori to equitably participate in the electoral process and exercise their tino rangatiratanga individually or collectively (breaching Treaty active protection and Treaty equity).

    We also note the High Court found the current law to be inconsistent with the right to vote in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. This decision was later upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  This Bill will affect approximately 1,900 imprisoned people of which 950 will be tangata Māori[1].

  • The Health, Quality and Safety Commission published a report entitled Learning from Adverse Events – Adverse Events reported to the Health Quality & Safety Commission 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. This annual report provides a breakdown of reported adverse events which occurred within the healthcare sector. In the year to 30 June 2019, 916 adverse events were reported to the Commission.  Regarding Māori the report found:

[1] Based on 50% of the imprisoned population being Māori.

  • Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa) have signed a Partnership Agreement with Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities [1] and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.  The partnership will see Te Āhura Mōwai – Ngāti Toa community housing provider manage properties and tenancies for circa 900 state owned homes across western Porirua for a 25-year period.
  • This week Kim Symes was sentenced to 10- months home detention, 150 hours community service and $5,000 reparations in the Manukau District Court. Ms Symes was found guilty in September for defrauding her former employer – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Tonga o Hokianga – of circa $250,000

[1] Kāinga Ora was established 1 October 2019 it includes the roles and responsibilities of the KiwiBuild Unit, Housing New Zealand and its development subsidiary HLC)

Mana Party: manifesto commitments: omnibus excerpt

Mana Party – Māori focused matters

Despite its relative newness, the Mana Party has developed twelve broad policy platforms, all of which take into account specific Māori interests.  These policies, and salient features, are highlighted in the table that follows.

Mana Party Notes – salient aspects of Māori-focused policy proposals
Livelihoods and Economic Justice policies Abolish GST, and replace with a transaction tax, to increase Government tax revenue; introduce a requirement for all SoE and Māori corporate entities to prioritise the employment of New Zealanders, or face financial penalties; increase the minimum wage
Treaty Settlement policy (Draft) Increasing resourcing to the Waitangi Tribunal and empower the Tribunal to make binding decisions; establish an independent Treaty of Waitangi Commissioner; increase the value of treaty settlements by removing the ‘full and final’ aspect of existing settlements
Welfare and housing policies Provide a $1,000 one-off grant to all earning less than $30,000 before 25 December 2011; raise welfare payment levels, build 20,000 new state houses in two years
Te Reo Rangatira – Te Reo Māori policy Establish an independent Te Reo Māori Authority, elected by Māori to administer all government funding in this sector; target is for all New Zealanders to speak Māori by 2040
Education policy Free early childhood education; reduce costs of tertiary study; fund Māori providers (wānanga) as Treaty partners
Health and Disability Issues policies Reduce access to tobacco; ban the advertising of alcohol; community veto on ‘pokie’ machines; free medical care for under 16s and senior citizens; free family planning and contraceptive advice
Environment and Energy policy Iwi and hapū to have decision-making powers in local government environmental policy (and be resourced for this), ban deep-sea oil drilling; stop the partial sale of State-owned Enterprises

 

A number of these policies are similar to other parties that are positioned on the political left (e.g. increase the minimum wage, Māori representation at local government, increases in support for those in receipt of welfare, etc).  The unique stand-out feature, however, is that the Mana Party proposes that these initiatives be funded through a new transaction taxation system, with GST being abolished altogether. 

In our assessment, overall the Mana Party proposals suffer from the same lack of resource considerations as the Green Party. That is, no costings and little implementation information is provided, which shifts ideas away from robust policy analysis, and towards the realm of political platitudes.  For example, the Party’s most radical suggestion, a new transaction tax, has no research or evidence-base published with it.  This means it is entirely unclear how this might function to replace the $15 billion per annum the Government receives in GST payments.  A second example is that there are no details on how existing ‘full and final’ treaty settlements might be amended.

Mana Party – economic and social policies of interest

Within specific Māori economic areas, we are unconvinced that the Mana Party proposal to impose financial penalties on Māori corporate entities (iwi-owned companies) that do not first employ New Zealanders is neither required, fair nor useful, in improving productivity.  In our view, placing more restraints on Māori entities than others will actually disadvantage those Māori interests.

In the social policy realm, we note the Mana Party is alone in prompting the replacement of The Māori Language Commission with an independent, Māori-elected Te Reo Authority.  In our assessment, policy changes in this area are long overdue.  As discussed more fully previously (pānui 29 April 2011), there is little justification for current arrangements, where Māori have such limited say in this sector.  The current Māori Language Commission is a Crown Entity, and Māori/iwi have no formal role in the appointment process, nor in directing its business planning or language services.  Accordingly, in our assessment, the Mana Party is ahead of other parties in giving this matter greater consideration. (Although the Mana Party target of 100% of New Zealanders speaking Māori within three decades does read as overly ambitious). 

From week ending 11 November 2011

Parliamentary inquiry into milk pricing

On Tuesday the  Government announced their support of a parliamentary inquiry into milk pricing.  Last week the Commerce Commission ruled conducting a full inquiry of its own  this lead to public outcry  and opposition parties pushing for a Parliamentary investigation  into milk pricing .  The Commerce Select Committee which will lead the inquiry will be chaired by Labour Party member  Lianne Dalziel.   Prime Minister John Key says terms of reference could be drawn up by the committee in the next week or two. 

Māori disproportionately affected by vision loss

 A vision loss economic impact report called “Clear focus” lauched at Parliament on Tuesday stated that  preventable vision loss cost New Zealand $2.8 billion The report was commissioned to an Australian research group, Access Economics,  they found that direct health costs alone as a result of vision loss added $198 million to New Zealand’s health system expenditure in the same year.

Researchers revealed that Māori are disproportionately affected by vision loss, with those aged 45-74 years twice more likely to experience blindness than non-Māori. And they cautioned that without a focused effort on preventing sight loss, the number of New Zealanders over 40 who have vision loss is projected to rise from 125,000 to 174,000 by 2020.   Māori rates of vision loss is also related to the high rates of Type II diabetes amongst Māori.

Health Research Council funding for three Māori focussed projects

  The Health Research Council have awarded funding to the Independent Māori Institute for Environment and Health, and Te Maru O Ruahine Trust and University of Auckland.

Dr Paul Reynolds  (Independent Māori Institute for Environment and Health) wants to identify the best road to recovery for people affected by trauma. The Institute has been awarded$4.27 million, part of the funding  will also contribute to developing skilled Māori health research workforce.

 Dr Amohia Boulton from Te Maru O Ruahine Trust will look at how the provision of traditional rongoa services could be improved, in a 3-year, $1 million project.

Dr Rhys Jones of the University of Auckland will study the effects of marae food gardens on Māori health and wellbeing at urban marae. The project has been awarded $1.16 million over three years.

Medical Council looks to boost Māori doctor numbers

The Medical Council says a long term fix is needed to get more Māori into the health professions.
The council’s latest workforce survey found that while Māori make up around 15 percent of the population, the proportion of Māori doctors dropped in the past three years by point one percent to 3 percent.


Its chair, John Adams says the problem needs to be tackled at both the secondary and tertiary level. “The issue starts well before medical school in secondary school in the subjects that Māori students are taking, in the expectations about whether they can get in to medical school and about what happens when they get university in their first year and both universities are doing quite a bit to try and understand, to try to change that and to try to increase the number of Māori not only in medicine but across the health sciences,” Dr Adams says.