Sunday, June 6, 2021

Bob Edlin: Budget benefits builders of statues of Maori leaders

It’s not enough to monitor the flow of Jacinda’s Treaty Treats by visiting the Beehive website in the belief it will have registered them in the name of transparency.

Some Ministerial statements are posted on sites such as Scoop before they are posted on – The official website of the New Zealand Government.

A post on Scoop this morning tells readers that Budget 2021…

  • Appropriated $1 million  to build statues of Maori leaders;
  • Is investing $20 million over two years in Māori boarding schools; and
  • These are part of a Budget package of more than $1 billion for Māori.

Fair to say, the ministerial statement at Scoop (posted in the name of the NZ Government yesterday) expands on spending initiatives to benefit Maori that were declared on Budget Day in a document headed WELLBEING BUDGET 2021: SECURING OUR RECOVERY

Among the contents:

  • Whai Hononga – Significant Māori Crown Events (Recognising Māori Leaders or Events).

 This funding is to extend the Whai Hononga – Significant Māori Crown Events funding programme to enable the Crown to work with Māori to publicly acknowledge significant Māori leaders or historical events through the design, build and erection of statues or symbols in places of significance.

Operating expenditure of $1 million for 2021/22 has been provided.

  • He Hanganga e tū tonu ai ngā kura Māori nō ngā Hāhi – Infrastructure to Maintain the Delivery of Māori Boarding Schools

This initiative provides funding to meet priority needs related to the school infrastructure (excluding classrooms and teaching spaces maintained by the Ministry of Education) of the four Māori boarding schools (Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College, Te Aute College and Hato Pāora College).

Asset condition assessments commissioned mid 2021 by Te Puni Kōkiri will identify the relative urgency and criticality of repair, and remedial or replacement work needed to inform the potential programme of work going forward. This will improve the quality of school infrastructure, particularly boarding facilities, to ensure students are safe and well housed

Operating expenditure of $10 million  in each year (2021/22 and 2022/23) has been allocated.

  • Ko te whakatū i tētahi Rāngai Pāho Māori Toitū: Ko ngā rauemi hōtaka – Building a Sustainable Māori Media Sector – Programme Content

This initiative supports the continued development of innovative, local, Māori media content in collaboration with independent producers, Māori Television and iwi radio stations, to deliver on the priorities and goals of the Government’s Māori Language Strategy (Maihi Karauna).

It will also support the building of capability within the Māori media sector and iwi radio to ensure that the sector has the appropriate skills and capacity to produce content in a digitally convergent environment.

 This funding recognises that Māori media plays an important role in normalising te reo Māori by making the language available to all New Zealanders and increasing its status in society.

Operating expenditure of $105 million for each of the next four years is provided.

The Budget contribution to Maori media was the subject of a statement which Jackson posted on the official website on May 26.  He has posted nothing on that site since then (if we exempt joint statements).

Under the heading Funding boost for Māori Media, Jackson proclaimed the Government’s aspirational goal to have 1 million te reo speakers by 2040 and

“ … Māori broadcasting will play a significant part in helping us to achieve our goal”.

The Government  had invested $42 million over the next four years

“ .. to build a sustainable Māori media sector that will continue to develop innovative local Māori media content in collaboration with independent producers, Māori Television and iwi radio stations.”

The press statement said Jackson had been joined by fellow Māori ministers – Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare and Meka Waitiri – at a post-Budget breakfast held at a marae in Auckland.

Davis, as Minister for Māori Crown Relations, contributed to the statement with some numbers to show what we will get for our money: the funding would create an estimated 102 hours of “innovative” media content and as much as 940 news and current affairs stories.

Henare, as Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) contributed to the statement, too, although the link with health was not readily discernible.

“ … it will grow the capability of the Māori media sector and iwi radio to ensure that the sector has the appropriate skills and capacity to produce content in a digital environment. This in turn creates new job opportunities for Māori in a critical growth industry,” Peeni Henare said.

But the Maori ministers weren’t finished with explaining the Budget’s goodies to Maori breakfast audiences (presumably comprising Labour voters or potential Labour voters).

The statement on the Scoop website this morning (posted at 1.13pm yesterday) is  headed Government Invests In The Next Generation Of Māori Leaders

Investing in Māori boarding schools will help grow New Zealand’s future leaders, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.

Budget 2021 invested $20 million over two years to build the next generation of Māori leaders to enable the four remaining Māori boarding schools – Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College, Te Aute College and Hato Pāora – to address significant declining property issues and maintain their operations.

At Point of Order we are puzzled.  Is the government building the next generation of  Maori leaders to enable the four remaining Maori boarding schools to stay in business?  Or is the aim to keep the schools in business to build the next generation of Maori leaders?

