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Tags: Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust

E17 Salient Māori News week ending 29 May 2020

  • Māui Hudson and Te Rau Kupenga have been appointed to Statistics New Zealand’s (Statistics NZ) new Governance Advisory Board. By way of further background, this advisory board has just been established, and Mr Kupenga and Mr Hudson are two of its six members.  As the Ministerial press release states, the role of the board is to assist with strategy and direction; and “sometimes to challenge Stats NZ’s CEO and Executive Leadership Team”.[1] The establishment of an external board like this for Statistics NZ is, in our assessment, highly desirable and is something we have suggested in the past.  This is due to the poor performance of Statistics NZ in servicing the needs of Māori in recent years, including but not limited to, inadequate Census work.  Having two proven Māori leaders in this area positioned to provide the Department with guidance and steerage is likely to be a step towards remedying this issue.  This work matters because gathering and correctly interpreting Māori statistics is a critical first action in the delivery of quality Māori policy advice across government.  For example, Statistics NZ’s lack of work on Māori businesses over the last four years now means the Government is somewhat blinded as it seeks to develop bespoke solutions for Māori businesses, such as Māori tourist operators, in its response to COVID-19 economic impacts.  That is, the necessary baseline data just was not gathered by the Department (but it could have been).  To date Statistics NZ has expressed only a diminutive understanding of the impacts on its failings on Māori wellbeing, so its likely Mr Kupenga and Mr Hudson, with the other advisors, will have some challenges ahead.

Research Snippets

  • Yesterday the Ministry for Women released the 2019 Gender Stocktake of State Sector Boards and Committees report. This provides an annual account of the number of women on state sector boards and committees.  (The Government has previously set a target of at least 50% female representation on these groupings by 2021.)   We advise the goal is nearly achieved, with 49% of these positions now being held by women (as at 31 December 2019).  We note wāhine Māori hold 10.8% of these roles. https://women.govt.nz/sites/public_files/Gender%20Maori%20and%20Ethnicity%20Stocktake%202019.pdf
  • This week the third reading of the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament. When passed into law (after Royal Assent) this change will make it illegal for people to smoke in motor vehicles carrying children. For offenders, the Police will have the ability to issue a $50 infringement fee, or to issue warnings, and refer people to stop smoking support services.  We advise 31% of adult Māori smoke compared to 13% of the total adult population.  There is no data on the number of Māori adults who smoke in vehicles with children, but this law change has been supported by Hāpai Te Hauora (a Māori public health coalition).
  • On Thursday the second reading of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill was completed in Parliament. The purpose of this bill is to establish a 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. We advise that the bill proposes that membership of the Commission must include at least one commissioner who has knowledge, understanding and experience of te ao Māori and tikanga Māori. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93099/mental-health-and-wellbeing-commission-bill
  • The Iwi Collective Partnership, (comprising of 17 iwi who work together to manage their fishing quota) have reportedly been bulk buying fish products at discounted prices from Sealord and Moana New Zealand (companies with wider Māori interests),[2] in order to distribute kaimoana to whānau within their respective areas.    This is part of their COVID-19 response to support families in need.  We believe the General Manager of the Collective Partnership, Maru Samuels, is correct in stating that this appears to be the first time the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Settlement has resulted in fish being directly supplied to Māori whānau.[3]
  • The Chief Executive of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, Kim Skelton, has resigned. Media reports are that the reasons given are said to be due a ‘toxic culture’ and inappropriate power balances.  (The information being referred to, however, is not in the public arena and therefore cannot be verified.)  We also note financial reports are also not available on line, and there have been past disputes on land sales and purchases (Pānui 20/2019 provides details).
  • Last week part-one of a five-part series focused on the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process was launched on Te Tai Treaty Settlement website. Part-two will be published 5 June.   https://raupatu.com/category/the-signing/

 

[1] Media release from James Shaw, Minister for Statistics.

[2] Sealord has 50% Māori ownership. Moana NZ (formally Aoteaora Fisheries) is owned by a wide range of iwi.

[3] Normally benefits of the settlement are distributed as financial dividends to iwi.

E38 Salient Māori News Items to 1 November 2019

 

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

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

E24 Salient Māori News Week ending 19 July 2019

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

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

 

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

 

E20 Salient News Items to 14 June 2019

  • The Mōkai Pātea Waitangi Claims Trust is seeking a mandate to settle their claims, and consultation hui for that are in train for iwi members; and
  • Rangitihi is in the process of setting up its Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE), to look after its settlement when it lands, and iwi consultation hui for this are also scheduled.
  • Applications are open for Te Uru Rākau’s (Forestry New Zealand) Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau scholarships. The scholarships provide $8,000 a year to six Māori or female students enrolling in either a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Scholarship recipients also receive a paid internship with Te Uru Rākau or other forestry employers.

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/about-us/our-work/scholarships-and-awards/nga-karahipi-uru-rakau-forestry-scholarships/

  • Presently there are continuing media articles on the financial affairs of the Port Nicholson Settlement Trust. Some current trustees are alleging that past financial mismanagement, including unpaid invoices, gave them little choice in having to on-sell land-based assets to property developers.  However, a past Chief Executive is refuting such claims, indicating the financial situation was dire from an early time period, and that he had actually been addressing the matters to stabilise the Trust.  (We have elected not to provide further details as the financial statements of this Trust are not available to review: however, it is clear there remains bitter division within the iwi, particularly in relation to whether Shelly Bay land ought to have been sold.)
  • As advised last week, Budget 2019/20 contained $42 million of funding to restart an educational programme called Te Kōtahitanga.  We advise that this week the responsible Minister, Kelvin Davis, gave this initiative its own post-Budget announcement.  It will now be known as Te Hurihanganui, and the funds will be used to ‘boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori’.  (Pānui 19/2019 refers.)

E43 7 December 2018: Maori News Items

  • 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.