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- The Ministry of Health published More Than Just A Jab: Evaluation Of The Māori Influenza Vaccination Programme As Part Of The COVID-19 Māori Health Response. This report presents the evaluation findings from the 2020 Māori Influenza Vaccination Programme (MIVP). The MIVP was an initiative set up as a direct response to COVID -19, the aim was to increase equity by increasing access to the influenza (flu) vaccine for vulnerable Māori groups who were eligible for free vaccinations i.e., kaumātua aged 65+ years, hapū māmā and Māori with pre-existing health conditions.
Key findings included within the report:
- Influenza vaccination rates for Māori 65+ increased from 45.8% in 2019 to 59% in 2020.
- Disparities in vaccinations rates were identified when comparing rates across different DHB regions.
- Last month, a Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed between Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi and Oranga Tamariki. The aim of the agreement is to keep tamariki with whānau, reduce the amount of tamariki in Oranga tamariki care and to create a shift in Oranga Tamariki practice so it better aligns with Ngāti Kahungunu values.
- This week the Far North District Council voted 7 – 3 in favour of establishing Māori council wards. The Māori wards will be established by the 2022 local government elections.
- Antoine Coffin has been appointed to the Ministerial Review Panel into the Future for Local Government.
- This week the Police referred matters concerning donations to the Māori Party to the Serious Fraud Office. It is alleged the Party failed to declare donations or aggregated donations of over $30,000, which combined totalled over $300,000. The Party has already acknowledged its error.
- This week the Department of Corrections published (online only) data about people imprisoned as of 31 March 2021. It shows 52.7% of those people are Māori, i.e. 4,561 Māori in prison. We advise that no textual or further explanation was provided. https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/prison_stats_march_2021b
- George Reedy has been appointed as the incoming Chief Executive Officer for Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.
- The Controller and Auditor-General, John Ryan, has released his findings regarding the Government’s purchase of land at Te Puke Tāpapatanga a Hape (i.e. Ihumātao). He was asked to investigate matters by both ACT Party leader, David Seymour, and National Party MP, Nicola Willis. Mr Ryan finds that the purchase occurred without proper authority in place, and that therefore the payment made is unlawful – until validated by Parliament. He notes the upcoming processes that will now occur to address the concern. In our assessment, not at great look for the Government – and they will need to explain themselves in Parliament – but given they control the majority of the House it is also a relatively easy matter to fix and ensure the budgeting/appropriation statement is clear.
- On Tuesday Statistics New Zealand published revised life expectancy data tables. Based on the period 2017 to 2019, the median Māori life expectancy at birth is now estimated at 73.4 years for Māori males, and 77.1 years for Māori females. This is an increase in estimated Māori male life expectancy by five months, and an increase for Māori females by one month, above previous 2015 data. We advise there is still a significant disparity with non-Māori life expectancy estimates. For non-Māori males, life expectancy is now 80.9 years, and for non-Māori females it is 84.4 years. (I.e. a seven year disparity remains between Māori and non-Māori for both genders.)
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|
- One media outlet has run a story which appears to indicate that two Government agencies – the transport agency Waka Kotahi and Heritage New Zealand allegedly colluded to ensure a Taranaki hapū grouping, Poutama, was purposely not properly consulted with on a roading project which affected them. If proved to be true this would suggest legal breaches, and agency conflicts of interest, may exist. Again, we consider this is the type of matter that a strong Te Puni Kōkiri should immediately be alert to and ready to proactively review and, if necessary, remedy.
- The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Carmel Sepuloni has announced four entities are to receive funding, collectively totalling $5.5 million, for increased Māori Trades and Training initiatives. The recipients are Manaia SAFE Forestry School and the ICONIQ Group in Tairāwhiti-East Coast, North Drill Ltd in Northland-Tai Tokerau and Minginui Nursery in the Bay of Plenty.
- Te Puni Kōkiri is investing circa $1 million in Papakāinga developments on Wharekauri (the Chatham Island) to create 5 new homes. (Sounds great, but again, is this core business, or something Whānau Ora was originally scoped out to do?)
- Sir Kim Workman has been appointed Chair of an Independent External Reference Group to support research into how the Police can ensure its services are fair and equitable.
- Earlier this month the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) published the Social Housing Register data sheets for the quarter ending 31 December 2020. The data shows that 11,171 Māori (and their whānau) are in need of a house and qualify for assistance. This is 49% of all those registered, meaning Māori housing needs continue to be dispproportionately higher than others. Housing Register – Ministry of Social Development (msd.govt.nz)
- Surf Lifesaving New Zealand published a report entitled National Beach & Coastal Safety Report 10-Year Overview 2010-2020 & 1-Year Overview 2019-20. The report showed that during the period 2010 to 2020, Pacific Peoples and Māori had the highest fatal drowning rates of 1.31, and 1.13 per 100,000 respectively, compared to the national rate of 0.85 per 100,000 .slsnz-beach-coastal-safety-report-2020_single-pages-for-digital-use.pdf (surflifesaving.org.nz)
- Racism appears as a feature in the news this week. Setting aside major headlines around the Royal Family, there is also a minor article about a urologist at the national conference saying, in a panel presentation, that because ‘many Māori men are in prison’ there should not be a problem with reluctance to digital rectal examinations by Māori males to screen for prostate cancer, “as there is so much rectal probing, so ‘they’ could do their own examinations”. So, not just an example of overt racism and homophobia, but another example of direct prejudice within health service delivery. The unnamed urologist has now apologised.
