Friday, June 24, 2016

Cabinet paper proposes Treaty of Waitangi breaches

Victoria University Maori academics note "a paper prepared for Cabinet proposing the introduction of a freshwater allocation work programme would breach the Treaty of Waitangi and ignores recent Waitangi Tribunal and Supreme Court decisions in relation to Māori rights to freshwater

The Cabinet paper, dated May, 2016, includes Terms of Reference for a freshwater allocation work programme that propose three “bottom lines”: 1) “nobody owns freshwater”, 2) “no national settlement favouring iwi/hapu over other uses” and 3) “Allocation determined catchment by catchment based on resource availability, efficiency of use, good industry practice and a positive contribution to regional economic development”.

All three of these bottom lines would lead to Treaty of Waitangi breaches say Dr Maria Bargh, a senior lecturer in Te Kawa a Māui – School of Māori Studies at Victoria University, and Dr Carwyn Jones, a senior lecturer in Victoria’s School of Law.

“First of all, water is ‘owned’ in Aotearoa,” says Dr Bargh. “It is owned by Māori according to tikanga Māori, although this ownership is ignored by the Crown at the same time that the Crown allows other groups, including international companies, to make an economic profit from trading water.

“Even under common law, the statement that ‘nobody owns water’ is a gross oversimplification.”

“The Waitangi Tribunal,” Dr Jones adds, “acknowledged Māori proprietary rights in water in 2012, and these need to be acknowledged by the Crown.”

The decision of the Supreme Court in the NZ Māori Council vs Attorney General case 2013 indicated that the Crown acknowledged “Māori have rights and interests in water and geothermal resources” [145] and that these were being identified and “that no disposition or creation of property rights in water will be undertaken by the Crown without first engaging with iwi” [144].

Drs Bargh and Jones say the proposals for the freshwater allocation work programme would undermine these Crown reassurances to the Supreme Court.

In addition they say the “bottom line” proposing a catchment by catchment assessment needs to also consider the hapū and iwi of those catchments, and the onus for proving “positive contribution to regional economic development” needs to be on industry and businesses and supported by robust environmental and scientific evidence.

The Government has appointed a technical advisory group with terms of reference derived from the Cabinet paper to advise on the impact of the proposed options."


For more information contact Dr Maria Bargh on 021-025 06003 or Dr Carwyn Jones on 021 665 287 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Maori political and business delegation off to South Korea and Japan...

Te Ururoa Flavell heads a delegation off to key trading partners South Korea and Japan.

“While Māori businesses already have trading links with these countries, this cultural and trade mission is focused on strengthening those ties and initiating new links that put relationships first, before getting down to business.”

These ventures always namecheck the 'Maori economy' and its $42 billion price tag. I've posted on this before. While not wishing to completely toss the idea of a Maori subsector in the wider NZ economy, it is an economic model 'brought forth' to serve political ends, like most economic models.

Anyway, they'll all have a ball and their businesses will probably make some more money. The business that are represented are:

Tourism: Kapiti Island Nature ToursNew Zealand Māori Tourism, Te Puia  (New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute).

Forestry: Māori Investments Limited and Te Tumu Paeroa, Opepe Farm Trust.

Food & beverage: HoneyLab (food, beverage and cosmetics), New Zealand Manuka Group. Te Awanui Huka Pak, Te Pā Family Vineyards Limited, Zespri International

Seafood: Okains Bay Seafood and Ngāi Tahu Seafood, Kahungunu Asset Holding Company Board.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What is more basic than home?

What is more basic than home? We start most days in our own homes, we look forward to getting back to our own beds when we’re away, the walls and roof protect our partners, our children, our family taonga. Within this space we’ve forged relationships with not just whānau but furniture, kitchen utensils, the contents of cupboards and fridges and - not least - pets and pot plants. Simply put, our homes encompass the most fundamental physical, financial and emotional investments of our lives. 

And we know Indigenous Peoples are rapidly urbanising, with Māori perhaps the most urbanised Indigenous society of all (around 85% of us are now city dwellers). Our urban communities are often away from tribal territories and subject to socio-economic conditions that may increase their vulnerability.


This urban environment was never especially welcoming and for some it is now positively hostile with too many whanau lacking a roof over their heads (unless you count a car roof as robust housing...).

Ōtautahi (Christchurch) saw many Maori living in damaged homes but many others opening their doors to earthquake refugees in an open and spontaneous cultural expression of support. What we learnt was the concept of ‘home’ was challenged as the necessary safety – including that of the land beneath – could not always be guaranteed. 

There are more than just 'natural hazards' operating in Aotearoa NZ Inc. of course.


The wider issue is that we have restructured our economy according to quite perverse interpretations of what motivates people, in their engagements with each other and with the wider environment.

The market will decide. Blah blah blah...


Well the market continues to be supported by communal approaches such as those practiced by Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. With marae now housing homeless citizens, we see again Maori cultural practices - manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga - continuing to hold this bloody bloodied country together...

I'll not make any comment on the Minister of Housing, a Maori woman who had benefitted from state welfare in the past but now seems one of the demonic apostates. Oh, I wasn't going to comment...read what others say:

Bomber Bradbury: Dear Paula...
Anthony Robbins: What now Paul?
Maiki Sherman: Paula Bennett grilled...






Maori labour in the dairy sector...


Our troubled dairy sector looking to promote careers to Maori...




It's a tough sector, as anyone following the current state of the economy would know.

Mismanagement in NZ's biggest dairy company doesn't help.

But its the potential role of dairy for Maori that is of interest. Tony Finch, Dairy NZ Development Management, accepts that dairying has a negative image for young people: "...and evidence collected in in interviews indicates this is especially true for young Maori."

Mr. Finch then argues "This [perception] is so far from the truth and needs to be changed."

Just a quarter of Maori last longer than four years in the dairy industry compared with 44 per cent of Europeans.

We vote with our feet.

A recent Maori dairy manager visited Lincoln University and spoke on the need for the sector to change its approach to work hours - traditionally long - and conditions. Senior figures who grew up with the old model (share milking until you could buy your own dairy farm, scrub cutting and shearing until you could buy your own sheep farm) have been slow to recognise this no longer applies.

At Lincoln we are training the next generation of Maori in a programme with Ngai Tahu called Whenua Kura.

It still remains to be seen what added value we can contribute to these rangatahi - Lincoln is the only University to not teach Te Reo Maori - and with sustainable farming as distant as it ever was, what can they add to the land...



Friday, June 10, 2016

Maori home-ownership plummets...

The proportion of Māori owning their homes has fallen by 20% between 1986 and the last census, 2013.

This is compared to a total decline of just over 15%.

Pasifika communities have seen home ownership decline by almost 35%.

The figure below graphs the changes since 1991:





















There are significant differences between regions, with Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Tauranga and South and West Auckland seeing the largest drops:


Home ownership is a part of the Kiwi dream, what use to go under the proverb of a The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova ParadiseYeah this has gone the way of the American dream and dinosaurs but it says something of this economy when Maori are increasingly excluded despite festishising the so-called Maori economy...

Full report and Spreadsheets by Statistics NZ available here

Simon Lambert

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