Posts Tagged “Treaty of Waitangi”
There are still significant and entrenched racial inequalities in New Zealand, according to the Human Rights Commission.
In its annual review of race relations released today, the commission says while solid progress has been made in race relations over the last five years, key barriers continue to hamper community relations.
The report found that despite relatively healthy race relations, three barriers continue to undermine positive race relations.
There is a continuing degree of racial prejudice, significant and entrenched racial inequalities and exclusion of minorities from full participation in all aspects of society, the report found.
Human Rights Commissioner Joris de Bres told TV ONE’s Breakfast this exclusion is particularly felt by Asian New Zealanders in trying to get jobs at their level of qualification.
De Bres said there is no simple way of tackling exclusion, prejudice and inequalities.
“You can’t just say to people ‘change your mind’.
“It’s a slow process of working with organisations – whether they are government or business or schools or community, sports organisations – looking at valuing diversity.”
The Commission recommends 10 priorities for 2012 to address the issues it found.
Top of the commission’s list is improving the safety and wellbeing of children, focusing on their rights. This would include the Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the wellbeing of Maori children, and the Government responses to the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children and the Early Childhood Education report.
Another priority is actively focusing on inclusion in all aspects of New Zealand life to break down discrimination against Asian New Zealanders and other minority ethnic groups.
The commission also recommends reducing social and economic inequalities by addressing entrenched inequalities across different sectors.
It also wants to see protection of beneficiaries and their families by ensuring that reforms aimed at reducing welfare dependency do not adversely affect the welfare of them and their families.
The commission also wants central and local government to communicate with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the Christchurch earthquake recovery, and in the event of future civil emergencies elsewhere.
It also recommends public discussion of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements including the Treaty of Waitangi during the constitutional review.
It wants to see approval and a start on implementing the refugee resettlement, implementing the Pacific Languages Framework and determining the future strategy for te reo Maori.
The commission also recommends improving representation of diverse communities in the media, recognising the changing demographics of the New Zealand audience.
It also recommends engaging with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in their review of New Zealand’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
De Bres says school enrollment data for 2011 indicates that no single ethnic group is likely to constitute a majority of the population in the future.
The data offered an insight into New Zealand’s demographic changes, he said.
Notably, in the Northern school region – Auckland and Northland – nearly 60 percent of students are Maori, Pacific, Asian and other non-European.
In the Central North region – South of Auckland and north of Turangi – nearly 40 percent of students are Maori.
De Bres told Breakfast New Zealand must recognise that it is truly an Asia Pacific nation with European, Pacific, Maori and Asian communities who are very substantial and a huge diversity of others.
He also said we have to look at the opportunities provided by diversity.
The Commission’s efforts in things like Race Relations Day coming up this month are around “celebrating, acknowledging and welcoming the diversity of our society,” de Bres said.
Read the full review Race Relations in 2011 .
A Treaty of Waitangi lead negotiator says it makes sense that the National Party’s Hekia Parata has been appointed as Minister of Education – because Maori are underachieving.
Ms Parata replaces National’s Anne Tolley.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister John Key on Monday.
Ms Parata also takes up the role as Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
The lead treaty negotiator for Ngati Raukawa Chris McKenzie says she would have been suited to the role of associate Maori Affairs Minister.
But, he suspects she’ll do far better in the role as Education Minister because Maori feature in negative statistics year on year.
Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon yesterday said he was “perfectly supportive” of looking into iwi involvement in National’s plan to sell down shares in energy companies and Air New Zealand.
“In my view, infrastructure is a good fit for iwi … We’re never going to leave, everything we earn stays in the country, what we earn we re-invest,” Solomon said.
“This whole trickle-down theory has been there for years [but] there’s still a hell of a lot of people waiting out there for the trickle to reach them.
“I’m perfectly supportive of looking at the concept, but everything’s got to stack up before we move forward.”
Ngai Tahu and Tainui are eligible for a “relativity mechanism” when total Treaty of Waitangi settlements top $1 billion in 1994 values.
Last month, iwi were told settlements had reached $901 million. When it gets to $1b, Ngai Tahu and Tainui would be eligible for payments of about 16 per cent of all new settlements to maintain the real value of their earlier settlements.
Solomon last night said he did not see shares in the state assets as a potential source of value when the “relativity mechanism” kicked in.
“The only thing that we’ve said to the Government once they announced what their intentions were, was please ensure we are at the table,” he said.
That did not imply Ngai Tahu wanted priority access to shares, he said.
