Different Accountabilities For Different Needs


Ella Henry, Lecturer in Management & Employment Relations,

University of Auckland




Kinship based models require diffuse responsibilities and accountabilities


Kinship models of governance and accountability focussed on Maori Philosophy - Kaupapa Maori


Manuka Henare (1998), Koru of Maori Ethics, Auckland University



Henare argues that Maori society is founded on Maori philosophy, and he develops his analysis using the Koru of Maori Ethics.  Ethics is the tradition, or basis, within each society that describes and dictates ethical and moral behaviour, as well as the reasoning, which in turn underpins the logic or rationality of the society.


For Maori, traditional philosophy emphasis connection to all things, which are intrinsically sacred, through genealogical links to the gods and all other living things.  The connection to Io, the source of life that has grown out of the Kore, into Te Po, onward to Te Ao Marama.  Thence to the creation of Rangi, Papa, and their tamariki atua, through our whakapapa, and these core elements of life:


Mauri life essence all things and people are infused with,


·        Tapu            the sacredness in all things,


·        Hau            the breath of life, upon which our political 'economy of affection' is predicated


·        Mana            the embodiment of all these things, which can be either enhanced or diminished by our behaviour


From these core elements and concepts spring the behaviour that we traditionally deemed to be good and right, tika and pono, upon which our tikanga are founded:


·        Whanaungatanga            the ethic of belonging


·        Wairuatanga                 the ethic of spiritual connection and spirituality


·        Kotahitanga                 the ethic of solidarity


·        Kaitiakitanga                the ethic of guardianship


Underpinning the tikanga is the recognition that we live in Te Ao Marama, the world of light, and are thus bound to continually seek 'enlightenment'.  We do this in Te Ao Hurihuri, the turning world, a world which is dynamic and ever-changing, even though it is bound together by ancient traditions.  Thus, traditional Maori sought enlightenment, and embraced change.


What does this, or can this mean, in a contemporary context of governance and accountability in Maori organisations on the threshold of a new millennium?


Perhaps, we can refocus those traditional ethics in the following way:





Identify and clarify who the whanau is, in real terms


Identify and clarify what roles we play, or should play in the whanau.


Identify and clarify the vision and mission of the whanau, and our relationship to that mission





Respect for life and the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of things and people.


Remember, at all times, the 'spirit' of people, and of the endeavour in which they participate with you, either as whanau members, or associated whanau.


Acknowledge the forces that greater than our human endeavours.





Assume solidarity, until enmity becomes the only course of action.  Co-operate to compete.


Lead from behind and in front of others.





Care for, and nurture all aspects of the environment, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.


Act as, and be seen to act as, guardians of the resources that we are entrusted to care for.


These need not be impossibly altruistic notions.  They can act as a template for organisational development and activity.




Market Models And Contractual Arrangements Require Specific Performance


Before addressing Market Models, we should pay attention to the economist Susan George (1999) who writes that, "ideas have consequences... this neo-liberal experiment we have been forced to live under has been created by people with a purpose, what some people have created other people can change.  The central value of (the neo-liberal doctrine) is the notion of competition.. it separates the men from the boys.  It is supposed to allocate all resources with the greatest possible efficiency.  Because competition is always a virtue, its results cannot be bad.  For the neo-liberal the market is so wise and so good that like God, the Invisible Hand (of the market) can bring good out of apparent evil.  Thus Thatcher once said in a speech, "It is our job to glorify inequality and see that talents and abilities are given vent and expression for the benefit of us all".  In other words, don't worry about those who might be left behind in the competitive struggle.  People are unequal by nature, but this is good because the contributions of the well born, the best-educated, the toughest, will eventually benefit everyone.  Nothing in particular is owed to the weak, the poorly educated, what happens to them is their fault, never the fault of society.  If the competitive system is 'given vent' as Margaret says, society will be the better for it.  Unfortunately, the history of the past twenty years teaches us that exactly the opposite is the case".1


Governance and Accountability Metaphors


Market Models                                            Contractual Arrangements


'Competition is good'                                   'Our word is our honour'


The 'strongest' are the 'best'                         Collaboration


The 'market' is an impartial, invisible          Imply a partnership relationship




Governance and Accountability Performance Indicators


Market Model                                            Contractual Model


Win at any cost                                           What we do is who we are


Who has most wins                             Process is as important as outcome


Profit is realised materially                         Relationships take time to build



As Maori, charged with the governance and accountability of our organisations, we can choose either of these models, or some incorporation of the two.  The challenge is to be absolutely open, transparent and honest with ourselves, and with each other about the approach we intend to take with the organisations over which we have control.



































Different Accountabilities For Different Needs



Sam Napia, Chief Executive Officer, Hauraki Maori Trust Board






I have considered as a soon-to-be ousted politician, a has-been public sector manager and a wanna-be participant in Maori development that I speak to you today.


