Providing Quality Advice and Service under Changing Parameters: The Last 20 Years & Now The Next 20

 

Ihakara Puketapu, former Secretary of Maori Affairs

 

 

You are the new world and I donít know what we are doing here because I should be out pig hunting, thatís my place. My mokopuna said Iíd better come, I see her here somewhere. It's good to see you all. In 1959 I attended the Young Maori Leaders Conference, listening to the government, and I know what your expectation is, possibly, you are waiting for someone else to make your decision, but you are the new world. When you are in a government department today and they are saying do this for the Maori people they have got to go out to you, so have the expectation that government cannot deliver, you are the ones who have to deliver, right? Because unless you think like that, you are not going to get your objectives right, not that I got many right either.

 

Put it another way. They say Ďyou can take a horse to water but you cant make it drinkí, tie it up and leave it there! Theory is all right but when you want to make something happen, itís like that other old saying Ė Ďthrow a stone in the water and watch all the ripplesí! Study the ripples; understand them, because before you make a decision you have to be able to control what happens. Thatís what I found important in my work. Lets take an example. A lot of talk today is about the Maori language, I went to a meeting a few months ago and these politicians and our people were starting to talk about whether Maori language should be compulsory in the classroom, and John [Clarke] over there, he used to be a teacher in Maori language, and you can take him on later, but what a waste of time it was, it was a waste of time because language in schools and universities is at best the second option. It is not the source of the language, it is not where our resources should be and when we thought about this way back in 1980 they were arguing in parliament whether language should be an official language because in universities in those days it was a foreign language, I took a foreign language, Maori language, to get my degree. So they were arguing so we were thinking about this at the same time they were saying Maori education Ė we were failing. So we thought about this and said ĎRight, we need to get the language, we need to get the kids startedí, so where did we go? We went to the old people, we had a kaumatua hui and thatís when it all started to make sense to us. Which makes two points, and Iíll come back to the other one.

 

Maoritanga, unless your Maoritanga is understood by you, you may not get to the answers, and unfortunately for you there are not as many kaumatua left as when we were young like you. We were lucky. ĎKia mau ki tou Maoritanga, koira te korero a ratou ma, Maoritangaí. Today I donít hear that ĎMaoritangaí. Now when we went after kohanga reo in 1980, language was the catalyst. We could see our young women, solo mothers in the cities had to go to work we had to take that pressure off them. Preschool education. So we started kohanga reo but there had to be ownership, we had to own it. So you took it back to the language owner, you took it back to the child owner. All I am saying is Ďthose were the catalystsí, when you are managing, when you are creating an objective. That is the purpose of me being here, to talk about objectives.

 

You must understand your own people first. Understand your own people, where your strengths are, we never hear about the Maori strengths, why not? How come we survived this long? How come we are going somewhere today? Because we are the only group in New Zealand with the power to be like this. Whakakotahi. We can do that, just like that all over New Zealand. But you must hold onto that Maoritanga. Kei taka te Maoritanga ka taka i a koe he mangumangu taipo nei hoki tatou. Wera te korero a Taranaki. Taranki say you have got to hold onto that. So be like that, that is what I am trying to say to you.

 

When you come to a management piece in todayís world you start with yourself, you study yourself. Thatís what I try to do. Whether I am going to play football over here or go pig hunting over here or go to the party over there I still have got to study myself, because as you know, Maoritanga is your mission, thatís your mission or your objective.

 

To stand well in the world. You have heard all this talk, you know all this talk, what I am trying to do is to say to you, is to translate it into your academic work, your management work, whether youíre a business man, a teacher, whatever it is; it doesnít matter because it is all in yourself. Study yourself in relation to your own people, and when we came to kohanga reo we said Ďright, kohanga reo, take it back to the people, they must own it and bring the language there as the catalyst, theyíll take ití. Sure enough. It is only an example.

 

Kua haere te wa. Oh well we looked at our people again and said hey we need something else, we did. Te Maori. We took it round the world. What did it do? It made us challenge ourselves, challenge ourselves again, challenge our Maoritanga. We found weaknesses in our kaumatua, te patere, te karakia, and all that, but we built it up, but it opened up our peoplesí minds again. So that is what I am saying to young people, I donít care about what you throw at me because I have been there, you have got to go there, you are going there, I can see it, I can hear it, you laugh pretty well anyway, so that is all right, but I hope you take on what I am saying because I have only got six or eight minutes to say that.

 

You set an objective, you must understand yourself, and you must understand your customer, your people, whoever it is out there. You must understand when you hit, when you make that move there is going to be an implication. There may be many implications and you must be ready to manage.  You must have the capabilities to manage it. Now thatís simple enough. No problem? And then the problems arrive, so get rid of this expectation about government going to cure it, because it wonít and it canít. The government departments of the last century have run their steam, they are finished, they had to be set up after the 1940s and they ran through last century. But today the health, the education and all of that is with you in the communities, you must learn to press the new buttons. You press the new buttons to create something, and something pops up over here, you will deliver it. Donít wait for the rest of society who expect the government to run the same way as they have been doing for generations. Have in mind that Maori people have this power to come together as a group where nobody else in this country can. Our extended family system is the key.

