Cancer researchers – looking for the causes of survival disparities – should check out the role of “partnership”

A modern-day interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi – contentiously bringing “partnership” into considerations –  is encouraging Maori demands for equal representation on a new health agency.

The government has announced it will establish a national Cancer Control Agency by December as part of a 10-year strategy, which includes achieving cancer survival equity by 2030.

This triggered a Maori health leader’s insistence on equal representation within the new agency and her call for Maori to decide what this means in practice. Continue reading “Cancer researchers – looking for the causes of survival disparities – should check out the role of “partnership””

The Treaty is called on to be made relevant to whatever issue a government wants – this time, with plant varieties and IP

The remarkable elasticity of the Treaty of Waitangi is again being demonstrated in government proposals to insert a Treaty clause in the Plant Varieties Act.

Intellectual Property Office consultations on the issue wrap up on Wednesday.

An attempt to mollify Maori with a Treaty clause was portended in September last year when Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi released an issues paper for public consultation on New Zealand’s plant variety rights law, which regulates intellectual property protection over new plant varieties.

Faafoi released the paper while attending the Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho Conference, which provided a platform for attendees to lament it had been 25 years since the Mataatua Declaration (on the Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was developed.  It was 26 years since the WAI-262 Indigenous Flora and Fauna Waitangi Tribunal Claim was lodged and seven years since the Tribunal released its Ko Aotearoa Tēnei report on the claim. Continue reading “The Treaty is called on to be made relevant to whatever issue a government wants – this time, with plant varieties and IP”

Open letter to associate professor sharpens the focus on Treaty of Waitangi and its influence on governance

A champion of the growing practice of appointing iwi representatives to sit with elected representatives on local authority decision-making bodies didn’t have a great deal to say, when questions were emailed to her.

Much of the little she did say – published on Point of Order last month – has been challenged by Bruce Moon in an open letter posted on Breaking Views.

The thrust and parry were triggered by governance changes on the Hastings District Council, which last month voted to appoint Māori representatives with speaking and voting rights to its four standing committees.

The council press statement which announced the decision noted 25 per cent of the local population is Māori and five of the council’s 14 elected members (33 per cent of the total) have identified as being of Maori descent.

The council voted in favour of appointing more Maori to join the elected ones “to be more inclusive and hear the voice of our iwi partners”.  

Associate Professor Maria Bargh, Victoria University of Wellington Te Kawa a Māui Head of School, welcomed this bypassing of the electoral system and the granting of speaking and voting rights to iwi appointees.

Her reasonscan be found in an article on the VUW website headed Academics commend Hastings District Council for inclusive, effective decision-making, .

Continue reading “Open letter to associate professor sharpens the focus on Treaty of Waitangi and its influence on governance”

The Treaty and partnership are invoked as TPK goes out to promote Māori wellbeing

The Coalition Government is making solid progress on improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and the Budget will outline further work, Finance Minister Grant Robertson enthused today.

Responding to the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report, he said “the scale of the challenge this Government inherited means that we won’t finish our work in one year”.

Well, no.  Jacinda Ardern said something similar in the Prime Minister’s statement, presented to Parliament yesterday.

“I have reflected over summer on three things that remain true to me. No matter how much this Government did in the last year—and it was plenty—there is more to do. There is more to do.  Even if there’s a summer break, I didn’t stop thinking about that for a moment.”

The things to be done include the development of a wellbeing Budget. Continue reading “The Treaty and partnership are invoked as TPK goes out to promote Māori wellbeing”

We await answers from Peters and Davis to questions about Treaty partnership and co-governance

Kelvin Davis, whose ministerial domain has been expanded by the establishment of the Office for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, has yet to reply to questions sent to him more than a week ago on the constitutional implications of a recent Cabinet decision.

Point of Order hoped to establish if he supports the establishment of more co-governance arrangements around the country and – if so – in which areas of public administration and governance?

We also asked:

  1. Will the promotion of co-governance arrangements be among the objectives of the newly established Maori-Crown relationship agency?
  2. What does the Minister believe is meant by the Treaty “partnership” (it is not actually mentioned in the Treaty of Waitangi) and when was a Treaty “partnership” first officially invoked for governmental policy-making purposes?

Continue reading “We await answers from Peters and Davis to questions about Treaty partnership and co-governance”

New charter aims to culturalise scientists – will dissidents be starved of funding?

Several questions are raised by the development of a “charter” to set out the principles to guide “sound research” practice in New Zealand.

The Royal Society has announced the formation of a working group to develop the charter with support from research funding agencies, bodies representing different types of research organisations and the Royal Society.

Dr John Hay, appointed independent chair of the working group, says the task is to develop the proposed charter within 12-18 months.

One aim of the charter “is to provide clarity to all researchers and research organisations on expectations for sound research practice”.

The charter will foster “a culture of collective responsibility” for maintaining good research practice, set out what sufficient compliance looks like and support cohesive research teams working across many research organisations.

Continue reading “New charter aims to culturalise scientists – will dissidents be starved of funding?”