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Tags: Oranga Tamariki

E24 Salient Māori News Items to 31 July 2020

 

  • This week the New Zealand Police published a report entitled Police Statistics on Homicide Victims in New Zealand 2007 – 2017: Summary of Statistics about Victims of Murder, Manslaughter, and Infanticide. The report showed from 2007 to the end of 2017, 236 Māori were victims of homicide, which was 32% of all victims (737 in total).  Māori males comprised 22% (163) 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.  https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/homicide-victims-report-2018.pdf
  • Yesterday the Waitangi Tribunal commenced two days of oral hearings into WAI 2915, which is the urgent inquiry regarding tamariki Māori being placed into State care. As presiding Judge Michael Doogan indicated, the claim is about why there have been consistent disparities of tamariki Māori being removed from their whānau by the State, to what extent legislative improvements have been made, and what further requirements are required of the Crown to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  Amongst other respected claimants, Lady Tureiti Moxon spoke indicating that Treaty partnership requires Oranga Tamariki devolving its powers and funding to Māori entities, based partially on the view (which is consistent across claimants) that the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki have proven to be not capable of meeting the needs of tamariki Māori.

Also yesterday, Oranga Tamariki released a report entitled ‘Improving outcomes for tamariki Māori, their whānau, hapū and iwi’.[1]  We will review this report in full next week but in our initial considerations, however, it’s hard to believe that the timing of its release was fortuitous or accidental.  Essentially our view is that the timing is a combative ‘talking over top of’ rangatira, such as Lady Moxon.  Quite why Oranga Tamariki has taken such an approach is beyond us: it would seem like this is a week the agency might be best to humbly listen to Māori voices regarding the harm, hurt and whakamā that exists in this area (which is why we have deferred our review of their report).

Unfortunately this battle-hardened approach of Oranga Tamariki continues to present as entrenched, and is consistent with their rude reply to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner last month, and ruder still (no) reply given to the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (Pānui 21/2020 refers).  In short, while Oranga Tamariki perhaps have one of the most difficult tasks of all Crown agencies, that is not an excuse for misunderstanding the authority and mana of the Waitangi Tribunal and its hearing processes.

  • This week the Minister for Treaty of Watangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, confirmed he would not progress with Treaty Settlement legislation for Mana Ahuriri Trust until the grouping held renewed Trustee elections – which the group has so far refused to do, despite receiving over $300,000 for that purpose.

[The backdrop here is that the Crown had reached a Treaty settlement with Mana Ahuriri, which includes financial redress of circa $19.5 million; and legislation to conclude the matter has already had a first reading in Parliament, and is currently before Select Committee.  However, late last year the Waitangi Tribunal found that the Crown had breached the Treaty in accepting a flawed ratification vote for the Ahuriri Hapū Deed of Settlement, and therefore in relation to the mandate of the post-governance entity – i.e. Mana Ahuriri Trust.  (So despite the problems with ratification the Crown decided wrongly to push ahead anyway.)  To remedy this, the Tribunal recommended the Crown obtain an undertaking from the Mana Ahuriri Trust to hold elections (which are to be independently monitored) for all trustees, before progressing settlement legislation.  Plus, the Crown should pay for it all – hence the provision of a further funds to the Trust for renewed elections.  Minister Little is of the view he obtained an agreement from the Trust for elections, and references an email he received – although of course an email is not the same as a Trust resolution, and the Minister and his officials should know that.  The challenge here then is that the Crown cannot force new elections.]

[1] The report is about how the agency fulfils section 7AA of its legislation, and is thus sometimes referred to as the ‘7AA report’ – essentially it sets out what they do and plan to do for tamariki Māori

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.