of The Maori Alliance
P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand
Issue No.06/88 6 June 1988
mana, e nga reo, e nga hau e wha
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
As many readers have no doubt predicted, Te Putatara has now become the newsletter of The Maori Alliance.
I must protest though, to those of you who nod wisely and claim that it was all part of the strategy from the very beginning, that it was not so.
Since the publication of Issue 01/88 on 26 January 1988 a lot has happened. It provoked an immediate and hostile response from the Secretary of Maori Affairs, and a great deal of support from most of the Maori community. In a small way it contributed to the formation of the Alliance. The great public Maori-bash has been the main influence.
These are exciting times despite the much proclaimed deterioration of race relations in Aotearoa. We stand at the threshold of a new era. We have within our grasp that which we have fought for ever since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, tino rangatiratanga. But I passionately believe that to achieve it we must unite as one.
The Maori Alliance is dedicated to kotahitanga. From its inception the Alliance has been based on the principle of uniting the kaha of Maoridom, and preserving the mana of the iwi.
The Alliance is an organisation which is being established to serve Maoridom. It is not an organisation which seeks to subordinate its members to a national body. The Alliance seeks to support all Maori people, and their organisations.
Membership is open to all Maori people, and all Maori organisations. At the moment a brochure is being designed and it is hoped that a membership drive will be underway by the end of June.
The aim of Te Putatara is to bring news and information to the people, and by doing so to help empower the people. Te Putatara is committed to the sharing of information and power.
The views contained in Te Putatara are not necessarily those of the Executive or members of the Alliance. As Editor I take sole responsibility for the content of the newsletter, and for the views therein.
DEVOLUTION - TO BE OR NOT TO BE
It has just been announced that the Minister of Maori Affairs has extended the time limit for submissions on He Tirohanga Rangapu to 13 July. Cabinet and the SSC must need the extra time to prepare the next bombshell.
The Hon Mr. Wetere is to go off on another series of hui around the motu, including the Chatham Islands. It certainly looks as though Mr Palmer wants him out of the way while the real Maori Affairs minister(s) get on with the work. The kumara vine reports that a small group of Cabinet ministers, chaired by the Great Reformer Mr Palmer, has been meeting almost every day that Mr Wetere has been out of town, to keep the momentum of the new Maori affairs policy going.
Another branch of the kumara vine reports that the State Services Commission is already forming an establishment unit within the SSC to set up the new Ministry of Maori Policy. No-one seems to be waiting for the results of the Ministers round of "consultations."
Who will head the new ministry? The names of Rauru Kirikiri and Whaimutu Dewes have been on the vine. My sources say Dr Reedy has been pushing for Whai. In his speech at Rongopai Marae Don Hunn seemed to be indicating that Tamati would not be heading the new Ministry. The SSC has got at least one thing right, about a year late! Still I suppose Tamati will continue to oversee the downfall of the Department until the bitter and inglorious end.
Andy Evans (the author of the leaked SSC report on the Department of Maori Affairs management) had a few things to say on radio on 28 May. The most significant was his reference to "two or three pilots" for the development of iwi-based authorities. He said that the authorities chosen as pilots would be self evident! Perhaps they have been chosen and notified already. He also said that he would like to continue to be associated with the new policy. Sounds as though he has a job in the Establishment Unit.
Yet another one off the kumara vine says that the accountancy firm of Price Waterhouse has been out trying to recruit Maori staff to put together a team to get an SSC condoned contract to "help" iwi authorities get established in accordance with the new, yet to be published rules. Bernie Harris (Te Arawa) is a senior management consultant with Price Waterhouse.
Like all other accountancy firms turned management consultants they charge like wounded bulls. Personally I maintain that if you want a management consultant, hire a management consultant; if you want an accountant hire an accountancy firm.
While on the subject of high priced accountancy firms turned management consultants, I have estimated on the basis of their usual rates, that Deloitte Haskins & Sells would be costing MANA Enterprises between $14,000 and $15,000 per week! Good Maori money being mainstreamed.
Also heard a whisper that Treasury has put a halt to funding for MANA Enterprises. I have not been able to find out the reasons for this reported move.
