Don’t worry, folks – ‘He Puapua’ is not the plan, and we will all be allowed a say (eventually) in the promotion of indigenous rights

In a speech delivered at his Ngā Whare Waatea marae, titled The next steps for the United Nation Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,  Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson was reassuring about the next steps on the government’s agenda for promoting the interests of Maori.

He Puapua (the report which champions much more co-governance) is not the government’s plan.

Furthermore:

The Declaration was never meant to divide us. It is not a tool for separatism. It is not something to be afraid of.

That’s what’s made the recent uproar both confusing and disappointing.

The speech was posted on The Beehive website along with news of –

  • The biggest Transitional Housing facility outside of Auckland being opened in Wellington.
  • The Government’s establishing a consumer data right framework for New Zealand.
  • A further easing of the Australia travel bubble restrictions.
  • The removal of all of the 10,000 tonnes of aluminium dross by-product stored in Mataura’s old paper mill site next to the Mataura River.
  • A new name (to incorporate te reo) for the Minds, Like Mine programme, which deals with mental health.

In his speech, Jackson ticked off a raft of measures arising from NZ’s signing on to the United Nation Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Whanau Ora, Teaching New Zealand History in schools Celebrating Matariki with a public holiday, for example.

He said the government plans to build on this work (after first discussing things with the Maori component of the country’s population):

Cabinet has signed off on to a two-step engagement process to develop the Declaration plan.

The first step is targeted engagement with key iwi and significant Māori organisations to inform the process for the development of a Declaration plan

And the second step is a wider public consultation on a draft Declaration plan.

Jackson will work with Pou Tikanga representatives of the National Iwi Chairs Forum to help inform the first phase and

… engage with a small group of independent legal experts with links to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and expertise in public law.

The Human Rights Commission is the outfit which is under fire from some critics after giving a few hundred bucks of koha to the Waikato chapter of the Mongrel Mob.

Non-Maori readers who feel they are being left out of the consultation are being assured they will not be forgotten.

The government’s aim is to develop a draft Declaration plan by the end of this year to take out to wider public consultation in 2022.

Following this wider public consultation, it aims to sign off on a final plan by the end of 2022.

The second part of this process is when we need to hear from all New Zealanders. Because ultimately, it’s about all of us.

We need to hear from everyone. Their thoughts, their ideas, their dreams and aspirations before we map out a pathway which shows us how, as a country, we will get there.

Oh – and here’s another assurance.

He Puapua is not the plan.

He Puapua is a collection of ideas, suggestions aspirations and hopes for Maori– something to add to our discussions,   it is provocative and it has been the catalyst in terms of where we are today and I thank the group very much for their contribution and the hard work they have put into this report.

However, He Puapua is not Government policy the group who put this together knows this

And from a Government perspective, we are not advancing that report. Our focus is on this public consultation process now.

Because before we put in place a plan we must all have a say in what the plan looks like.

 Health Minister Andrew Little isn’t waiting to be informed by the outcome of a public consultation on his latest decision.  As many of his colleagues have done in recent years, he is injecting a chunk of te reo into the name of a programme he described as

“… New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed Like Minds, Like Mine programme”.

Acclaimed but in need of rebranding and redirecting, apparently.

Accordingly Little has announced a new name and focus – it’s now the ‘Nōku te Ao: Like Minds’ programme

Little is confident that:

“This programme will change attitudes towards people experiencing mental distress, reduce discrimination, and improve social inclusion experiences for priority groups”

But how long will it take and what changes are being made?

The Like Minds, Like Mine programme was established in 1997 which means it has been bringing mental health into everyday conversation for 25 years.

This government is pumping $8 million over five years into a range of initiatives to generate a social movement against prejudice.

“The Government’s report into mental health and addiction, He Ara Oranga, made it clear we need to take a human rights-based approach to mental health and focus on equity.

“We have laid the foundations for transformation to ensure people get the right help, when and where they need it, and are progressing the rollout of new and expanded services which are helping tens of thousands of people every month,” Andrew Little said.

And:

“Nōku te Ao adds another tool to the toolkit. It aligns not only with the Labour government’s commitment to lay the foundations for a better future, but also the changes that will be made as part of this government’s Health & Disability System Reforms,” Andrew Little said.

