Parliamentary and Related Matters
- Last Tuesday the third reading of the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament, and passed into law on Monday after receiving Royal Assent. (The final vote was 65 in favour, with 33 against, National and Act being against this law change.) Our full review of this law is provided in Pānui edition 6/2020, but in general terms our assessment was:
- the lack of proper consultation with Māori was poor, showing an ongoing level of paternalism in regard to all thing’s whenua Māori;
- the change not to issue rating invoices to unused Māori land (or deceased owners) is good for local councils, and goodish for Māori. It means councils do not have to pay input tax and wait six years for a refund for monies they are never going to get, and for Māori it means there is no record of unpaid rates on lands that have no income attached (and therefore no means to pay rates);
- removing arbitrary rules on the maximum size of marae blocks, urupā, and culturally set aside lands is good, as is ensuring the 164 marae that happen to be on ‘general title’ can also become exempt from rates (like churches and sports clubs), and be treated like other marae built on Māori land;
- allowing multiple land blocks that function as a single entity (say as a single farm) to be rated as a one is helpful, as it reduces complex accounting for owners; and
- allowing dwellings on Māori land to be rated individually – rather than as a single collective is also good – it means a whānau building on their lands will not necessarily be responsible for the rating charges of any of their relations on the same block, thereby making it more attractive to build on pāpākainga lands.
Last week the first reading of the ‘Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill’ was completed in Parliament. The purpose of this Bill is to remove the ‘subsequent child’ policy from the Social Security Act 2018 and Social Security Regulations 2018.
By way of background, under the current law if someone has another child while they are already receiving a main benefit the work obligations do not adjust for that child, and instead remain based on the age of the other children. In effect it means some beneficiaries with one year old children must complete work obligations or have benefit sanctions. The current law is said to disproportionately impact Māori and women.
- On March 20, Ngāti Paoa and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement. The deed provides for a financial redress of $23.5 million, the return of 12 sites of cultural significance, and the return of cultural and relationship items.
- On March 24, the Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill gives effect to the Deed of Settlement between Ngāti Rangitihi and the Crown. The settlement includes a financial and commercial redress of circa $11 million.
- Last Tuesday the third reading of the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was completed in Parliament, and will now pass into law. Once enacted this law gives effect to the Deed of Settlement between Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown, and provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.
- On 30 March the Wellington High Court overruled a preliminary determination of the Waitangi Tribunal which favoured allowing Ngāti Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa to obtain a resumption order for lands not within their tribal rohe. Justice Cooke found the Tribunal, if it proceeded, would be in breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and was not following tīkanga Māori.
Appointments and Awards
- Last weekend Joe Williams was ceremonially knighted at an investiture ceremony at Manaia Marae, in the Coromandel. Justice Sir Williams is the first (and only) Māori to be appointed to the Supreme Court of New Zealand. (He has also previously been Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal.)
- The Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi, has announced a governance group to consider the feasibility of a new public media entity (merging state television and radio entities). Bailey Mackey (Ngāti Porou) has been appointed as one member of the expert group. Mr Mackey has experience in iwi radio, Māori television and independent Māori media production.
- Dr Curtis Walker has been re-elected as a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand.
- Associate Professor Khylee Quince, has been appointed Interim Dean of the School of Law, Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
Salient Māori News Items to 16 April 2021
- Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Minister of Emergency Management, is undertaking a leave of absence as she undergoes treatment for cervical cancer. Kia kaha wahine toa!
- The Government has announced funding of $850,000 over two years to support tamariki and rangatahi Māori in the South Island whose whānau are experiencing financial hardship, to participate in sporting activities. e. funding for shoes, sports teams registration fees, uniforms, etc. The funding (called Te Kīwai) will be jointly managed by Sport New Zealand / Ihi Aotearoa and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, with the commissioning agency being responsible for fund distribution to whānau.
- Last week the Māori Land Court heard an application from a group of beneficiaries of the Mana Ahuriri Trust concerning the operations of their (Treaty Settlement) Trust. The application is for an independent trustee to be appointed and for an investigation to be undertaken into financial transactions regarding some existing trustees. The allegations are that some trustees hold significant business contracts with which have drained the finances of the trust.
- This week the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) closed Takitimu Seafoods, which is owned by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated. This was due to the failure to renew operating licences on time; however the paperwork is now completed and Takitimu Seafoods is back in business.
- The ESR Māori Impact Team have published a resource in Te Reo Māori and English entitled He Wai Ora Mahere Mātai i Ngā Waikaukau – Is Our Water Safe for Swimming? The purpose of the resource is to raise awareness about testing the safety levels of water, for drinking or used for gathering kai, and bodies of water used for leisure activities. The resource also includes the protocol required for testing water for the faecal indicator E. coli.