I’ll tell you very briefly how I got this assignment, I was driving back from Kaikohe and between Kaikohe and Ngawha I got a call from Te Kohu Douglas and the reception on the cell phone was particularly bad and the bad reception and my poor grasp of the English vocabulary combined such then when Te Kohu described to me my proposed topic I didn’t understand a word he said and for that very reason I said I would do it, but please fax me so I can figure out what you are talking about.


So my assignment is convince you that in the intervening period not only do I understand what he said but I have come up with some sensible discussions regarding it.


Whanaunatanga and Nepotism


The question is asked, is whanaunatanga a form of nepotism? I guess if I was for the purposes of analysis to create a statement to analyse it would be Whanaunatanga is a form of nepotism in disguise. Now think about that statement Whanaunatanga is a form of nepotism in disguise I think that is an interesting perspective. Perspective is a powerful thing and I want to illustrate that by asking you a question I want you to capture in your mind the very first answer that comes into your head.


Don’t worry about anything I might be wrong so I will change my answer just think of the very first name that comes to your mind. My brother who has a PhD in Education lectures at the University of Utah, the last time he came home, of course every time he comes home I tahae his clothes but they don’t always fit because he is slimmer but the last time he came home I tahae’d a tee shirt which has become my very favorite tee shirt and as you wear these tee shirts they get a bit raggedy and my wife Robin is trying to throw it out. Any way this is a matter of perspective, whanaunatanga is a form of nepotism in disguise perspective is a very powerful thing. When I ask this question to a number of audiences invariably, or today you may prove me wrong, the large majority of the people say the answer


In 1492 the Indians discovered Columbus lost at sea


But the fact that in every other audience I've asked this question 90% of the people proves that perception is a powerful thing.


Now this thing about whanaunatanga being nepotism in disguise is a false perception, I want to tell you what my perception is. Nepotism is in fact a barbaric form of whanaunatanga and I propose that nepotism is claytonic, now all you academics will be searching your memory banks for now which paper was that and I wonder who proposed that – well you know what I made this up at least I hope I made it up. Nepotism is claytonic – who remembers the adds when they used to ask what drink are you having tonight and he says I’m having a claytons – you know why nepotism is the kind of whanaunatanga you have when you don’t have whanaunatanga. So what’s it useful for. Lets give some definition to this nepotism thing, find some definition that might denote some usefulness for it. I would say it is useful for improving the survival of small and medium firms by promoting a couple of things congruency of business objectives, we heard Kara Puketapu talk about nepotism, I don’t want to paraphrase him to the extent that he will get angry with me saying something he didn’t say but I heard him say loyalty it produces loyalty, congruency of business objectives. Of course it gathers the collective interests and allows those collective interests to dynamicise that sounds like a John Tamihere coined phrase, dynamicise the business direction.


In terms of this barbaric form of whanaunatanga I want you to understand that western business practice or western business culture has taken this barbaric form of whanaunatanga and has magnified it and applied it to a globalised scale. Before I speak about that I also wish to suggest there is danger for us in mimicking this barbaric model. I think I heard Angeline talk about that yesterday.


So I’ve coined another phrase and I’ve called it a pseudo whanaunatanga, and here’s a statement now all you academics search your memory banks for who said this “this pseudo whanaunatanga thing is the single most important dynamic and the single most important issue facing world business, who said that? Well I said that yesterday, I just made this up too. What is the single most important issue facing world business oh sorry so for the academics, someone more qualified than I to comment on this this was said by Professors Rosebeth and Cantor it was in an article entitled Five Strategies Towards Success printed in the New Zealand Business magazine in September 1999. She says in order to succeed in business in the globalised world there will need to be an increase in networks and partnerships through collaboration. See?  We take this pure concept of whanaunatanga, we tutu around with it, we “barbaracise” it and we call it networking and partnerships and creating collaboration etc and then what do we do, we spend several millions of dollars and we have a big party in Auckland and we call it APEC. I want to tell you all about APEC because I was there at the APEC CEO summit meeting. Funnily enough I heard a story about a previous APEC conference when these fellas went air ballooning and one of the ministers of trade got lost on his air balloon and as he is floating he saw another balloonist down below, so he descended and called out to the guy “ Hey mate tell me where I am” to which the guy in his air balloon looked up and says “you are floating 80 feet over this field” and the Minister looks down and says “You must be a government official, a civil servant, are you?” And the guy is amazed and says “How do you know?” “Well the information you have given me is perfectly accurate but absolutely useless” to which the public servant looked up and he said “You must be a politician” and he says “Well yeah how do you know that” he says well “ You have no idea where you are going or where you came from and you’ve only just met me and now its my fault’