“I’ve never suggested that and I’ve never heard any other iwi chairs suggest that.”
Prime Minister John Key has indicated the Government would legislate for a 10 per cent cap on individual share-holding. Solomon said few iwi would seek more than 10 per cent due to the price.
Local environmental watchdogs Sustainable Canterbury have stated their support for Maori ward seats on city, district and regional councils.
The move follows Nelson City Council becoming the third council in New Zealand and the first in the South Island to establish a Maori ward for the 2013 council elections. Though legislated for in the Local Government Act, transition to local representation for tangata whenua has been slow. Sustainable Canterbury hopes the process can now accelerate.
“We see this as democratic progress and realisation of a Treaty right,” says Sustainable Canterbury spokesman Rik Tindall. “Maori are a uniquely entitled New Zealand minority, and proportional representation is an obligation long owed to them by settler society.”
The statement of position is a challenge to both the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury, to ensure that Maori – Treaty of Waitangi partners – are democratically represented in the immediate future. “Only prejudice and power politics stand in the way of fairness here, both of which are unacceptable today,” Tindall says.
Sustainable Canterbury sees Nelson City’s decision as a wise way forward, for both increasing democratic say for all Maori, and utility of their separate voter enrolment. The question connects with the continued survival of the parliamentary Maori seats, in this way.
“Holistic improvement of New Zealand democracy is our goal,” says Tindall, “and this means incorporating the tangata whenua role of kaitiaki (environmental stewards) at local level”.
Tindall advises that “proportionately, Maori constitute around eight percent of Canterbury voters, so seven percent of our council representation – one out of each 14 seats – is a fair place to start.”
Other issues could also be resolved by Canterbury following Nelson’s lead.
“Government intervention in Environment Canterbury since 2010 has been heavy-handed and non-transparent around conflicts-of-interest and resource management, we believe,” Tindall says. Under the ECan Act, elected representation is to be returned by 2013. “The sooner that representation is reinstated and proportional to our community, the better the public interest can be protected, and with more confidence in it all,” Tindall concludes.
Sustainable Canterbury hosts an election forum, to plumb the various water-related matters in the region, on Monday 21 November, 7.30pm at the WEA, 59 Gloucester Street in Christchurch. They will be testing the room for policy cooperation between the Labour, Green, Mana and NZ First parties, on: “‘Co-governance means around water, towards 350 parts per million atmospheric carbon dioxide’ – If they cannot agree on how to achieve that, why should people vote for them?”
Iwi are being forced to use ageing low-wage foreign charter vessels (FCV) to fish their quotas because their allowable catch is not big enough to justify buying their own boats, according to the head of the key Maori fishing organisation.
Government papers have shown that decaying Asian and Ukrainian boats turned into high seas sweatshops are taking a large part of New Zealand’s annual $1.4 billion catch, with their Third World crews beaten and forced to work for days without rest, earning between $260 and $460 a month.
Under Waitangi Treaty settlements 57 iwi are taking 40 per cent of the quota and most of them are using the boats.
Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee CEO Peter Douglas said iwi did not have sufficient quota to be able to successfully invest in fishing vessels and establish production facilities.
He said some iwi were considering working collectively in future.
”There is insufficient capacity in New Zealand-owned and manned boats to catch the full amount able to be caught sustainably,” Douglas said.
If New Zealand is to harvest the agreed commercial catch, more boats are needed, but individual quota owners, including iwi, do not have sufficient quota to purchase and operate boats economically.
”In this situation many quota owners including iwi utilise foreign charter vessels,” Douglas said.
Last year 21 FCV operated in New Zealand waters, most utilising Maori quota. This included the Korean ship Oyang 70 which sank in the Southern Ocean last year, with the loss of six crew.
The latest issue of the monthly maritime magazine Professional Skipper claims in an editorial it is up to Maori to halt the use of old foreign charter boats.
”While we have New Zealand ships owned and manned by Kiwis, some of Maori descent, they cannot get to lease this quota because it all goes to the foreign boats who can fish for less cost, meaning more profit for Maori,” the magazine says.
”By this action alone, Maori are condoning one of the biggest fishing scandals at sea, and turn a convenient blind eye after determining any loss of catch on a sinking ship will not affect their cash payments.”
While Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson and Fishing Minister Phil Heatley deny problems exist around FCVs, a leaked email from a top fisheries official, Aoife Ann Martin, reveals a special multi-agency project team has been set up since Fairfax News’ exposure of the FCV slavery.
”At this stage no changes to existing policies are being contemplated,” Martin advised.
