Thursday, March 17, 2022

Point of Order: Brace for more change and for the Treaty to be further sanctified in public policy prescriptions

It’s a great day for change or the prospect of change – of the Earthquake Commission, the teaching of history in our schools, the work of the ACC and gambling regulations. It’s a great day, too, for the Ardern government’s programme of sanctifying the Treaty of Waitangi.

Earthquake Commission Minister David Clark announced that making a claim following a natural disaster will be easier soon thanks to a Bill introduced today.

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced a review of pokie machine regulations to “reduce harm to vulnerable communities” (or people who gamble money when they can’t afford to lose).

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced every young person in school will soon start learning about how New Zealand’s histories have shaped our lives.

ACC Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced the Government is taking steps towards delivering on a key manifesto commitment and seeking feedback on a review of occupational diseases for which ACC can provide cover.

Other announcements included handouts of public money to help South Island tourism operators. and provide students with an opportunity “for life-changing education experiences overseas”.

David Clark, our Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, said the government is improving the Earthquake Commission scheme, to ensure New Zealanders don’t have to go through the same traumatic experiences as the people of Canterbury.

The Natural Hazards Insurance Bill simplifies and clarifies the Earthquake Commission Act and incorporates several recommendations from Dame Silvia Cartwright’s Public Inquiry.

A change of name is on the agenda too:

“EQC will also transition to a new name – Toka tū Ake – Natural Hazards Commission. Toka Tū Ake translates as ‘the foundation from which we stand strong together’ – acknowledging the organisation’s role supporting New Zealand to both prepare for and recover from natural hazards,” David Clark said.

A quick Point of Order check with Dame Silvia’s report found no recommendation to change the commission’s name.

The report did reinforce the politically contentious notion that the Treaty of Waitangi established a partnership between the Crown and Maori tribes that requires co-governance:

“Iwi are Treaty partners with the Crown and need to be part of the governance arrangements put in place following a natural disaster.”


“”EQC must establish meaningful and enduring relationships with tangata whenua that it can build on following a natural disaster. In my view, there is considerable room for EQC to do more to build relationships with iwi and to better recognise Māori world views and tikanga in its operational practices.”

The sanctification of the Treaty is reinforced, too, in the ideas and ideals underpinning the new history curriculum.

Hipkins says the final curriculum content for New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā [his statement leaves the great majority of the public to find out what this means] has been released and is now available to all New Zealand schools. This means they can start planning now to teach it from the beginning of next year.

The draft curriculum content was tested in 2021 in school staffrooms, classrooms, and with the public through a survey and general submission process.

“While some parts of it will be taught right throughout the country, schools and kura can decide on what histories to include from their local area, in partnership with whānau, iwi, mana whenua and local communities. This will ensure their local curriculum or marau ā-kura is reflective of the people, places and events that are important within their communities.”

Hipkins didn’t mention the Treaty – but on the Ministry of Education website we found this:

Refreshing The New Zealand Curriculum

‘The New Zealand Curriculum’ is being refreshed to make sure every child experiences success in their learning, and that their progress and achievement is responded to and celebrated.

To create this future, the goals for ‘The New Zealand Curriculum’ refresh and for teaching and learning are to…

Four objectives are set out. Top of the list is:
1. Honour our mutual obligations to and through Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The ACC announcement from Carmel Sepuloni said the government is taking steps towards delivering on a key manifesto commitment and seeking feedback on a review of occupational diseases for which ACC can provide cover.

Consultation will begin on a review of Schedule 2 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001. Schedule 2 is a list of occupational diseases for which ACC can provide cover and is part of the work-related gradual process, disease, or infection cover provided by ACC.

Sepuloni didn’t mention the Treaty but did say she is also focused on improving gender equity in the AC Scheme.

“As part of that, a regular review framework, which would take gender into account, could improve our understanding of how occupational diseases impact different population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

But the Treaty has influenced the decision to review Class 4 gambling machine (pokies) regulations.

The review , which is now underway, aims to target and reduce harm experienced by some people who use pokies and people close to them.

Public consultation will run for six weeks. Head to to read the public discussion document, including quick-reads in a number of languages.

The document tells us:

“The Crown is obliged to take active steps towards equalising Māori outcomes for pokies gambling Treaty of Waitangi principles oblige the Crown to take active steps towards ensuring that Māori do not experience disproportionate gambling harm.”

This is a curious objective. The aim seems to be to ensure that Māori incur the same gambling losses as non-Māori, rather than to minimise the harm done to all poor people who gamble, regardless of race.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton.


Terry Morrissey said...

Nothing but more propaganda, wishful thinking, fairy tales and racism.

DeeM said...

I love the Maori name for EQC - Toka Tū Ake, which translates as ‘the foundation from which we stand strong together’.
Isn't the nature of an earthquake that the foundation on which we stand is unstable and shaky?

I'm getting really fed up with all this Maoritisation crap. They'll spend multi-millions changing their office signs, stationary and furniture while doing nothing tangible to improve how the organisation works.

I'm pretty sure earthquakes don't give a monkey's cuss about Maori co-governance, tikanga or any of the other cultural hogwash that this government elevates to the top of its list instead of trying to actually run the country competently.

As for refreshing the curriculum they say "The New Zealand Curriculum’ is being refreshed to make sure every child experiences success in their learning, and that their progress and achievement is responded to and celebrated."
What does that even mean - that they're making it so easy that even the stupidest kid will pass with flying colours and be told how wonderful they are while doing it?
More woke PC bullshit.

NZ governance, the public sector and academia are rotten with this purile nonsense which has replaced any meaningful and substantial reforms.
Time to drain the swamp!!

paulem said...

Haven't heard so much wonderful racism, its basically hate speech and very anti white, there should be no race based policies

Don said...

The Treaty was a simple attempt to give Maori the status of British subjects
on an equal footing with everyone else in New Zealand. It has fallen into the hands of the spin-doctors to become a blank cheque for the iwi elite who cunningly use it to manipulate the government. Brain-dead politicians of all parties go along with it lest they be kicked out of the cosy nest they enjoy up on the hill .We must learn to live with hypocrisy and stand quietly by in order to survive.