 

 

John H Te K Clarke, former CEO, Manatu Maori

 

Kati, mihi tuatahi ki nga pouwhakahaere o tenei hui nui whakahirahira. Huri atu ki a koutou nga mana, nga waka, nga iwi otira nga urupa o ratou ma kua mene atu ki te po. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena

 

What a big crowd, you remind me of an Ohu Kaimoana hui, Kara is incredible, I canít do that, he has the facility to get up here and just talk, itís a gift that he has got.

 

I can recall attending an education hui twenty years ago and some of the prominent voices at that hui were the late Bob Mahuta, Koro Dewes, Whatarangi Winiata, Hugh Kawharu, Apirana Mahuika, Pat Hohepa, Tipene O'Regan, Timoti Karetu, Mira Szaszy, Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Maanu Paul and the list goes on.  They were people of a special ilk, passionate about their reo and tikanga, articulate in both English and Maori, committed to promoting the interests of the people, politically up with the play and with a good university education.  These were the leadership attributes that were necessary and appropriate for those times and are still very important today.  As it is with you today, they were part of the wave of Maori leaders of that time.

 

Twenty years ago much of our leadership focused primarily on education.  Education was seen as the key to our future; and it still is.  The education sector was becoming increasingly receptive to Maori ideas and it also provided a forum for discussing all those other things that correlate with educational achievement like standards of health, employment, income levels and quality of life.

 

 

The Decade of Maori Development

 

I would like to take you to 1984, the introduction of state sector reforms, which resulted in major changes in the way in which services were delivered to the public.  As you know one of the fundamental ideas for the new environment was that decisions should be made by those who are directly affected by the issues and not by bureaucrats working from Wellington.  It was a matter of shifting resources from the centre to the people.

 

The 1984 Hui Taumata seemed to echo this view when the Maori leaders who were invited to Wellington, said: ĎKare matou e pirangi ma Poneke tonu e whakahaere i a matou.  Ko te mahi ma Poneke he tuku ngawari noa iho i nga putea ki tena iwi ki tena iwi. Ma matou tonu matou e whakahaere.

 

What those leaders were simply saying is that ĎWe don't want to be controlled by Wellington [meaning the central bureaucracies].  What we want to see is for the central bureaucracies to devolve the resources to each of the tribes or Maori communities so that we can make our own decisions about our futures.í This view reflected a move towards iwi development, self-management and, in a sense, tino rangatiratanga.  It was a way forward for Maori to become actively involved through their own organisations in the new environment. Iwi development was seen as the most logical vehicle for the advancement of Maori people.  But at that time few iwi had administrative systems in place, many were starting afresh, and some were low on numbers.

 

 

Significant Changes

 

1984 to 1994 has been referred to as the decade of Maori development.  The Hui Taumata was seen as the starting point. During that decade significant changes occurred in terms of Maori development and changing the relationship between the Crown and Maori, and included:

 

         The 1985 extension of the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal to allow examination of' historical claims from 1840;

         Major decisions from the Court of Appeal between 1987 and 1993 establishing a new line of ĎTreatyí jurisprudence;

         The Maori Language Act 1987 which made Te Reo an official language of Aotearoa and established Te Taura Whiri i te Reo;

         The Orakei Settlement;

         The Maori Fisheries Act;

         The setting up of Te Ohu Whakatupu, a Maori policy unit in the Ministry of Women's Affairs and similarly, Maru Whenua in the Ministry for the Environment. Both contributed towards the provision of more relevant and meaningful policies for Maori in the public sector.

 

The Labour Government's aspirations for Maori development were contained in its policy statement Te Urupare Rangapu. Te Urupare Rangapu has often been described as one of the most clearly defined and comprehensive policies for Maori.  It comprised an eight-point plan aimed at restoring and strengthening the operational base of iwi, and improving the responsiveness of mainstream government departments.  Part of this meant the restructuring of the old Department of Maori Affairs.

 

In the Public Sector the old Department of Maori Affairs was to be replaced by two separate agencies - namely Manatu Maori (Ministry of Maori Affairs) and the Iwi Transition Agency or ITA.  The main task of ITA was to assist iwi to develop new capacities to take on fuller roles within the wider society.  It was the government's intention that after five years ITA would be phased out. On the other hand, Manatu Maori was to have the ongoing role of advising on policies of Maori interest and concern.  Manatu Maori was also required to monitor and advise the Government on the responsiveness of government agencies to Maori issues. There were a number of organisational challenges that had to be met.

 

 

A Policy Ministry Principally Concerned With Maori Issues Was A New Direction. 

 

Trying to convince people that the provision of policy advice was a worthy cause that would bring benefits to Maori was a challenge. There were mixed feelings about the demise of the old Department.  The old Tari Maori was part and parcel of Maori society.  It was seen as the ĎDepartment of Everything, a great friend and servant of the people and there was a sense of ownership amongst Maori. People were readily assisted with their housing needs, land development, employment, and other things.  On the other hand, people found it difficult to see the real value of a policy Ministry based in Wellington, out of touch and out of the reach of the people.

 

As many of you may know, developing policy in the public sector is actually really hard work.  Policies cannot be developed in a vacuum.  It requires good analysis, clear objectives and effective relationship management.  Another feature of policy-making is that while summit conferences and key documents can establish the strategic direction, a considerable amount of policy is made in an incremental manner. A strong policy Ministry, advocating the interests of Maori, and involved in the policy formulation process is in a good position to ensure that policy changes take those interests into account.

 

The first major task for Manatu Maori was helping to increase the funding for kohanga reo.  After many meetings with the Minister and other officials, Cabinet committee meetings and endless hours of gathering up data and writing and rewriting papers, the government finally agreed to increase the annual level of funding from about $5 million to in excess of $20 million. So increasing the resources of kohanga reo illustrated how a policy agency can in fact be of real value to Maori.  That achievement became part of the sales pitch.

 

 

Bringing Together Staff, In A Short Time Was A Huge Challenge For Both Local And

Central Government Agencies.

 

There were few people who had experience in working on Maori issues in the policy area.  In fact

there were very few Maori working in policy in the whole public sector. That is not the case today. 

We now have quite a number of highly qualified Maori policy managers and senior analysts dotted

throughout the public sector.

 

Eventually Manatu Maori managed to bring together an outstanding team of relatively young and talented people from across the public service and also from the private sector -about 70 all told.  Many have gone on to greater things.  As an indication of the calibre of the staff, following the demise of Manatu Maori, Treasury snapped up policy analysts.


Providing High Quality Advice On Things Maori That Is Relevant And Effective Is An

Ongoing Challenge For Both Local And Central Government Agencies.

 

Unlike the former Department, Manatu Maori did not have a presence in the regions which made it difficult to assess what was really going on out in those communities.  The organization had to create ways of bringing Maori views into the advice of the organisation.  A range of communication strategies were used to complement the skills and the experiences of the staff, including the appointment of an iwi liaison team - apiha takawaenga, the setting up of Maori focus groups, direct input from people outside the Ministry into the publications of a range of articles defining Maori perspectives on topics such as natural resources, urbanisation and other contemporary issues as well as iwi profiles.

 

 

Establishing The Ministryís Watchdog Role As A Monitoring Agency Was Another

Challenge.

 

That aspect of its role had the potential to give the organization some teeth.  A monitoring model had to be developed from scratch that would enable the Ministry to assess the level of responsiveness to Maori of agencies in the public sector.  Some of the key elements were:

 

         The organisationís relationship with Maori;

         The application of the principle of partnership in terms of the Treaty of Waitangi;

         The involvement of Maori in planning and reporting processes;

         The level of Maori involvement in the development of policies in the agency; and

         The recruitment and retention of Maori staff.

 

Putting a monitoring process in place was not easy.  There was much to-ing and fro-ing.  Ministers and other chief executives had to be convinced that the Ministry had the where-with-all to do the task.  A monitoring model was developed and comprehensive reports on three agencies were in fact completed in quick time.  We were now on our way.

 

Monitoring is a very powerful role and it can certainly generate anxiety and resistance for those who are being assessed.  As Manatu Maori did, I wouldn't be at all surprised if TPK has experienced a bit of that resistance along the way.  There are several control agencies that check the performance of other organisations in the public sector including Treasury, the Office of the Auditor-General and the State Services Commission.  Unlike these organisations, Manatu Maori lacked the legislated authority to go into each organisation with confidence and to carry out a rigorous assessment.

 

 

1990: A New Government And A New Direction.

 

In 1991, Ka Awatea, a report commissioned by the new government, recommended that emphasis be given to four key development areas Ė education, labour market, health, and economic resource development. All this was consistent with the directions set down at the Hui Taumata, although significantly there was no reference to Iwi development.  The Runanga Iwi Act was repealed.  Manatu Maori and ITA were replaced with Te Puni Kokiri, which was dedicated to policy advice and monitoring roles, but also included a presence in the regions. One of the last tasks of Manatu Maori was to develop legislation that would define and strengthen the role of the new organisation.  In other words it would give the new body real teeth particularly its authority to monitor other agencies.

 

Working for Manatu Maori was a very special experience.  It was created from nothing, put into operation, dismantled and stored away into archives all within a matter of three years. At the point of transition from Te Urupare Rangapu to Ka Awatea, Maori were beginning to make their mark on a wider front.

 

 

Developments In The 1990s

 

Te Puni Kokiri continues to contribute to the formulation of policy advice to government on the interests of Maori.  It has been active in a wide range of policy debates. For Maori, major progress has been made in the treaty settlements area, especially with the Tainui settlement in 1995 and Ngai Tahu in 1998.  These kinds of settlements and other sources of Maori money like the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, fisheries assets and along with the many Maori owned businesses that are springing up all around the country, rather than say; Ma Poneke e tuku ngawari noa iho i nga putea moni ki tena iwi ki tena iwi. In time we might very well say Hei aha nga moni o Poneke ma matou tonu matou e whakahaere.

 

The importance of the Treaty of Waitangi in public policy is now a reality. It is now part and parcel of public policy that is a major shift when one considers that 30 years ago the Treaty of Waitangi had been in judicial limbo for a very long time. Although the Runanga Iwi Act was repealed, the principles have been incorporated into iwi structures today successfully in a number cases, for example Ngai Tahu.

 

 

Some Final Comments

 

I know that we wonít all be Chief Executives of Maori Affairs or any other government agency neither would many of you want to be.  The world is full of all kinds of opportunities.  But you are already leaders in what you do.

 

I think leadership is about relationships and the level of our contribution towards nurturing and fulfilling that relationship.  That relationship is primarily based upon respect for oneself and respect for others and their feelings.  In teaching, when they say 'he has the ability to get the best out of his students' for me it is primarily about the respect that that person has for those he serves.  Respect is an essential ingredient of successful leadership.