MAORI DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
The Maori Alliance has commissioned a paper on government reform and its impact on Maori development. Its author, Pat Hanley of Te Whanau o Waipareira, has done an excellent job particularly as he was given only one week to do it.
Pat states in his introduction:
"The scope and rapid pace of the Governments reform agenda is itself an obstacle to effective participation by Maori and offends against the very basis of the Partnership. This paper therefore merely attempts to stimulate discussion and action by Maoridom to protect itself by whatever means possible against the worst consequences of Government reform."
The paper discusses the general direction of government reform across the complete spectrum of public administration, and points out that the reform of Maori Affairs is just one part of a complete strategy covering control (policy) ministries, service delivery (decentralised or devolved), and commercial activities (sold off or corporatised).
"The objective is to reduce the size of government and hence reduce public expenditure. The effect is to increase central control while reducing government responsibility for the delivery of public services."
Pat then briefly analyses the main recommendations and effects of the Royal Commission on Social Policy, the Gibbs Report on the health services, the Picot Report on education, the programme to reform local and regional government, and the programme to reform resource management law.
He then puts the green book, He Tirohanga Rangapu in perspective by showing how it is just one part of the complete reform programme being forced through by the Government.
- "Thus the establishment of a Ministry of Maori Policy and the demise of the present Department of Maori Affairs is consistent with the governments long standing intentions and its approach to restructuring of other government departments."
"The decentralisation or devolution of administration which was also intended from the outset has however run into difficulty largely for political reasons....."
"The government is therefore reluctant to proceed with further devolution but still wishes to stick to its formula involving the demise of a Department of Maori Affairs and the establishment of a small policy ministry. Therefore it proposes to transfer the programmes and resources of the Department to other government departments which are themselves the subject of current or future devolution and decentralisation."
The paper concludes that the pace of reform severely disadvantages us. So much is being done so quickly that Maoridom does not have the time, resources and clout to participate in the reform process to ensure equity.
Pat Hanley says the most important reform affecting Maoridom is that to do with resource control law, and it should be our first priority for monitoring.
[Paper available from the Alliance].
THE DAES REPORT
Report on Visit to New Zealand by Professor Erica-Irene A.Daes Chairman-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations
Politicians including Winston Peters have as usual claimed that the visiting overseas expert does not know enough about New Zealand to comment on our situation. And so it was with the report of Prof Daes who was brought to New Zealand by Alec Kaihau and Nganeko Minhinnick of Ngati Te Ata to look at the situation of the Maori.
The strategy is an old one. If you dont like the message, shoot the messenger.
New Zealand has for a long time considered herself to be unique in the world in the field of race relations. The New Zealander has built a cocoon of naivety around himself and shut off the reality of the world. This happened in trade, economics, politics, and culture. It happened in race relations.
The barriers are now being forcibly broken down. The first to go was the notion of a British New Zealand, broken by the intrusion of the Age of America via radio, film and television, and more abruptly by Britains entry into the European Common Market. In recent years the economic and trade cocoon has been burst by the inevitable absorption of the national economy into the global economy, and by the Labour Governments determination to give the process a huge helping hand.
The race relations myth still persists.
New Zealand is not unique. Indigenous peoples the world over face the same problems as Maoridom, albeit to a greater degree.
Professor Daes has the experience of studying a great many countries and no doubt can now sum up the situation in any particular country quickly and accurately. She also has a sound knowledge of international law, and United Nations convention. I would say that she is eminently well qualified to comment on the New Zealand situation.
And I always respect the observations of the outsider. Outsiders dont have as many vested interests.
In relation to International Covenants and Conventions she says that:
"It is clear that the Government of this highly developed and wealthy country, if it has the political willingness for a somewhat more even distribution of the resources, can fulfill her international obligations to the utmost."
On the Treaty she says:
"It is my firm opinion, with reference to general notions of justice and to the jurisprudence of other countries and in the absence of Treaty provisions to the contrary, that the Maori text should prevail; any other approach would contradict international law and human rights protection of the less privileged."
"It should never be an excuse for curtailing the powers of self-governments that these may be prone to make mistakes; all individuals and governments make errors [even Treasury and the SSC - Ed.] and learn from the experience; without the experience they cannot be expected to learn the lesson."
