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Tags: WAI 2870 The Māori Prisoners’ Voting Rights Inquiry

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)