The statement doesn’t clarify this.

“This Government believes in the unique role Māori boarding schools play in helping to shape and develop rangatahi,” Willie Jackson said.

“The rangatahi who attend these schools live and breathe te reo Māori me ona tikanga and develop a sense of whanaungatanga that can only be achieved inside these institutions,” Willie Jackson said.

Then we learn that Jackson had been joined again by Whaitiri, Henare and Davis at a post-Budget breakfast held at Napier War Memorial Centre.

Not a bad place to mention statues of Maori leaders.

Meka Whaitiri said this announcement was one part of over a $1 billion Budget package for Māori and that she was proud of the work the Government was doing to elevate Māori aspirations in housing, health, employment and education.

And then the statement says:

Māori Ministers used their time in Hastings to talk about Budget 2021, as well as investment in increasing the number of Māori statues across Aotearoa.

Ensuring there is a greater national understanding of Aotearoa’s unique Māori culture, leadership and history is the driver behind the $1 million set aside in Budget 2021 for this initiative.

“There is an overdue need to increase public recognition and acknowledgement of the contribution Māori leadership has made to advancing Māoridom,” Kelvin Davis said.

The initiative will acknowledge significant Māori leaders or historical events through the construction of statues or symbols in their honour and will grow Māori language, heritage and identity.

Peeni Henare said

“We have done this before and we are excited to do it again. In February 2020, we worked with the late Dame Whina Cooper’s whānau and Waipuna Marae to build a memorial statue of the Dame acknowledging the great land march to Parliament in 1975.

“Māori across the country will now have the same opportunity to acknowledge their leaders, their history, or events as we have done in the North,” Peeni Henare said.

As we said earlier, this statement was not recorded on the Beehive website.

But Point of Order did note these fresh statements since our previous update of Beehive news:

  • Education

Further consultation for Melville schools

Formal consultation is set to begin on specific options for the future of schooling in South West Hamilton, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Recent engagement had shown the schools and community want a change to Year 7-13 schooling for the area. Hipkins is now asking the Boards of Melville High School and Melville Intermediate how they consider this would be best achieved.

Primary schoolkids dig trees for Arbor Day

A new Arbor Day initiative announced by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash will enable thousands of primary school children to plant native trees in their communities.

The initiative- open to more than 2,400 primary schools. – is a partnership between Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service and the conservation charity Trees That Count.

Every primary school will be offered five native trees to plant, through the new Trees for Schools programme

Schools which want to be part of the Arbor Day initiative should register an interest before 30 June through a portal on the website of Trees That Count.

The cost of the initiative is buried in the last paragraph:  it  is estimated at around $150,000, which will be met from within the baseline budget of Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service. It is estimated around 10,000 native trees could be planted this year as a result of the programme.

Bob Edlin is a veteran journalist and editor for the Point of Order blog HERE.


DeeM said...

Building statues and pouring money into a minority media sector would not strike most people as necessary budget items in a country struggling to recover from a massive global economic downturn.
That shows just where this government's priorities lie - their racist, separatist agenda favouring all things Maori is top of their list every time. They are incapable of focusing on the country as a whole.

The whole tone of the budget is a veiled insult and a slap in the face to 85% of the population. It basically says "we don't care about you much because you're not Maori. Keep paying your taxes and we'll spend progressively less of them on you" But most "Maori" are less than half Maori so they're more than half something else. We're being ripped off by a minority group that differentiates itself entirely on race but genetically has much more in common with us, and yet they treat us with disdain and contempt. This is the con of the century and up to now most of us are taking it lying down! I target these comments at the Maori activists and elites who are driving this, not everyday Maori.

As long as we say nothing then they'll keep on doing it. The only thing that will rein this lot in is a large drop in their opinion poll popularity and only an engaged, well-informed majority can do that. The first is in the hands of the public themselves, the second has traditionally fallen to the media, who are now a dead loss. Even without a balanced media there are enough signs on the news of where the government is taking us.
Only someone in a coma for the past 6 months can fail to pick up on the one-sided pro-Maori agenda. So, the question is, are the public able to think for themselves. The information's out there if you only look for it.
Or are most of us happy to be led by the nose to somewhere we really don't want to go.

Anonymous said...

So true but why are the media not reporting on this type of thing would all this money not be better on housing to keep the population safe and healthy who decides what is right or wrong where are the opposition? And you are right of the 15% of Maori what would be the present age of other ethnic blood be very interesting to see perhaps they should have to be DNAd bet there would be few with 50% or more with Maori blood