- Last week the Electoral Commission referred matters concerning donations to the Māori Party to the Police. It is alleged the Party failed to declare donations or aggregated donations of over $30,000 made to the Party (which combined totalled over $300,000). The Māori Party president, Che Wilson, has acknowledged the referral and the likelihood the Party has breached electoral law.
- The Government has announced funding of $6 million over four years to retain and attract more Māori and Pasifika to midwifery. The initiative entitled Te Ara ō Hine, will fund a liaison person at each of the five midwifery provider institutes, provide pastoral care, academic support, and targeted recruitment to Māori and Pasifika communities. A discretionary hardship fund for students will also be available.
- Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated (Bay of Plenty) have just finished building three more affordable rental homes, plus three more social housing whare. These houses are specifically for sole parent tāne and their tamariki, and bring the total housing for the Incorporation up to 36.
- Pare Kore (Zero Waste) has been granted $3 million from the Ministry for the Environment. The funding will support the delivery of Whakapapa ki a Papatūānuku; which is a marae-based training programme that supports whānau, hapū and iwi to reduce waste.
- Tokomairiro Waiora has received a grant of $54,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries to support counselling services for rural Māori with addiction and mental health issues in South Otago. Tokomairiro Waiora is a Whānau Ora provider.
- On Thursday, the Ministry of Social Development released the Benefit Fact Sheets for the quarter ending 31 March 2021. There are no significant shifts for Māori – 31% of Māori adults receive one of the main benefits; and we will provide our full review in the next Pānui.
- Last week the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced the successful recipients for the Te Pūnaha Hihiko – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund. Sixteen projects will receive funding, as outlined below.
|Organisation name||Title||Other organisations involved||Funding
|Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited||Advancing equitable wellbeing in rural Aotearoa New Zealand using Te ao Maori in complex Water Management||Environment4Health, Te Kereru Associates, Ngāti Rangi, Te Whanau a Apanui||$249,000
|Kapenga M Trust||Kapenga Tuna Manaaki||National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited||$229,000|
|Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd||Weaving the strands: Mātauranga and palaeoecology at the Ōpihi Taniwha rock art site||Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust||$250,000|
|He Whenua Pungapunga – Exploring the sustainable use of Te Arawa’s natural pumice resources||Tauhara North No. 2 Trust and Zymbl Innovation||$250,000|
|Innovating kaitiaki for indigenous taonga – pupurangi snails
|Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Inc., Genomics Aotearoa, Genomics for Aotearoa New Zealand, Elshire Group Ltd.||$250,000
|Te Aho Tapu Hou – A New Sacred Thread: Taking Muka Fibre to High Value Textiles to Unlock Sustainable Harakeke-Based Māori Enterprise||Rangi Te Kanawa, Region Net Positive Ltd, AgResearch, Aotearoa Back Country Developments Ltd||$249,000|
|National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited||Kia whakamana te hapū hei penapena rawa to rātou moana – Empowering coastal hapū to manage their rohe moana||Ngāti Kere Tangata Kaitiaki representing Ngati Kere hapū for Te Taiapure o Porangahau||$250,000|
|Maaku anoo e hanga i tooku nei whare — Building our own house within a climate change environment||Te Taniwha o Waikato, Swampfrog Environmental & Tree Consultants Ltd||$250,000|
|Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust||Te Kawau Tiripou: Mātauranga Māori through GPS as a tool for Iwi and Hapū governance||Massey University||$250,000|
|Te Reo Irirangi o te Hiku o te Ika||Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere: Machine Learning to Support te reo Māori Pronunciation.||Dragonfly Data Science||$250,000|
|Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Limited||Kā Ara Tīpuna – Growing intergenerational capacity to meet mahika kai aspirations||University of Canterbury, Plant and Food Research Ltd, Keewai Ltd||$250,000|
|The Cawthron Institute Trust Board||Te Kete Raukotahi||Te Arawa Fisheries Group, Te Runanga o te Whānau||$250,000|
|The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited||Te Ao Turoa – Intergenerational Resource Sustainability||Te Aroha Witehira Whanau Trust, Kaingahoa Marae Trust, Te Rawhiti Marae Trust||$249,500|
|Innovations in koi processing for regional economic growth and environmental restoration||Te Riu o Waikato Ltd (TROWL), Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc., AM2 & Associates||$185,000|
|The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington||Matching Haapu Knowledge with Machine Learning during the Construction of the IT Artefact||Te Ruapekapeka Trust||$250,000|
|Whakatohea Māori Trust Board||Hei Arahi i te Ahurea Matihiko o Whakatōhea – Building Capacity for Digital Curation and Cultural Research||University of Waikato||$250,000|