Sunday, January 4, 2015
Mike Butler: Co-governance shambles for HB
Bear in mind a democratic country, government, or political system, is governed by representatives who are elected by the people, and a democratic process is based on the idea that everyone should have equal rights and should be involved in making important decisions.
Both the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee and the Maori board comprise appointees on a 50/50 Maori-non-Maori basis. The experience with these 50/50 “treaty partnership” bodies is a 100 percent pro-Maori outcome.
The Local Government Commission notes that it is not able to propose the establishment of Maori wards to which Maori roll voters would elect representatives, and is also not able to propose the establishment of an independent Maori board, such as the one in Auckland, which was specifically provided for by the legislation that established the new Auckland Council.(1)
Co-governance proponents airily refer to partnership allegedly promised by the treaty but any look at the Treaty of Waitangi, whether Maori text or official English, shows that the word “partnership” does not appear. Neither is there anything in the three articles, preamble and postscript that anything like partnership was intended.
A synopsis of the bill of the Parliament website says the 50/50 Maori/non-Maori Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee is to give effect to government commitments on natural resource management already made in treaty settlements with two northern Hawke's Bay tribal entities -- Ngati Pahauwera and Maungaharuru-Tangitu Hapu.(2)
The set-up of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee gives a glimpse of what a Maori board would look like.
The Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust, Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust, Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua, Ngati Tuwharetoa Hapu Forum Trust, Mana Ahuriri Incorporated, Ngati Hineuru Iwi Incorporated, Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa, Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana: each appoint a member while He Toa Takitini appoints two members.
The nine-member Hawke’s Bay Regional Council must appoint 10 members who must be councillors or others appointed under clause 31(3) of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002) (Part 2, Clause 11).
There are 105,648 voters enrolled in the Napier-Hastings area with 90,979 on the general roll and 14,669 on the Maori roll. Who do these tribal entities represent?
The Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust hails from area around Te Pohue on the Taupo road and claims 100 members, the Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust is based in Mohaka up the road to Wairoa and claims 6000 members, Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua is based in the Urewera region and claims 33,000 members; while Ngati Tuwharetoa Hapu Forum Trust is from Taupo and claims 37,000 members;
But the remaining entities, Mana Ahuriri Incorporated from Napier, Ngati Hineuru Iwi Incorporated from Te Haroto, Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa from Mahia-Wairoa, Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana from south of Lake Waikaremoana, and He Toa Takitini, Hastings and southern Hawke’s Bay; have no details of membership on their websites.
Moreover, although the Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust claims 6000 members it is quite clear that these 6000 members do not reside at Mohaka and quite likely live throughout New Zealand and all around the world.
The result is that 10 newly formed groups out of the 14,669 Maori roll voters in Napier and Hastings have been given the right to appoint their representatives to share power on a 50/50 basis with non-tribal representatives of the other 90,979 enrolled voters in the area.
How could this set-up possibly reflect a democratic system governed by representatives who are elected by the people based on the idea that everyone should have equal rights and should be involved in making important decisions?
Hastings GP David Tipene-Leach has already indicated that He Toa Takitini wants to change the name of Hastings to Heretaunga and Clive to Waipureku.
What will the 105,648 enrolled voters in Hastings and Napier think if these appointees push for a multi-million dollar wish list resembling the Auckland Maori Statutory Board’s $295-million package -- that included compulsory teaching of Maori in all Auckland schools, a naming protocol in Maori, financial literacy programmes to promote Maori engagement in trade delegations, as well as foreign direct investment, innovation and export.
What will Hastings and Napier voters think when “mana whenua” provisions start to appear in regional documents that the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee oversees under the Resource Management Act 1991.
Provisions such as these in Auckland added a $5500 tribal fee to building consents concerning 3661 sites of "value to mana whenua" spread throughout the Auckland isthmus.
There is no means of telling the quality of the appointees on the planning committee or the Maori board if it ever gets off the ground because they are appointees and are only responsible to the person or entity that appointed them.
For instance, Mana Ahuriri has a trustee who as a fisheries guardian faced charges of making a false or misleading statement to fisheries officers.(3)
The Local Government Commission pointed out "because the committee is the result of the treaty settlement process, any future changes to its role and responsibilities will have to be agreed between all the parties to the settlement."(4)
This means that even though the closing date for submissions on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee bill is January 31, the only changes that may be made are by agreement by the Crown and the 10 tribal entities involved, and after all, the committee has been up and running for nearly three years.
Even though a submission may be futile, put one in anyway, and phone your MP.
And because the Maori board is part of the Local Government Commission’s amalgamation proposal, if you live in Hawke’s Bay, the shambles that a Maori board will bring is sufficient reason to vote against amalgamation.
1. Position Paper: Hawke’s Bay Reorganisation, Local Government Commission, November 2014. http://www.lgc.govt.nz/assets/Hawkes-Bay-17-November-2014/Hawkes-Bay-position-paper-FINAL.pdf
2. Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill 2014, http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/bills/digests/50PLLaw21431/hawke%E2%80%99s-bay-regional-planning-committee-bill-2014-bills
3. Maori fishing guardian faces charges, http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3366319/Maori-fishing-guardian-faces-charges
4. Position Paper: Hawke’s Bay Reorganisation, Local Government Commission, November 2014. http://www.lgc.govt.nz/assets/Hawkes-Bay-17-November-2014/Hawkes-Bay-position-paper-FINAL.pdf
at 4:34 PM