Sep 13, 2011

Maori Council, John Key and Maori Business

Mita Ririnui has something interesting to say about the Maori Council:

Labour list MP Mita Ririnui says it's likely the New Zealand Maori Council will merge with the Iwi Leaders Forum.

The Maori Affairs Select Committee looked at how the Maori Council operates, during its last year into the Maori Development Act.

It found that the council has played a crucial role in representing the interests of Maori, but there are concerns it's become redundant with other Maori groups taking over that work.

Mr Ririnui, who's on the committee, says it may be productive for the council to join the Iwi Leaders Forum.

The Maori Council is becoming increasingly irrelevant. The Iwi Leaders Forum (ILF) is now the vehicle of choice for the National Government. If Mita’s comments are indicative of feeling within Labour, or at least the Maori Caucus, then I think the ILF will be cemented as the Maori organisation of choice for consultation, research opportunities, ppp’s and so on. If this happens then there will be no room for the Maori Council. It is convenient for the government to have a one-stop shop for external advice on Maori issues. It also suits the government when that organisation is ideologically sympathetic and, in the case of the Nat’s and asset sales, supportive of a key policy plank. For an in depth discussion re the nature of the ILF see this post on the “Iwi Elite” from earlier in the year.


I don’t care really care that the Prime Minister did not use te reo in his opening speech at the RWC opening ceremony. His staff obviously overlooked it and Key himself probably doesn’t give the content of such a pedestrian speech much thought. I’ve always imagined that Key just parrots the lines he receives. Having said that, it is personally embarrassing for Key to ignore the use of te reo, which is such an integral part of New Zealand identity, when the head of the IRB, a Frechman no less, uses te reo with some skill and grace. On the whole, Maori can stand proud given the important role we played in the opening ceremony. The highlight for me was the waka fleet – it was a majestic scene.


From RNZ:

The newly appointed Head of Maori Business for the Bank of New Zealand, Pierre Tohe, says there is plenty of economic activity to chase beyond the corporate arms of iwi.

Maori business continues to grow steadily. In most cases Iwi are involved in some way or another, but independent Maori businesses are beginning to grow. Off of the top of my head I can think of several small and successful independent Maori businesses, but I don’t think Maori have anything on the medium scale yet. The corporate arms of Iwi could, by my definition, be termed medium sized corporates. I think Maori business will come of age when we move away from profiting off of government contracts and instead move towards playing a greater role in the private sector.

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