- Associate Health Minister, Peeni Henare, has announced that $39 million is being put towards a targeted Māori COVID-19 vaccination strategy, including circa $25 million for Māori health providers to deliver services. The vaccine framework would provide for 40,000 courses of the vaccine to be given to Māori and Pacific older people – and the family members they live with (noting that many older people live with whānau rather than in retirement villages). Minister Henare’s view is “this whānau-centred approach means that an entire whānau can be vaccinated all together and will help to keep our people safe.” This service is said to be scheduled within the second stage of the vaccination rollout.
- (As noted above) in December the Ministry of Health reissued its COVID resilience plan, called Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa – Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Plan (Refer Pānui 11/2020 refers). Despite the name the work does not have a significant Māori focus, rather it’s mostly just a list of actions within existing work programmes in central agencies which are centred on wellbeing. So useful for a person, like a Cabinet Minister perhaps, who wants to get a handle of what programmes exist where. In regards to Māori content, page 8 is the main reference, which states that upholding Te Tiriti is a core service principle. Then there is reference to the Ministry’s new Te Tiriti framework (Pānui 29/2020 refers), and a reiteration of how Te Tiriti principles can be demonstrated during the COVID crisis via (i) better support for Māori organisations responding to COVID, (ii) enabling Māori to utilise mātauranga Māori approaches, (iii) adopting holistic welling approaches, and (iv) monitoring services to ensure good outcomes for Māori communities. All up a light touch report which could mean a whole lot or next to nothing in terms of improving Māori mental health outcomes.
- Te Aho o Te Kahu / the Cancer Control Agency has released its first report on ‘the State of Cancer in New Zealand’. In regards to Māori its findings are similar to the Ministry of Health. Namely that “the most commonly diagnosed cancers among Māori are breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers.” They also find that “the cancers that disproportionately affect Māori tend both to be highly preventable and to have poor prognoses”. Cancers are said to reflect disproportionately high rates of tobacco exposure, chronic infections, factors associated with obesity, alcohol use and occupational exposures. Linkages to socio-economic deprivation (poor nutrition, overcrowding, etc) are also made to provide a wider context than a simple focus on individual risk factors.
- The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee has published their 14th annual review report. They found babies of Māori, Pacific and Indian mothers aged less than 20 years were still more likely than babies of NZ European mothers to die in pregnancy, or within the first 28 days. Overall, for the ten-year period to 2018, they found 31% of premature baby deaths were Māori. The recommend Health Boards work more closely with women in communities to reduce mortality rates.
- Last month the Ministry of Education released its annual report for the year ending 30 June 2020 on the Student Loan scheme. Regarding Māori the report identified, in 2019 Māori were 22% (73,000) of all Tertiary education learners, and 17.6% of all active borrowers for the same period. Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2020 | Education Counts
- This week the Department of Corrections published (online only) data about people imprisoned as at 31 December 2020. It shows 52% of those people are Māori; i.e. 4,451 Māori in prison. We advise that no textual or further explanation was provided. https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/prison_stats_december_2020
- Traci Houpapa has been appointed to the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge board.
- Leanne Te Karu has been appointed to the PHARMACIndependent Review Committee.
- Last week the Minister of Conservation, Kiritapu Allan announced a new collaborative agreement between iwi groups in Northland (Te Roroa, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Wai, and Ngāti Kurī) and the Crown to counter against Kauri dieback. The project will receive $3.5 million for up to 30 jobs to address the spread of the disease and better protect Kauri forests in the North.
- The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni, has announced a new $5.7 million contestable fund to support Māori with projects that safeguard their mātauranga and taonga on marae, from the ongoing threat of COVID-19. She states,
“The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund offers support for a range of marae-based projects. This includes the development of conservation plans for whare and wharenui arts, the establishment of harvest areas for cultural materials such as pā harakeke and tōtara, and the preservation of taonga such as waka tīwai, korowai and photographs. Funding is also available to assist with the creation of archives, small whare taonga or publications as a way to both preserve and provide access to mātauranga and taonga on marae.”
- Minister Sepuloni, in her role as Minister for Social Development, also announced $2,65 million in funding for three further initiatives under the He Poutama Rangatahi schedule (an initiative to support youth into education or employment). The programmes receiving funding are:
- Bros For Change Charitable Trust; $1.55 million to support 60 rangatahi over three years;
- Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira; $800,000 to support 60 rangatahi over two years; and
- Talent Rise Foundation (NZ); $300,000 to support 45 young people over two years.
- Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei held a protest march this week against the Crown’s approach of offering redress to other iwi from areas in which they consider they have exclusive tangata whenua rights. The High Court hearing on the matter commences this week. (Pānui 19/2015 refers.)
- Earlier in the week Māori Party Member of Parliament, Rawiri Waititi, was order to leave Parliament’s debating chamber after refusing to wear a necktie – but following that the rules got changed, to better accommodate a broader range of culturally appropriate attire.
- On Tuesday The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill was read a first time and referred to the Māori Affairs Committee, to be reported by 15 February 2021. Pānui 2/2021 refers.