[Report available from The Coordinator, Maori Alliance, P.O.Box 408, Wellington].
THE DEPARTMENT OF MAORI AFFAIRS
Head Office is a sorry looking place these days, as people start looking for new jobs, some of them because the Secretary is still up to his old tricks of bowling anyone who dares to disagree with him, or offer advice that he doesn't like.
Dr Reedy is a classic example of a would-be leader who shoots the messenger when he doesn't like the message. Real leaders take personal responsibility for the actions and activities of their organisations. Reedy seems to blame everyone else.
I have just spent an instructive couple of days reviewing the evidence and report of the SSC Enquiry into his "Overseas Borrowing Initiative". It comes through with perfect clarity that Reedy didnt know what he was doing when he led his Minister into the political wilderness and almost destroyed him. He knew what he was doing when he saved his own skin though.
Two or three branches of the kumara vine report that the usually loyal Wilson Bailey (Dep Sec Corporate Affairs) has been wandering around bewailing the fact that he has to work for an incompetent Secretary who won't authorise any of the important things that need to be done, except for the production of a now out of date Corporate Plan, with a glossy photo of Himself on the front cover.
Reedy is determined to go down in history! He doesn't seem to realise that he wrote his chapter in December 1986.
The vine reports that the Hit-Team of Wilson Bailey and Rebecca Boyack is moving on to the Tourism & Publicity Department soon. What have T&P done to warrant a hit-team?
Graham Weir (Assistant to Dep Sec Housing & Employment) is apparently in the gun for telling a group of prominent Maori exactly what he thought of his Minister and his Secretary. The kumara vine says that he was most uncomplimentary, and that Reedy has demanded his "transfer". Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.
I reckon Neville Baker had better keep his guard up. And Eru Manuera too.
Young James Nihoniho is getting a real hard time because he's got the guts to stand up and say what he thinks. Kia kaha James - the people will remember you. Its a pity some of your superiors aren't more like you.
A lot of people around the motu have picked up the saying that if the ship is on the wrong course you don't sink the ship, you sack the captain. Captain Reedy has turned the tables. He's off on his own course and he's forcing the crew to walk the gangplank.
If I were in the crew I would do a Captain Bligh on him and set him adrift in the lifeboat, and to hell with the consequences.
TE KOMIHANA MO TE REO MAORI
The Minister has been approached to agree to the Maori Language Commission moving to Auckland or Hamilton. The kumara vine reckons he has agreed.
Their work is of national importance and they have a long way to go. The people they have to work on are the decision makers in Wellington. By moving out of Wellington they will immediately downgrade their mission.
NEWS FROM THE MAORI ALLIANCE
The Maori Alliance Steering Committee has bowed to pressure from all around Aotearoa and has agreed to enroll individuals and groups as members. The classes of membership are now:
Welfare League Branches
Other similar groups Corporations...................$1000
Maori Trust Boards
Other Maori Authorities
There is still some debate about Associate (non-voting) membership for non-Maori people and organisations, and the recommendation will be that Associate Membership be granted, but that fees be 50% higher than Full Membership.
The Secretariat is now preparing a membership brochure which will be widely distributed. It is hoped that individual and group membership will help fill the coffers to enable the Alliance to get off to a flying start, and to establish a firm financial base.
One of the guiding principles of the Alliance is to remain as independent of Government as possible. The Alliance is committed to mana Maori motuhake.
The above membership fee will apply for the year 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1989.
Ki te whai te mana Maori motuhake i runga i te kotahitanga me te rangatiratanga i roto i te Tiriti o Waitangi.
[To pursue Maori self-determination, unity, and rangatiratanga consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi].
The objectives cover a range of activities starting with the installation of the Treaty in the statutes of Aotearoa. They cover the need for kotahitanga, and the empowerment of the iwi, the promotion of Maori development, research and recommendation of policies, lobbying and advocacy.
The major activity at the moment is the provision of information to members on a range of issues facing Maoridom. This will be extended to the publication of papers and essays from time to time. It is hoped that the Alliance will be able to commission research on such things as government policies and their effect on Maoridom.
