- Last Saturday, Māori Academic, Dr Mānuka Henare, passed away aged 78 years. We acknowledge Dr Henare for his professionalism and guidance. E te rangatira, e moe, e moe i roto i te manaakitanga katoa.
- The Serious Fraud Office has brought fraud charges against Roger Pikia, Mr Pikia has been charged with ‘Obtaining by deception’; ‘Corrupt acceptance of gift by an agent’; ‘Receiving a secret reward for procuring a contract’; ‘Perverting the course of justice’; and ‘Conspiracy to commit an offence’. The charges are in relation to his former role as chairman of Te Arawa River Iwi Trust (TARIT) and its investment company THL Limited (THL). Mr Pikia has indicated he will be defending the charges; and we remind us all that under the Bill of Rights Act people are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
- On December 16, the interim report on the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry was published. The report entitled Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā summarises the Inquiry’s work to date. We are considering this item for further review.
- Most Government agencies have now released their ‘BIMs’ – briefings to incoming Ministers. We are reviewing key items pertinent to Māori policy and intent to subscribers on these matters over the coming weeks.
- This year’s annual Rātana Church celebrations (held 22 – 25 January) was open to church members only and did not accommodate political party leaders as it had in previous years. Internal issues have been cited as the reason for the closed celebration. The event celebrates the birthday of the Māori prophet and Rātana Church founder, Tahupōtiki Wīremu Rātana, (1873-1939).
- This week MediaWorks terminated its contract with John Banks as a talk back radio host, after Mr Banks appeared to agree and support a caller who stated that Māori were “stone age people with a stone age culture” and “genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol addiction and educational underperformance.” As a talk back host Mr Banks was expected to shutdown racist tripe but did the opposite. He has not apologised for his inaction but has stated he is not racist. (Mr Banks is a former Auckland Mayor and former National Party Cabinet Minister.)
- In December the Minister for Social Development and Employment, Carmel Sepuloni, announced the successful organisations which have been awarded He Poutama Rangatahi funding. The purpose of He Poutama Rangatahi is to increase long-term employment opportunities for Māori and Pacific rangatahi. Statistics NZ data indicates there are circa 28,000 Māori aged 15 to 24 years not in any education, training or employment (Pānui 37/2020 refers.) The total funding awarded is circa $4 million. The successful organisations are listed on the following page.
Organisation Location Programme Brief Funding Te Ara Rangatahi Charitable Trust Franklin, Waikato 12-month programme includes intensive pastoral care with a strong focus on building participants’ cultural identity and connections. The programme will support 60 rangatahi onto employment pathways in the trade industries, particularly scaffolding. $639,000 Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Trust Hastings/ Hawke’s Bay Extension of two years for Learners 2 Earners – Takatū Youth Mentoring Programme. A programme which supports 53 Hastings rangatahi into further education or employment. The programme also provides intensive support for 180 rangatahi, helping them gain driver licences with passenger, forklift, heavy trade, wheels, and tracks and rollers endorsements. $390,000 The Limery Napier/ Hawke’s Bay 20 rangatahi will receive on the job training in the citrus and horticultural sector. In addtion the programme will provide general employment skills and pastoral support. $200,000 Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust Tairāwhiti Two year extension of the ASET Poutama Rangatahi pre-employment training programme. The programme will assist 60 young people in Kaiti. $850,000 Nga Hau E Wha Maara Kai Charitable Trust Taumarunui Hands on employment readiness and entrepreneurial skills programme for 40 participants. The programme is a
tikanga-based education in maara kai (vegetable growing and community gardening) and Te Haemata (native nursery and commercial practices). Participants also receive pastoral care and practical learning in areas such as beekeeping, riparian planting, horticulture, sustainability practices and managing community projects.
$513,000 Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Horowhenua Tō Ake Ara Tātou will enable 48 young people in the Horowhenua region to discover their potential, build confidence and access the support and tools needed to succeed. Participants receive pastoral care and experience in volunteer work, cultural activities, environmental stewardship, caring for kaumātua or other whanau, and pre-employment training such as budgeting and drivers’ licensing. $765,000 Kāpiti Coast District Council Ōtaki/ Kāpati Coast Extension of Te Hunga Rangatahi, an existing in-school programme targeting 70 Ōtaki rangatahi who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), and who are most at risk of long-term unemployment. The council will sub-contract Work Ready Kāpiti to provide skills training and work experience, and Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki to provide pastoral support services. $995,000