 

I would like to refer back to Manatu Maori.  The single most important attribute of the people of Manatu Maori was creativity.  Manatu Maori had to be creative.  It was a brand new operation without a physical base, without resources and without systems and processes.  Manatu Maori was a new service. A high level of creativity was required both in developing ideas that would help to empower Maori and in translating those ideas into legislation, like the Runanga Iwi Act, Nga Whenua Rahui, Maori Radio and other policies. Today that creativity is still needed in our work to finding solutions to the issues that we face as a people.  We have made some gains over recent years but I am sure you know that the depth of despair amongst a lot of our people is still great.  We need creative people.  We need more people like you.

 

Today twenty years on, Maori leadership appears on a much broader front.  Maori voices are not only prominent in education.  We now have prominent voices in health, law, fishing, agriculture, the various professional groups and a variety of business categories.  I would expect that there would have been some Maori at the conference on the Knowledge Economy the other day.

 

Kia ora tatou


 

 

 
Leith Comer, Chief Executive, Te Puni Kokiri

 

Kia ora ano tatou. E nga rangatahi o te motu, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou.

 

Kara didnít need notes, John had notes, I need both notes and overheads so it just shows you how technology has grabbed us. The single most challenging thing for all of us, you and me is to stay close to the marae, then we will survive, no question about that, but we may not grow, we may not flourish and we may not develop. What we have to do is to use the marae as a basis to enter with confidence into the global world and that is our biggest challenge. And that is the challenge I put in front of you and it is the challenge that is in front of me.

 

Iíd like to come back to that statement by the long route and talk a little about how my role in Te Puni Kokiri can contribute to how we as Maori become a knowledge society or develop even further as a knowledge society and enter into the global economy.

 

Te Puni Kokiri of today is different from Johnís [Clarke] and Karaís [Puketapu] time and I pay respect to those two former CEO. When Kara was the Secretary of Maori Affairs he had a budget of around $300 million and did everything from the cradle to the grave, it was a very big government organisation. John has talked about his time at Manatu Maori with the evolution towards a policy ministry, and the first iteration of Te Puni Kokiri in the 1990ís was just that Ė a policy ministry with an annual budget of about $30 million. The Ministry that I have the privilege of leading at the moment is changing; the reason that things change has to do with politics, political power and governments of the day.

 

Todayís government that I am serving is different from the governments that Kara and John served. I will give you an example: the influence that previous Ministers had in terms of their main ministerial appointments, and think about the day when a Minister of Maori Affairs might have been number seventeen in a Cabinet of twenty with an associate ministerial role of racing. Today we have political influence that will never be any less. So if you donít think this is good, it will improve because what is happening is our political power is growing because of numbers, we are a growing population. We can vote and therefore we can have political power and we can have political influence and that is causing the change. This is a big shift from when we had a Minister of Maori Affairs, seventeenth in a cabinet of twenty with a portfolio of racing. As the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri I am required to provide Ministers with a service that they require to use their positions of influence for our benefit.

 

From time to time they will turn over their shoulder and ask Ďwhat do you think Leith?í or to Te Puni Kokiriís staff and ask Ďwhat do you think?í.  And so we have to develop an organisation that has the capability of thinking across a wide range of portfolios. We also have to do things differently today. I think Kara was alluding to the fact that nobody from Wellington can impose or prescribe policy or how development will happen. We can only play a role; we can only be a part of that and we must do that in association with people at different local and regional government, with business, with the community and above all with you, with Maori.

 

As a public servant today one of my biggest responsibilities is to have appropriate relationships with you, so together we can develop the way forward. My role is not just about funding or being a provider of services, it is as much about providing leadership when that is required, about facilitating brokerage and above all being useful and helpful. I say to the staff ĎIf you go home at the end of the day and you have been useful and helpful then you have had a good dayí the other thing that is upper most in our minds is that there is no silver bullet for Maori development. There is not one approach; we must take a broad approach to this all-important subject of Maori development. It is only proper for us to reduce disparities. Yes there are many of our people who need opportunities, who are not as well off as some of us in this room, and yes we must divert resources into making sure that those people also have opportunities, but it is not just about us closing the gaps with our non-Maori partners, because I am not sure that when we get there, when we have closed the gaps, it will be good enough for us. Do not think that I donít think about thatí I want to have my gap closed with non-Maori. What I want is for us as a country to set some international benchmarks that we can all aspire to. Now some of us might have to travel a little further than others but is that what we should be aiming for? We should resolve not just to reduce disparities between Maori and non-Maori in New Zealand, but also between us all, New Zealanders Maori and non Maori, with some international benchmarks.

 

The key thing for us is to look at ways of developing opportunities for ourselves. If New Zealand is going to develop as a strong nation then we have to be at the engine room of growing this economy. Without strong Maori we will not have a strong country: full stop. Without Maori, without us, weaving our own individual cultural and social threads through the korowai that will wrap our country around, we will not have a strong cohesive country: full stop. This nation can not go ahead unless we are there playing a significant role and part of my role is to make sure that the government agency that I lead is contributing to that, not by itself, but in concert with all of you.

