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Tags: Waikato-Tainui

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.

Treaty Settlement Updates 26 January 2018 (Edition 2/2018)

Taranaki Maunga To Have Legal Personality
In late December the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, announced that a Record of Understanding over collective cultural redress for Taranaki Maunga had been reached between the Crown and the eight iwi with direct affiliations and guardianship responsibilities to the Mountain. Taranaki will be recognised in law as a legal personality in his own right; with joint responsibility for guardianship shared between the iwi and the Crown.  This model parallels that used in relation to the Whanganui River and Te Urewera.   It will involve repealing the Mount Egmont Vesting Act, establishing legal personality and the creation of a joint Crown-Iwi governance entity for the area within the National Park.  Funding to administer the governance arrangement has not been announced.   The record of understanding is available here: www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/taranaki-maunga/

Ngāti Maru – Agreement in Principle Reached
Ngāti Maru have signed an Agreement in Principle to settle their historic Treaty of Waitangi claims with the Crown (this is the last of the eight Taranaki iwi to reach this stage in the settlement process, and allows for the agreement above to proceed.) The agreement provides for commercial / financial redress of $30 million, the details are which are still to be finalised. www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-maru-taranaki/

Tūwharetoa Treaty Settlement – First Reading
On 20 December the first Parliamentary reading of the Tūwharetoa Treaty Settlement Bill occurred. The settlement includes $25 million of commercial redress, and $4 million of cultural redress, including the transfer of 32 sites of significance to the iwi (along with an historic account and Crown apology). A unique feature of this settlement is that there will also be the establishment of the Tongariro Trout Hatchery and Freshwater Ecology Centre Trust, which will be co-managed by Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the Minister of Conservation and the Tongariro National Trout Centre Society.[1] www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-tuwharetoa/

Te Iwi and Hapū o Wairoa – Second Reading
On 20 December the second Parliamentary reading of the The Iwi and Hapū of Te Rohe Wairoa Claims Settlement Bill occurred. This settlement for a cluster of hapū/iwi, under the collective banner of Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa, totals circa $100 million in commercial and financial redress.

Waikato Tainui and Ngai Tahu relativity clauses further enacted
The Government has confirmed that the latest round of Treaty settlements enacted the relativity clauses within the Waikato Tainui settlement (which must be 17% of all settlements), and the Ngāi Tahu settlement (which must be 16.1% of all settlements). In effect this means, as the total treaty settlements now push pass the $2 billion marker, Waikato / Tainui gained a further $190 million top-up, and Ngāi Tahu gained a further $180 million since settling.  These amounts, being more than the original settlements for both iwi, have gained some negative attention in the mainstream media – but they were actually no surprise, as relativity actually means keeping settlements relative between iwi.  We will comment further on this matter in an extended edition of Treaty settlements scheduled for June.

[1] This settlement is separate to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust settlement which Tūwharetoa is a part of.  It is also separate to arrangements concerning the bed of Lake Taupō.