 Latest from the Beehive

Housing

Wellington’s largest transitional housing facility opens

The biggest Transitional Housing facility outside of Auckland has opened in Wellington, providing safe accommodation and support for the capital’s homeless on their journey to long-term housing.

Housing Minister Megan Woods, along with Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, and Associate Housing Minister Marama Davidson (Homelessness), opened Wellington City Mission’s Te Pā Pori in the former ‘Zebra’ building on Tory Street this morning.

The Government is contributing about $15 million over 3 years to support Te Pā Pori, which will accommodate up to 100 individuals and whanau.

Consumer rights

Govt agrees to establish a consumer data right

The Government has agreed to establish a consumer data right framework for New Zealand, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark announced today.

A consumer data right (CDR) is a mechanism that requires data holders, such as banks and electricity retailers, to safely and securely share data with third parties (like fintech companies) following consent from the customer. This means New Zealanders gain access to a wider range of products and services that better meet their needs.

Any data shared through the consumer data right will only take place with a person’s informed consent, and would be strictly used for the reasons agreed upon. For example, if a person was seeking financial advice, they could ask their bank to share data, such as transaction information, with their chosen adviser, Clark said.

The businesses and services wishing to receive this data would also have to meet a number of safeguards to ensure the information could be handled safely and securely.

Clark said he intends the consumer data right will work with the Digital Identity Trust Framework (announced earlier this year) which sets out the rules for the delivery of digital identity services

Following a recent consultation on options for a consumer data right, the Government is now in the process of building a regulatory regime.

More information is available on the Ministry of Businesses, Innovation and Employment’s website.

Travel bubble

Pause to be lifted for WA and NT; managed return flights from NSW and Queensland

The Government has carefully considered health advice and will further ease Australia travel bubble restrictions –

  • Quarantine free travel (QFT) pause with Western Australia and Northern Territory to be lifted at 11.59pm (NZT) Friday, 9 July
  • Managed return flights from NSW and Queensland for people ordinarily resident* in New Zealand to start from 11.59pm (NZT), Friday 9 July
  • Pause between New Zealand and Queensland to be reviewed on Wednesday, 7 July

Environment

It’s done! – Government welcomes safe removal of all dross from Mataura

All of the 10,000 tonnes of aluminium dross by-product stored in Mataura’s old paper mill site next to the Mataura River has been removed.

Environment Minister David Parker welcomed the news that the last bags of dross were moved from Mataura last Wednesday to be stored in watertight shipping containers at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters’ Tiwai Point.

Rio Tinto has agreed to pay the $6 million cleanup bill.

Maori rights

The next steps for the United Nation Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This is Maori Developpment Minister Willie Jackson’s speec at Ngā Whare Waatea.

Mental health

Mental wellbeing programme addresses prejudice and discrimination

Health Minister Andrew Little says New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed Like Minds, Like Mine programme enters a new phase today with a new name and focus,

The new ‘Nōku te Ao: Like Minds’ programme builds on more than two decades of work to continue to put the spotlight on stigma, prejudice and discrimination against those who experience mental health and wellbeing issues.

Eight-million dollars over five years is being invested in a range of initiatives to generate a social movement against prejudice, including education campaigns, social action grants and strengthened research and evaluation.

The statement lists what this government has achieved in mental health:

  • 200+ GP sites delivering integrated primary mental health and addiction services across New Zealand
  • More than 520 full-time equivalents (FTE) have been contracted to provide services.
  • More than 134,000 Sessions delivered by new primary mental health and addiction services since July 2019
  • $1 million invested into Youthline to provide additional clinical support
  • $4-million targeted funding for Rainbow young people
  • Established Whāriki, a knowledge exchange network to enable leaders to share learning and transform mental health services.
  • 800 additional Māori and Pacific cultural competency workforce training places each year
  • 74 Māori suicide prevention initiatives funded
  • 18 Pacific suicide prevention initiatives funded
  • All 20 District health boards funded to increase capacity for responding to people in crisis and supporting whānau bereaved by suicide
  • More than 1400 People supported by Te Ara Oranga (methamphetamine harm-reduction programme) since July 2019
  • 2 new Pregnancy and Parenting Service sites and;
  • 3 new Enhanced Well Child Tamariki Ora Enhanced Support Pilots.

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