 

So Te Puni Kokiri, must take a broad approach, must do things differently, must have excellent relationships and must lead the other government agencies working in that common direction. Now the first thing that I have done was realign the organisation so it is better able to function as government asks. We have a group of people that work in an area called State Sector Performance, which is trying to improve the performance of all state agencies with regard to Maori outcomes. We have a group of people who are trying to develop policy that will accelerate Maori development and in our operational regional areas we have people trying to deliver services and work with Maori in terms of trying to accelerate Maori development.

 

We have a normal corporate service area to run a big organisation and the Maori Trust Office. We have also tried to give Te Puni Kokiri a clear focus. Strategically that is what we are all aiming to do. But there are other strategic signposts for the organisation. When you become a Chief Executive one of the biggest challenges that I suggest you will have is Ďto put signposts out there for different parts of your organisation to work towards, so that they donít operate in silos. How do you put strategic signposts out there so that you get some people taking leadership roles but still working together? This is what we are trying to do: putting some signposts out there for us an organisation to aim towards strategically.

 

But if you put all of that aside I am a public servant and the reason I get up in the mornings to come to work is to assist this government to accelerate Maori development.  The thing that I wrestle with is: ĎHow can Maori development prepare for us for this global world, for this knowledge society?í  As I said at the start that is where our challenge is.

 

A World Bank study of fifty different countries since the Second World War came up with common sense things that they believe are the determinant for development one size does no fit all Ė development aims and strategies vary greatly you cannot construct a development framework or a development template and expect everybody to be comfortable with it because different conditions, different people require different unique solutions. So one size doesnít fit all.

 

         Development does not trickle down. You have got to build development up from the bottom with local solutions. This is a bottom up approach, this is actually how development happens.

 

The one that I want to use for this presentation is that for people to be able to be developed particularly in this global world is that they need to have an identity, a sense of place and a sense of being. What do we have? What is the single thing that we have? That others donít have and we have? Local conditions, which is the antithesis of globalisation. We have that sense of place. We have it through our language, our marae, through our stories, though our association with our tipuna. We have that, and if the World Bank report is right, people who have that sense of place have a much better opportunity to develop in this global world than people who donít have that. That is why the language is so important; it is important because it gives us that sense of ourselves. That is why the marae is so important because it gives us that sense of place, but, and there is a big but, we must use that to give us the confidence to succeed in the global world. It cannot be an anchor that is thrown out the back that holds us back.

 

Te reo, tikanga, kawa are a means to an end. They are not an end in themselves. They are the things that give us that sense of place, which gives us the confidence to do things. Alongside of all that we also need other knowledge. We need innovation and we need enterprise. At a conference that I attended last week there was a wonderful statement which shows that these things are not foreign to us. There, James Belish said of the Great Migration Ďwithout the help of metal tools or a written language Polynesian crossed the mighty Pacific like a garden pond centuries before the Europeans made it across the petty Atlanticí. He went on to call them the Vikings of the Sunrise (a term that has been around at least since Te Rangihiroaís time). But have we been resting on our laurels? Have we been dining out on our tipuna? They showed great knowledge, great innovation, and great enterprise. There are other examples where the answer is known. If you have a look at some of the arts, some of our sporting achievements some of the achievements in the armed forces, some of our emerging business and academic success, there are other examples where we, despite the conditions that we find ourselves in, are showing knowledge, innovation and enterprise, but itís not enough.

 

One of the things that we need to do is to think differently; and, to steal some of Edward de Bonoís thinking, is Ďthat we spend too much time thinking about what is or thinking about what has been we need to think about what can beí. You need to close your eyes and think about what can be for Maori, what can be for you and then we must vision and design where we want to go, nobody else can do that. We must do that. We must think about where we can be and where we need to be in a knowledge society, succeeding in this global economy. In a hundred years time when they have another knowledge wave conference and there is another Belich speaking at that conference I want that person to be able to say that this is what Maori have done this century.   Kia ora tatou

 

 

Question and Response Session

 

Question         I would like to ask Leith Comer. I noted that the second key task under your direction is to influence, develop and evaluate Maori development policy, and I also saw some intrinsic links into social and economic policy so I gather that would encompass Maori public policy as a whole. I am a little concerned as I am a strong advocate of kohanga reo and kura kaupapa movements where a lot of Maori women and mothers are movers and shakers as well as the guardians and korowai for our babies. For the past fifteen to twenty years Maori public policy does not seem to have been conducive to the needs and priorities of those for whom the policies are meant to be targeted. I would like to ask how we, at the grassroots level can be brought into the design, evaluation and monitoring processes of Maori public policy, as opposed to the implementation process?

 

 

Leith Comer   Kia ora, I should hand over to Kara because he was talking about the fact that things are changing, that bureaucrats like myself cannot sit in Wellington and make policy that affects you and how we can have that proper engagement between people who are involved in these matters and people like me who have the ability to put these policies in front of the politicians. Answering your question is really just one of supporting the fact that policies that are not developed, nurtured and shaped by people who they affect are policies that will have difficulty getting the proper political support in this environment. One of the real challenges for Te Puni Kokiri today is to make sure that we have the proper engagement with the people that you were talking about and the proper process to make sure that they are included in that policy development.