Anyway so I’m at this APEC thing and Archie [Taiaroa] was there too and I have to tell you what we were we doing. We were engaging in this networking and collaboration stuff. I saw the chief executive from McDonalds.  I had to shake his hand, he thought it was because I could go home and tell my kids I had met Ronald McDonald, I was just trying to see if he would give me any Big Mac vouchers. But we were all there and collaborating and then the interesting thing is by the wonders of modern technology they beam in from Geneva the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and he gives his wonderous speech. I actually cannot recall anything he said, but he took his glasses off several times and put them back on. Anyway he give his speech, then it was over to the Chief Executive of CDL Hotels New Zealand a gentleman by the name of Lex Harry to give the thanks to Mike Moore. Interesting thing interesting speech he gave “Well Mike I want to acknowledge” (apparently Lexy must be a Labour man), “I want to acknowledge all the good work you did while you were Prime Minister and in particular in the area of Treaty issues”. Well, I looked at Joe Williams and his eyes are starting to roll. “Mike I want to say this, you are our rangatira and you are now the kaumatua of the biggest marae in the world” (By this time Joe Williams is nearly falling off his seat) “and I just want to acknowledge that, Mike”. You see they take this pure concept and then they barbaracise it and they apply it to their own practices and then they have the audacity to call this bald headed gentleman with the glasses going on and off the rangatira of the world marae and so I said to Joe “We have just seen the establishment of Ngati WTO”. Now I don’t want to get into an argument whether its and urban Maori thing. We’ll argue that another time.


This morning Kara [Puketapu] raised the issue of others capitalising on our concept. Well, you know in this example it’s the capitalisation on a concept to the extent that I’ll almost use the word Titewhai just used, I don’t have any truck with it at all. Anyway this whole thing about globalisation, let me give you a few facts, and Sam didn’t make these ones up I actually got these from somewhere. The combined revenues of General Motors and Ford alone exceed the combined GDP for all sub Saharan Africa. That is a lot of money. Overall 51 of the top 100 economies in the world are not governments, they are corporations. The revenues of the top 500 corporations in the US equal about 60% of the country’s GDP. That is amazing when you consider the strength of the GDP of the United States. Multinational firms hold 90% of all technology and product patents and that’s why my whanaunga are all about Treaty of Waitangi claims in respect of indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights. Multinational firms do 70% of all world trade. These are the same people who know no boundaries (either governmental or cultural) they are out there doing 70% of all world trade. Kind of scary isn’t it? Despite this, what does this barbaracised form of whanaunatanga deliver? Well a fifth of the developing worlds population goes hungry every night, a quarter lacks access to even the most basic of essentials such as water and a third live in a state of abject poverty. Sam didn’t make those up it was reported  in a paper presented in September by Professor Peter Endewick at the University of Waikato.


I want to talk about whanaunatanga. Whanaunatanga is, here is another Sam kind of unsubstantiated statement, whanaunatanga is the most powerful dynamic in Maori culture. Think of powhiris. What is the dynamic of the mihi and powhiri? It is an attempt to discover where the other people are from. We met last night. What do we do? We go round the table and discover where were from. We are making connections and so to that extent I say it is an aboriginal concept. Whanaunatanga is a concept that belongs to tikanga Maori. Parallel whanaunatanga belongs to the Innuits, the aboriginal peoples of Australia, and other indigenous peoples.


If we are going to talk about applying whanaunatanga in business it was first applied in business in Aotearoa by Maori. If we can take the most dynamic aspect of our culture and we can apply it to Maori business, what was Maori business like previously? Well Angeline [Greensill] told us the first trans Tasman and trans Pacific traders in this country were Maori and Titewhai’s and my tupuna Patuone and Taonui traded produce to Sydney pre-Treaty. Now Annette spoke yesterday about capitalism as a construct consistent with our values, Manu came in and added another perspective when he talked about communal capitalism. Well I’m going to add another thing for us to argue the semantics over, I’m going to say business for profit is a concept which is consistent with our values and I say yes absolutely if my tupuna Patuone was doing it in 1832 then why can’t I be doing it now. There is no reason why.


Lets look at some of the things we should be applying those profits to. Did anybody see Te Karere this morning, they had my whanaunga Hirini Henare on there talking about Kawakawa, you know Kawakawa was the place I was born. But Kawakawa is a plant which our tipuna used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Someone wants to patent it!


Anyone who is going to be an architect of iwi or hapu structures I hope will find some benefit in what I might say. The structure and what these bodies look like, I’m just an advocate for getting rid of Maori trust boards. That is a funny thing because that means I will be out of a job tomorrow, but if we accept that those boards which will manage and hopefully distribute the proceeds of settlement should be based on tikanga then we must necessarily get rid of those structures which are inconsistent with tikanga. Angeline said yesterday adapt but don’t mimic models. 