”However, it is possible that the project may identify areas where policy reviews could be considered.”
Meanwhile a Ministry of Fisheries report obtained under the Official Information Act reveals much of New Zealand’s fish are shipped straight to China for processing and then shipped back to supermarkets here.
Hundreds of Chinese women are paid pittance to pick bones out of fish because New Zealanders will not.
The report, written under contract by Dr Christina Stringer of the University of Auckland business school, says New Zealand processing plants are closing and companies are tying up boats and switching to FCVs.
FRI, 11 MAR 2011
Last year’s `three strikes’ legislation and the removal of prisoners’ right to vote are in breach of human rights and will impact disproportionately on Maori, the Human Rights Commission says.
In its annual Review of Race Relations in New Zealand, the commission also said social and economic inequalities remained unacceptably high in New Zealand despite progress in relationships between the country’s diverse ethnic groups.
“An unrelenting focus on the elimination of racial inequalities is needed, to ensure future generations of New Zealanders are free from this blight,” Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said at the launch of the report in Auckland.
“It is also time to examine whether there are still systemic or institutional barriers to racial equality that need to be addressed to make other interventions more effective,” Mr de Bres said.
Positives in New Zealand’s race relations included the growth of te reo Maori and the Maori economy, Parliament reflecting the cultural diversity of the country, and the settling of historical claims for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.
However, the Government would have to acknowledge that entrenched racial inequalities in health, education, employment, justice and housing continued to be a blot on New Zealand’s otherwise positive record, Mr de Bres said.
“They impact most of all on New Zealand’s children and young people.”
The report noted that last year’s introduction of the `three strikes’ legislation in sentencing and the removal of prisoners’ right to vote went against basic human rights principles and would impact disproportionately on Maori.
“This is of great concern, particularly since Parliament passed the legislation in both cases despite advice to the contrary from the Attorney-General.”
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson told Parliament that the three-strikes legislation was “inconsistent with the right against disproportionately severe treatment”, would result in “disparities between offenders that are not rationally based”, and might result in “gross disproportionality in sentencing”.
Also, with the removal of prisoners’ right to vote, both provisions were likely to have a disproportionate effect on Maori because of their rate of conviction and imprisonment.
The report also highlighted 10 priority areas for the year.
Among them were:
- Protecting children who are vulnerable to abuse from harm and ensuring that all children equally enjoy the right to education, good health, housing and freedom from poverty;
- Identifying and working to remove any structural or institutional barriers to racial equality in the enjoyment of civil, political, social and economic rights:
- Reducing the high rate of unemployment of Maori and Pacific people, and particularly of young people;
- Reducing the number of people in our prisons and the disproportionate number of them who are Maori; and
- Making better provision for Maori representation in local government in this year’s representation reviews.
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Press Release: Horizon Research Limited
A major new nationwide research service aimed at advising senior decision makers what Maori “really think” launches today.
Horizon Research Limited says it expects to have more than 2000 Maori registered with its HorizonPoll Maori Panel and completing special surveys by the end of this week.
Horizon’s Manager, Grant McInman, says demand for the new service is being driven by organisations which are responsible for making decisions worth hundreds of millions in relation to Maori assets.
“They want a robust way of knowing what Maori think nationally and iwi-by-iwi. They tell us it is hard to tell until now how engaged Maori feel with their iwi, if they’re being consulted properly on major investments, if they’re personally seeing any benefit from billions paid in Treaty of Waitangi settlements, and what should become of Government Maori language initiatives now costing $250 million a year.”
The HorizonPoll Maori Panel will be able to research views iwi-by-iwi as well as nationally and is expected to be the largest specialist service of its type.
To produce highly robust results representing the Maori population. Horizon will be weighting results against Maori census profiles including age, income, location, educational qualifications, gender and party vote.
Its clients will have direct log-in access to its unique online results analysis and reporting system.
Typically Horizon, through its national population survey panel, HorizonPoll (www.horizonpoll.co.nz), is able to generate fully weighted national surveys within 12 hours.
“We’re aiming to make sure Maori are heard, and have some influence,” Mr McInman says.
Those registering with the Maori Panel will immediately be invited to complete their first survey. Among other issues, it will measure satisfaction with iwi, treaty settlements, foreshore and seabed issues, how much Maori really care about being engaged in policy making; which parties will get their electorate and party votes – and which of Labour or National they would prefer the Maori Party to support if it wins seats at November’s general election.
Registration for the HorizonPoll Maori Panel survey is online at http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/research/joinmaoripanel.asp.