 

Kara Puketapu            What are you looking at me for? You know what I reckon? I reckon for you lot out there, when you get on your own we should have a Maori Management College where all this stuff is sorted out. There is a New Zealand Staff College, I went there, but why donít you create one, heís [Leith Comer] got plenty of money. I think the young ladyís question is right. There is a lot of infrastructure out there, there is so much that can be brought into policy development our way. Itís not being done, and I am sure that Leith would be very cooperative in that. You know you guys have got the time, the energy, and the youth to put it together. We didnít put it together and I think the question is a good one Leith. So do it.

 

Question         I notice on your model how your policy team and your Operational and Regional teams are separate. I am wondering if, to truly reflect the need of the regions, would it be appropriate to merge the policy teams and regional teams together so the policy is actually informed by the regions that fall into line with what our tuahine was saying? Although your response indicated that was a possibility, your model didnít reflect that.

 

Leith Comer               One of the reasons that the Operations and Regions group is a distinct function at the moment is because we have to put emphasis on growing the capability. When Kara was the Chief Executive, and when John was sitting alongside of the Iwi Transition Agency we had within the public service lots of people who had good operational techniques and operational experience. We lost them and we have had to rebuild those inside Te Puni Kokiri and to give them a focus and confidence, we have put them into one functional area. For a long time staff in the regions didnít really know why they went to work, they were floundering around trying to find a reason. This government and this new approach has given them a reason, thatís why they are there. You then jump ahead and say, well listen, they are disconnected to policy. The answer is yes they are functionally, but we have got to find ways of making sure that those functional separations donít mean that they donít talk to each other, they donít relate to each other and they donít feed off each other, and that is the challenge about trying to get your organisation to work together.

 

Kara Puketapu            Government departments are not going to help you much, but if you go home to where you come from and go through your locality and count up the number of Maori organisations that are busy out there, thatís Maori affairs. Sectionalise your locality and put yourselves together, whether itís a health group, a marae group or a kohanga reo, come together in the one room for a change and talk to each other and set your priorities. Thatís what we are doing here, in the Wellington Ė Hutt Valley region, and itís working. For too long we have been proliferated by all these little contracts all over the place. Put yourself in front of the table put it all on the table and when youíve got it right you say Ďhey all you government departments come on the other side and talk to us!í You have got it right there now; itís out there. Donít ask him he can only tell you yes this and that about his department, itís a very small department.

 

Question         My question is to the CEO of Te Puni Kokiri. With the knowledge economy conference that has just passed it seems like Kara is reiterating the fact that we ought to think laterally and not what is being taught through the institutions. Personally I think that education is setting us up for a fall. I think that we have to learn to think laterally and not so much listen to what we are told from institutions. My question is; are there any moves in the near future from Te Puni Kokiri where we could have a forum where we can get the best young minds to deal with what can be achieved as opposed to what we are used to and what has happened in the past?

 

 

Leith Comer               Iím just trying to share the workload up here. Is it a forum? Is it another hui? Or is it just a change of attitude? It is probably all of those things. I would be more than happy to facilitate calling together peoples to move ahead in terms of this knowledge society of ours, but the challenge that I have put to myself is: am I doing enough thinking about what can be? Do I do too much thinking about the little things, about the everyday things? How much of my time as a Chief Executive am I or am I not encouraging people to think about what can be? Thatís the biggest thing I came away with from that knowledge economy conference. Itís the dreamers in the audience and the people that are going to turn those dreams into reality through designing the way forward that will move us forward. If you believe a conference or hui is going to encourage that, kai te pai.

 

Question         My question is direct to you Leith. I too was privileged to be at the Knowledge Wave Conference last week. What I gained from the conference was all about innovation, creativity and how bureaucracy tends to stifle many of the wonderful ideas we have as a nation, and in particular Maori. You talk about what is, for me we have been through the Ministry of Maori Affairs, we have been through the Iwi Transition Agency and we are now into Te Puni Kokiri. To me that is what is and I ask what can be? I think that in terms of innovation and creativity why do we still hold to these bureaucratic organisations that dictate how we as Maori need to think, need to be evaluated and need to be assessed?  I think like our friends over here we talk about evaluation and assessment in terms of local needs, local solutions. Who better than our own whanau/hapu/iwi to do that evaluation of how we are progressing? I think for far too long we have been square boxed into these bureaucratic things that government put in place to disempower our people. I really just wanted to say that. I donít have a question. I would however like to leave you with a thought.

 

We all here, we are here because we know what can be and we know what is there for us as rangatahi and for our mokopuna in the future. Let us be what we can be, let us make up our own future and here is my suggestion. My suggestion is that you look at the restructuring of Te Puni Kokiri again, you look at our structures, our hapu/iwi structure that are already in place that are working for our people and consider possibly the policy being put to Wellington from our own iwi, I come from the iwi of Ngati Awa and I know that in Ngati Awa we have policies that we would like to put to government. We donít want those policies watered. By the time they get to the Minister or by the time they get implemented they look nothing like what we started with. So perhaps devolvement of Te Puni Kokiri in the future could be a consideration to allow us to make our own decisions, and find our own local solutions.

 

 

John Clarke                I agree with the last speaker. In my time at Maori Affairs some of the best conferences I went to were in places like Ruatahuna, Ngaruawahia and other marae. The ideas that come out of those situations have been absolutely marvellous. If you look at the policies of government over the last fifteen, twenty years, the best of government policy, the most lasting, have come from those situations. Te Kohanga Reo came from the community, from the people. Matua Whangai came from the people, Tu Tangata came from the people, Nga Whenua Rahui came from the people. I guess the agencyís important role is to facilitate bringing those ideas through. I think if an organisation can do that it is a successful organisation.

