It’s the Treaty settlement that keeps on giving – or rather, which requires taxpayers to keep on giving. This time Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu have each received $1.625 million as a negotiated resolution of a range of disputes concerning the relativity mechanism payments made in 2012 and 2017.
The relativity mechanisms were included in the tribes’ 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements.
The adjustment payments (we are told) have been guided by the awards of previous arbitrations, and have reduced the number of future arbitration hearings required to resolve remaining disputes.
The headline on the press statement might puzzle some readers. What is STEMM?
They will know about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – but what’s the extra “M” all about?
It’s M for Mātauranga, perhaps the most vital component of our education – and science – system under the Ardern Government.
Associate Education (Māori Education) Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed the expansion of Pūhoro Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Mātauranga (STEMM) Academy in Te Tai Tokerau (or Northland as most people call it).
He explained that Pūhoro was established in response to low engagement of Māori in STEMM-related career pathways, an explanation which suggests the Government’s social engineers are carving out career paths which demand a good grounding in Mātauranga.
To help restore “mauri” here and there around the country where it has disappeared or been debased, for example.
“It supports rangatahi Māori with a pathway into high-value careers, with the transition from secondary school to tertiary programmes including connections to internships, industry opportunities and employment.
“Supporting more rangatahi Māori to succeed in science, technology and innovation is not only important to this Government – it is important to us as a people, and to Aotearoa.”
“The Pūhoro way is a by Māori for Māori way. Its expansion into Tai Tokerau is a significant milestone for a kaupapa Māori approach that seeks to improve equitable access for rangatahi Māori into science and technology related pathways. This also fits with this Government’s approach to Māori education, as set out in Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia, the Māori Education Strategy.” Kelvin Davis said.
In the past two years the Pūhoro STEMM Academy has engaged 1503 rangatahi in 54 participating schools and kura across nine regions,
Northland will be the 10th region served, made possible through funding from its critical partners including the Ministry of Education, the Tindall Foundation and Foundation North.
Marama Davidson, our Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness), brandished the latest progress report for the Homelessness Action Plan and delighted in saying it shows “milestones continue to be met as the Government works hard to address homelessness”.
This is the fifth progress report on the plan which first launched in February 2020.
Milestones met in the six months to August (cumulative figures since February 2020) are:
* Pilots in Auckland and Waikato to support people leaving acute mental health and addiction inpatient units
* 2,202 Sustaining Tenancies places contracted as at end August to help individuals, families and whānau keep their places to live
* 918 individuals and whānau engaged with the Rapid Rehousing pilot, with 311 individuals and whānau transitioned into permanent housing.
* 99 places delivered to support rangatahi youth leaving Oranga Tamariki care
* Close to $6 million allocated to local work and projects that respond to and prevent homelessness in round two of the local innovation partnership fund.
* 12 regions with dedicated housing broker services
The full progress report is available here.
Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio will travel to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Committee meeting in Manila to represent New Zealand, the first time we will be represented in person since the pandemic.
Sio aims to “reconnect with Western Pacific partners and continue to advocate for increased momentum on regional health issues, as well as contribute to global planning for future health threats”.
He will endorse regional health initiatives including:
* Strengthening the prevention and control of cervical cancer.
* Transforming the region’s approach to mental health care, with a focus on well-being and improved access.
* Alleviating the disproportionate burden of non-communicable diseases .
* Improving the delivery of primary care services to promote wellbeing ‘Reaching the unreached’ to address health inequities across the region.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced the appointment of Dawn Bennett as New Zealand’s next ambassador to Seoul, South Korea.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said the relativity mechanisms are an important part of the settlements agreed with both Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu to ensure the value of their Treaty settlements maintains their relative size compared with the total value of all Treaty of Waitangi settlements to date.
“The relativity mechanisms must be honoured, as with any other commitment made in a Treaty settlement.
The Crown and both iwi have agreed to resolve disputes relating to the 2012 and 2017 relativity mechanism payments through confidential arbitration.
Both iwi can request a payment every five years to ensure the real value of their settlements remains at 17 per cent (Waikato-Tainui) and 16.1 per cent (Ngāi Tahu) of total Treaty settlement expenditure.
The next payment can be requested by the iwi later in 2022.
Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton