- Julia Steenson has been appointed to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions.
- On Tuesday, the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill was introduced and the first reading completed in Parliament. The Bill has now been referred to the Environment Committee, with submissions closing on Sunday 21 June, and the Committee is due to report back by 29 June. The purpose of this Bill is to support New Zealand’s economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. If passed into law it will allow for a fast track resource consenting processes for pre-designated infrastructure and development projects. (It will also enable work on specific existing infrastructure projects to occur without further resource consent.) We advise that six papakāinga projects and two large Māori led housing developments have been included on the fast track schedule. These projects are:
- The Unitec Residential Development – a large scale housing development in Auckland, led by the Ropū Marutūāhu, Ngāti Whātua and Waiohua-Tāmaki;
- Te Pā Tāhuna Residential Development – a large scale housing development in Queenstown, led by Ngāi Tahu;
- Papakāinga Development—Kaitaia;
- Papakāinga Development—Point Chevalier, Auckland;
- Papakāinga Development—Whaingaroa, Raglan;
- Papakāinga Development—Waitara, Taranaki;
- Papakāinga Development—Chatham Islands; and
- Papakāinga Development—Christchurch.
- Statistics New Zealand has released data tables on Māori based on the 2018 Census relating to Māori qualification obtainments. As there is no proper research report we are considering this data and will advise further next week.
- Last week the Office of the Children’s Commissioner published, ‘Te Kuku O Te Manawa’ – which is a report setting out concerns in how Oranga Tamariki manages child uplifts (for pēpi aged 0 to 3 months). We will review this report in next week’s edition, E21/2020.
- This week the Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson, announced that funding for the ‘Mana in Mahi’ programme will be increased to circa $30 million (up from $11 million 2019/20 Budget). Mana in Mahi is an apprenticeship programme targeting youth who have received a benefit for six months or longer. The programme seeks to promote apprenticeships, in lieu of these youth being in receipt of welfare. The new funding will be utilised to expand the initiative out to people of all ages, and to increase employer subsidies. (Via the programme employers receive wage subsidies, with the employer then being required to top-up that amount to at least the minimum wage.) There is also supplementary funding for the provision of pastoral care. The programme is not Māori specific, but given its focus a high Māori uptake is expected.
- Protect Pukeiāhua, a group led by members of Ngāti Tamainupō and Ngāruawāhia residents has been protesting for the protection of seven “rua” (Māori food pits) located on land which was a historic pā site; Puke-i-Aahua pā in Ngāruwāhia. The land is now owned by the Perry Group and flagged for housing development. Today Protect Pukeiāhua will present an online petition to the Waikato District Council seeking urgent Government and Waikato District Council intervention to buy the land from the developers: the petition received over 3,600 signatories.
[Note there is further background to this matter, including that it is possible Heritage New Zealand may not have notified Ngāti Tamainupō as early as required, and due to COVID-19 restrictions the hapū had delays seeking an appeal. The developer has, however, agreed to momentarily suspend the work.]
 Full title: Te Kuku O Te Manawa – Ka puta te riri, ka momori te ngākau, ka heke ngā roimata mo tōku pēpi – A review of what needs to change to enable pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months to remain in the care of their whānau in situations where Oranga Tamariki-Ministry for Children is notified of care and protection concerns.
 We note there is also an agency comment on this review report so are analysing both articles.