 

Kara Puketapu            As I said before you have to command your own locality, never mind about government departments. You have got to stand up and say we are together, now government departments you come over here and talk. Just do that. Donít worry about Leith, heíll come. But this expectation, all I am hearing I heard twenty years ago, people were saying government departments do this, and you are right. But now is the time you have got the power out there amongst your own people. But you have got to sit with your own people; your own people make their decision and stand firm. Truly. That is what we are trying to do here, and its happening and Leith knows, heís been told; it is not an angry thing. I think you are on the right track with what has just been said.

 

Leith Comer               Anytime you have Ministers you are going to have to have people like myself to serve them, but never think that is where the power is. I think that is what we have to start thinking about, the power isnít there. The power is in fact wherever there is a good idea and that idea can be enunciated properly and clearly, that is where the power is. I donít think you believe me, but I want to instil in you the power isnít here it is out there and I donít want to be your leader because with leaders there are followers and I donít want you to follow me, I want you to take a lead. I will help you, Iíll facilitate, Iíll broker, Iíll mentor, Iíll do my best but I do not want to lead you. I want you to take a lead, the power is out with you.

 

Question         Iíll take the power. Surely Te Puni Kokiri cannot be serious about pursuing an ideology that is based on greed, that is globalisation, especially since they advocate the likes of the GATT Agreement and the MAI Agreement when we know that it is going to adversely affect our people. That is my first question to you. And secondly, what is the difference between Tu Tangata and capacity building?

 

Kara Puketapu            There is no difference. It is only the capacity building is in the hands of ourselves and Tu Tangata, we do it. But as far as that other question you better ask him. I am like you; I know what globalisation is like. But I think Leith was right. We should decide how we want to fit that, and that is really what you are saying. We donít want to get bulldozed over and Maoridom has got that strength, which is what Leith is saying.

 

Question         You have talked about this current buzzword that we are calling Ďthe knowledge economyí and you are marrying that to concepts of moving forward into the future and development. My view is that the whole concept of the knowledge economy should be something that we as Maori should seriously look into because things like GE, are considered part of the knowledge economy. We are presented with all of these things that constitute a knowledge economy but where is the protection for Maori and our interests? Where is the dialogue in government about that? The actual question I want you to answer is related to my belief that we have to start looking back and get away from the concept of moving forward. If you are talking about a knowledge economy can you please explain what that might look like for Maori?

 

Leith Comer               My perception is one of living in an ever growing, ever changing world. We live in that world. We have to take those opportunities that are provided. I sense that to do that you need to be centred and grounded, you need to be clear about who you are, what you are and where you come from and then you need to step off into that world with confidence and seize those opportunities. That is how you grow, develop and flourish. I think the trick is to know what you need to take with you and what or where you want to end up on that journey. I donít think that I want to paint that canvas any more specifically than that because I think it is over to yourselves to actually put the final painting on that canvas rather than for me to design it for you.

 

Question         Leith, your comment was that the power was actually with us, and I think that is true, but the three major take that Maori in the last few weeks have been considering are the Review of the Local Government Act, the Maori Electoral Option and Oceans Policy, But the time frame for Maori to respond and have any input was minimal. That means that we had very little time to inform our people. I work for a radio station and we get information first hand, but we had four months for the Maori Option, that was not enough time to say to our people this is you opportunity to make a choice. This applied also to the Review of the Local Government Act and Oceans Policy as well. I would like to know if the power is with us but if we are not being informed we have no power. I want to know why it takes so long for us to find out what is happening in relation to ourselves?

 

Leith Comer  Information is power and people tend to keep power from people by keeping information from people and all of those things you mentioned I agree with you. It is difficult for us to make decisions if we do not receive the information. The question that we should be asking ourselves is how do we make sure we get the right information and what is the question you are going to put on people like me and others is to make sure you do get the information in a timely way because it is only that such pressure will make those necessary changes.

 

Question         I am a Maori businesswoman who plans to have an impact in the global economy, but one of my major dilemmas is getting a balance between Maoritanga and what Parekura would call moni-tanga. So Leith with a background in the Ministry of Commerce and now C.E. of the Ministry of Maori Development, Ďhow do you think we can get a balance in these two conceptsí?

 

Kara Puketapu            We are caucusing here to get an answer. I canít answer your question. I can actually. Just sitting here, because I am out of this I have been away from this sort of stuff for twenty years, trying to battle local things at home, community things, and I enjoy that, and it rests on Maoritanga. Out of that Maoritanga style, we have created a lot of resources. Resources are about the disposable dollar, which we can get back and keep it moving amongst our own families. Maoritanga is about sharing, all you people out there, your ancestors came out of the same bed, the same bed, which is Maoritanga. I hope that after today that you young people come together and treble your numbers across this country because you are the force. You can ask all these great questions of these bureaucrats and you will get a bureaucratic answer and a correct answer. You are the force and the hardest part is to bring ourselves together as our tribalism is strong, we have got to say that where there is our tribalism, there is our Maoritanga. I am just saying to you whether you can do it, because we canít do it. We have other things to do now, we are a bit old, but we will help you, but if you lead the way we will help you.

