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E32A Māori News week ending 13 September 2019

Parliamentary Matters

  • On Tuesday the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.

http://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-hinerangi/

  • On Thursday the first reading of Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana / Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill, was completed in Parliament. This Bill recognises and addresses the crimes against the Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana, and his community of Maungapōhatu. In 1916 Rua was arrested and charged with sedition, and although he was found not guilty, he was still imprisoned for over eighteen months for resisting arrest.  A statutory pardon is being considered.

Appointments and Awards

  • Antoine Coffin (Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Raukawa) has been appointed to the Resource Management Review Panel. The panel will advise Government on the Resource Management Act and matters concerning freshwater, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances.
  • Topia Rameka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) has been appointed as the inaugural Deputy Chief Executive – Māori for Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections.
  • Hayden Wano (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Awa) has been appointed to and named chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tuhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been appointed a member of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • On Wednesday the Prime Ministers’ Education Excellence Awards were held in Wellington. Award winners included Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, 2019 Focus Prize.

General News Items

  • This week Snap Reo, an online micro Te Reo learning programme, was launched. Snap Reo is funded by Te Māngai Pāho.
  • This week the Financial Markets Authority and Institute of Directors published ‘Ngā Mea Waiwai o te Tūranga Whakataka’ a Te Reo version of ‘The Essentials of Being a Director’. The resource is a guidebook for directors, and Traci Haupapa, Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA), notes it shows an increased commitment to diversity and inclusivity from the Authority. https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Guidance/IoD-FMA-Director-Essentials-in-Maori.pdf
  • On Tuesday the Government conjointly released ‘Every Life Matters, Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019 – 2029’ and an ‘Action Plan 2019 – 2024’. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister for Health, Dr David Clark, also announced that a designated Suicide Prevention Office will be established along with the establishment of a Māori Advisory group and Lived Experience group. This is a significant announcement as the Māori suicide rate is 28.2 per 100,000 tangata compared to the New Zealand overall rate of 13.9 per 100,000 people.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern and Minister Clark also released the draft terms of reference for the Initial 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.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern also announced that the National School Curriculum is to be updated to make explicit the expectation of content taught within the New Zealand’s history curriculum. The changes will take effect for all schools and kura, years 1 – 10, in early 2022. Currently the National Curriculum enables schools and kura to decide how New Zealand history is covered. It is expected that the new curriculum will cover the following topics:
    • arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand;
    • first encounters and early colonial history;
    • Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and its history;
    • colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars;
    • evolving national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
    • Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Pacific; and
    • Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 20th century and evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality.
  • This week Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust opened a show home for the trust’s Te Puna Wai Papakāinga Housing Project, in Wainuiomata. Te Puna Wai is a mixed tenure housing development that will be completed over two stages.  The trust has received from Te Puni Kōkiri a $2.6 million investment grant to support infrastructure costs for 23 housing sites, and the construction of 11 kaumātua rental homes. The trust plans to build 80 dwellings in total.
  • This week the Ministry for the Environment commenced a series of public consultation and feedback hui on freshwater issues, productive land, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances management. Consultation for the various issues closes late September to mid-October 2019. Dates and locations for upcoming Māori specific hui are listed in the table below.
Date Location Time Venue
16 September Blenheim 10:30am – 1:30pm Scenic Hotel
17 September Tauranga 9.00am – 12.00pm Hotel Armitage
18 September Greymouth 12.00pm – 3.00pm Ashley Hotel
18 September Whakatāne 9.00am – 12.00pm Manukatutahi Marae
19 September Rotorua 12:00pm – 3:00pm Te Ao Marama
23 September Gisborne 11:30am – 2:30pm Emerald Hotel
24 September Wairoa 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
24 September Hamilton 11.00am – 2.00pm Hamilton Gardens Pavillion
25 September Napier 1.00pm – 4.00pm East Pier Hotel
25 September Auckland 12:30pm – 3:30pm Potters Park Events Centre
26 September Whangarei 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
27 September Kaitaia 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed

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.