Annual Report for the Year Ended 30 June 2007

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora koutou,

I am pleased to provide the Annual Report of Te Puni Kōkiri for 2006/07, reporting against the Ministry’s Statement of Intent 2006/07. It summarises a busy and challenging year.

This is my seventh annual report, so I have been fortunate to witness at close hand the great gains which Māori have made in recent years across the economic, cultural and social dimensions of New Zealand. Māori unemployment is at a 20 year low, with Māori working in every part of the economy. In education, more Māori are participating than ever before. The Māori language is thriving as part of the renaissance of Māori culture which continues unabated. While these are gains which Māori have made for themselves, the government can be proud of the supportive role it has played.

Te Puni Kōkiri is guided in its work by an overarching strategy which we call the Māori Potential Approach. This means simply that we believe in the positive potential of Māori, and consider that this potential is best achieved by building on what is strong and successful among Māori as they themselves strive to meet the challenges of today and the future. Translated into operational terms, we provide assistance in many forms for individuals, groups and organisations which are assisting Māori to make positive choices in their lives. Learning from results, we enhance our policy advice.

Between 2000 and 2006 Te Puni Kōkiri supported more than 5,000 Māori development initiatives. This ranged from encouraging whānau involvement in local projects through to substantial investments in key Māori organisations. In this role, and through our relationships with community groups, other government agencies, local territorial authorities and the private sector, our network of regional offices provides government with a portal to every part of the Māori world.

During 2006 the government articulated three high level strategic priorities for the decade to 2016: Economic Transformation, Strengthening National Identity, and Families Young and Old. Since July 2006 Te Puni Kōkiri has targeted these priorities through three new investment areas we have identified as key enablers of realising Māori Potential. These areas are:

  • Building knowledge and skills (Mātauranga);
  • Strengthening leadership and decision-making (Whakamana); and
  • Development and use of resources (Rawa).

Funding to support these investment areas was created by aggregating and refocusing our previous funding programmes; this report shows the wide range of projects undertaken. 2006/07 was our first year of investing in the key enablers, so the investment framework employed was to some extent transitional. In its final form this framework will respond systematically to intelligence about the state of Māori development, and will shape our investment decisions to the areas of greatest opportunity for the Ministry to support Māori to succeed as Māori.

Our new strength-based approach heralds an important change for the Ministry. Alongside our continuing attention to capacity building, we have added a new focus – one which responds to the confident stance of Māori, and looks for ways of levering off what Māori have already achieved. Te Puni Kōkiri is proud to be associated with developments that affirm the aspiration, capability and initiative of Māori to live the lives they value, and to be all that they can be.

Finally, I acknowledge and thank all my staff. Their commitment and passion for the kaupapa never fail, and it is a privilege and pleasure to lead them.

Leith Comer
Chief Executive