 

The old people want to help you because you have got the energy. But you have got to come together, this business of tangata whenua and all these fancy words iwi, whanau etc. Every time you pick up a piece of government paper it has got these three words on it, thatís nice but over here is where our people live. Come on, when you leave here you have got to have organisation, you are the knowledge world, you have got to find a mechanism by which you can put your government department together, whatever you want to call it, and you do that. We have got organisations out there in Maori society; donít wait for these fellows and me. You do it, we will support you. It is hard but you have a lot to say to each other, you have got a lot on your minds; you have got a lot of energy. Why not do it?

 

Question         My comment to that is that often in my history there has been time where success has not been what you want because you get trodden on. I guess it is the New Zealand tall poppy syndrome. So kia ora for your comments and I think that is the answer.

 

John Clarke                I just want to add to that and I want to take a pretty narrow view about the whole question of Maoritanga that Kara is talking about. The reo, whether we like it or not, it is the reo that keeps us together as a people, once the reo has gone we are gone. It is important that we go to the marae, we learn about ourselves as much as we can. When you people come into Wellington, I see it quite often, work in government departments, work in private enterprise or whatever, whether you like it or not you are going to be a Maori leader because they ask you for advice and you make sure you tell them the right advice. And so it is important that you learn your reo, work hard at it because that is what keeps us together.

 

Kara Puketapu            Read less, write less, speak more. Get hold of him and make him come to your table at night and talk Maori, get your kaumatua to come in, those that can talk make them come to your family and talk simple language. Never mind about lessons down at the school, bring them inside the home, that is where the gap is, talking to each other everyday. In countries like America, families only eat dinner together once a week, and that bloody television sitting over there, if you are serious about doing what he is saying then we have got to change our style inside that family home everyday. Plenty of smart talk here about the government so much for that. No. No. Go on get down to it.

 

Question         We have forgotten something really important, to manaaki whenua, Papatuanuku. My take is about change, development, and I have seen change and development from a Papakarangatawa Tauranga Moana. Papakarangatawa is a crab and over the last twenty years because of our changing environment, the money and the power, our tribal identity has suffered, you hardly see our tribal identities of Papaka around. We are all interested in the money and the power. Our old people well I believe they looked at the land; that was their sustenance; that was their living. I suppose I have seen a few things today that I could not relate to and I have heard a few things today that I could, and one of them was I was a bit unsure about was not looking back or looking too far forward, weíve got one foot back and one foot too far forward, we donít think about preserving today and we paru today, and that is what is happening today with our environment, with development and change. What I would like to see are a lot more policies whether we do it in our own kawa, we have our own kawa to manaaki our whenua, why isnít that coming through?

 

In the last twenty years I have seen about twenty pa sites where I used to go with my Koro having been built on. They are wahi tapu with houses on them now, all for the money and the power. That is quite sad. I was brought up in Tauranga; I actually work for the Tauranga District Council as a Maori Land Officer. I am learning that side of things now, filling my kete matauranga up with some stuff from local government, and it is good, because it makes me put away what I already know and learn something new. That is what it is all about for me at the moment. I am a new net going fishing trying to get some more korero, whiriwhiri whakaaro. My question to you is Ďhow can we implement what we already have of our tikanga and kawaí? Ki a koe te koroua John Clarke, you came to our marae, Mangatapu, and you saw how they put the road right in front of our marae and you get the big V8s and the big logging trucks going past kore i rongohia nga whaikorero o nga kaumatua, me nga patere o nga kuia, and that is kei te he. And now they want to go widening the road even more, all for development, all for the infrastructure, all for the money and the power. So that is really my question.

 

Question         Kia ora, a heoi ano kai te tu i te tautoko i nga mihi ki nga iwi katoa i haramai na tou pito o te motu. Heoi ano Iíd like to ask the old fellah there the one about pig hunting. Heoi ano na te mea nei kei te tutuki kei te kite au ki au te nuinga o tatou kei konei na, and I get this impression, itís a bit like hunting. Come to Poneke to do a bit of hunting and this kind of mahi. So taku patai ki a koe na, e te papa, e te koroua, you know when you go pig hunting, the trick is you have a set of dogs oneís a finder, oneís a finder-holder, the other oneís a finder-bailer, and the other oneís a raokoka. So out of the four dogs, which one would you suggest would be the best to use at this present time?

 

Kara Puketapu            Actually Iíd get a young bitch pup you know because the older ones will help to teach her eh? Koia ra te tikanga nga korero o tenei ra, engari, tika ra ou korero, To me, (this is pig hunting eh?) I like that quiet finder that just keeps bailing and bailing so the pig stops there eh. And thatís what weíre on about we want to hold what weíve got as Maori people. Hold what weíve got, it was done before last century eh, youíve all read, you all know that.  I donít know about you, but old people who were born in the 19th century brought us up. All we heard were different talks than we hear here, different talk. And the thing was to put that bailing dog in and hold that position, donít go backwards, donít lose any gains right? And then we can get the pig. No problem.  ĎCause you take the pig home, you hang it up and all the relatives come eh? Koia ra tatou Maoritanga.

 

Chris Webster            Thatís another side of leadership being able to laugh at yourself, while you let people laugh at you too. I think we have had a wonderful experience from three of the finest leaders from government departments, so join me in thanking them. Kia ora.