It is important to note that members are not required or even expected to agree with the information and views published. The service is to be provided to stimulate informed debate, and to prompt members to participate in the process of government.
Eventually the Alliance hopes to set up a nationwide system of rapid electronic communications to enable the network of members to react swiftly to events as they occur, and also to promote communication and unity within Maoridom. This newsletter has always urged readers to get access to facsimile communications.
Maori organisations suffer from underfunding. It is hoped to overcome this by establishing a wide membership base. However the interim office holders have been investigating ways and means of building a firm financial base, and the acquisition of offshore funds is a possibility.
The establishment of a commercial arm to the Alliance would be beneficial but these are matters to be decided by the membership.
A large number of people (including the media) have asked if the Alliance is now or will become a political party. The answer is that it is not, and that it does not support any political party at the moment.
The whole matter of political allegiance (or non-allegiance) is one that will have to be decided by the membership. The steering committee is aware that most of Maoridom is disillusioned with both major parties, and that there is considerable pressure to find an acceptable alternative. We leave that to members.
Women and Youth:
The Steering Committee is proposing that each member organisation or individual commits to fully involving Maori women and Rangatahi in the decision making processes of the Alliance, and to ensuring that Maori women and Maori youth have an equal opportunity with men to become office holders of the Alliance.
This does not require members to dispense with established marae kawa.
Those readers who wish to join the Maori Alliance should fill out the interim membership form enclosed and forward it with a cheque to The Coordinator, Maori Alliance, P.O.Box 408, Wellington. Your early membership will give the Alliance the flying start needed.
MINISTRY OF WOMENS AFFAIRS
Mary O'Regan has now been farewelled as the first Secretary of Womens Affairs. She not only did a first class job in her main portfolio but was also a determined supporter of Maoridom. On many occasions she threw her not inconsiderable influence behind Maori policy proposals. I hasten to add that she had nothing to do with the present proposals.
She will be missed.
However now is the time for the State Services Commission and Cabinet to put their new policy of Maori participation in decision making firmly into place by appointing a Maori woman as the new Chief Executive. I believe one or two have applied and we should all support them.
RIA EARP MOVES ON
Ms Ria Earp has been appointed Director of the Establishment Unit for the new Ministry of Youth Affairs. Her job is to establish the Ministry within the next year. She reports to the Minister of Youth Affairs, the fast-fading youth, Phil Goff.
FROM THE DUNGEON BAR
The Dungeon Bar next door to Head Office Maori Affairs has been renovated. The renovations started a few months ago - I reckon they must have known in advance that the Department was to be demolished so they decided to get ready for the new clientele.
The quality of rumour hasn't improved in line with the decor, but there are still some good lines to be picked up. The regulars are getting a bit cagey about being seen with yours truly though. These days just being seen with me is enough to get staff into trouble.
Judging by the interest shown in the Maori Alliance last Friday evening I should think that the Dungeon will become its first branch headquarters!
I wouldn't mind betting that the good Dr R. issues an order banning his staff from joining the Alliance. Just as well the Dungeon is underground - an ideal place for underground members, and moles.
Those members of the Department of Maori Affairs who have trouble with the Reedy interpretation of loyalty, and freedom of speech, should be aware of Article 19 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 16 December 1966, and ratified by New Zealand in 1978.
Article 19 states:
"1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, or in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For the respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals."
Article 22 of the Covenant confers the right to freedom of association.
Did you know that there are 828 local authorities under review at the moment. There are 217 territorial authorities, 136 community councils, 22 regional authorities, and 453 special purpose authorities.
He Tirohanga Rangapu states, "However there must be some limitations to prevent an undue proliferation of iwi organisations - as looks like happening at present."
Between 40 and 50 iwi is an undue proliferation is it? It took us over a thousand years to "unduly proliferate", and it took only 148 years for tauiwi to get to an insignificant 828 local bodies!
WHO GETS THE NEWSLETTER?
Several weeks ago it was reported from one of the provincial kumara vines that a senior official of the Department of Maori Affairs was trying to discover just that. Apparently the District offices were quizzed by telephone. Ask me chaps!