So those elements are important. Tikanga answers the question why are we in business. Let me give you the answer for anybody struggling with the answer. If you are an iwi authority or a hapu authority then if the answer to this question is not “we are in the business for the benefit of our people”, then get out of business. You have no business being in business except for the benefit of your people. Tikanga is unchanging across time. Our tupuna, the purpose of the things they used to do was for the welfare and benefit of the people, so if I was to translate that into modern business sense, we engaged in friendly mergers and acquisitions. Sometimes they were hostile takeovers and corporate raiding, but the basis of this activity was to provide for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the people and if your trust board isn’t doing that ask them why 


It must uphold tinorangatiratanga. Now I borrow this phrase from a friend of mine -Dianne Crengle. Tinorangantiratanga in her definition is about doing your business in accordance with your cultural preferences. That’s what it is about. So if Te Arawa say we want to structure in such a way and that’s their tikanga then fine. If Ngapuhitanga says do this if Haurakitanga says this then that is fine; it’s upholding tikanga. Structure, constitution, I don’t mean a document, I mean how its going to be organised. I’m saying get rid of Maori Trust Boards. I don’t believe incorporated societies are necessarily the way. In fact, I do not actually know the answer. Why, not for example legislate to corporatise, (that’s a bad word but I think you know what I mean) an iwi and hapu authority but do not prescribe in legislation exactly how you are going to do things.Allow for a constitution or another document, whatever is the latest term for them, whereby it is a living document and when people decide that it should change then it changes.


Representation, the structure must also provide for representation. All these things if I can refresh your memories are grounded in tikanga, so however, Ngaitahu or Hauraki thinks they should be represented at a political level that’s in their tikanga.


Process needs to be outcome oriented, as John Tamihere said yesterday and I have to agree with him. We disagree on a number of things, like who should get the fish. but I don’t engage him in debate on that I leave that for Joe Williams and Donna Hall. But something Tamihere said yesterday I can’t deny, and what he said is “you can have all the plans, strategic, operational, annual plans and the mission statements and statements of corporate intent you can have all the flow charts you like, but if you are not delivering, (and I’m paraphrasing) if you are not delivering to the people then you are nothing. You must be outcome orientated. And how do I know if you are producing these outcomes if I don’t see a plan there must be a high degree of accountability a higher degree of accountability than is portrayed. And here is another thing about not mimicking the existing models which are not ours; higher degrees of accountability which are portrayed in say for example local government, has any body here got a dog? You know that in your district you have the right to make submission in respect of the Dog Control Byelaw. Anybody can do that. Anybody can make a submission to the Council’s Annual Plan because it’s a bit of a hoha and a bit of a façade in my view. What do they do. They read your submission if you ask them, they will ask you to come to the Council and they will hear you and then they will go ahead and do what they have done anyway. I don’t want to mimic that when we are accountable to our people. We would produce draft plans which we will ask the people to comment on, for example does anyone know of an iwi authority which has produced a distribution plan, you know I would have thought that was one of the most important plans. How are you going to distribute this money? The trickle down effect? How are you going to distribute this money? Why are not our iwi, authorities, hapu authorities, producing plans to tell us. Tell us how you are going to do it. Allow me to have input to it. Allow us to decide how that input from not only me but from this person, this person and that person will influence the end decision. Then we create higher degrees of accountability than any other government model that I know of in this country.


I want to recap on three things


One, nepotism is a barbaric form of whanaunatanga. Whanaunatanga is a pure concept, it belongs to us, do not mimic the western model of what I've called today’s pseudo- whanaunatanga. Globalisation, all these millions of dollars and one fifth of the developing world’s population goes to bed hungry. When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever going to bed hungry, I don’t remember any of my cousins ever going to bed hungry. When we live and practice these pure elements of tikanga you know you can throw out these western models because they are absolutely ineffective


Two, ask your trust board if they are not telling you the answer to “why are you in business?” and if the answer is not “we are in business to provide for the spiritual and temporal welfare of our people” then invite them to get out of business. There is enough people in this country making money, were not interested in making money for money’s sake


Three, the structure that we establish must reflect the reason that they are in business.  And so I want to finish it there, but I want to tautoko in finishing the korero Ella gave in terms of leadership. One of my favourite movies is Star Wars and one of my favourite parts is where these fellas are going to fly off there and Luke Skywalker says to Obeonekenobi “oh man you’re a fool” and Obeonekenobi says “who’s the greater fool the fool or he who follows the fool?” And if the future is the domain of leadership in closing let me suggest to you that the vehicle is vision, the vision of our people it is a vision of our mokopuna it is a vision of us all


Mihi mihi











1 George, Susan, A short history of neo-liberalism' Conference on economic sovereignty in a globalising world, March 24-26,1999,website:http://www.globalpolicy.org/glabliz/econ/histneol.htin