Statement of Intent 2011-2014

Introduction from the Chief Executive

Tēnei ahau, e mihi nei ki te hunga kua huri ki tua o paerau, me koutou ngā kanohi ora o rātou mā, tēnā koutou katoa.

I would like to place on record my condolences for all those who lost cherished family members and friends and suffered other terrible losses. When we learned of the Christchurch earthquake, our initial reactions and thoughts were for our regional staff in our Te Waipounamu regional office, and it was with immense relief and gratitude that we learned all of our staff there were safe and sound although the office itself was damaged. Despite very difficult circumstances, our Te Waipounamu staff almost immediately set about working with Ngāi Tahu to begin coordinating a Māori response to the tragedy. We also deployed extra resources from around the country and helped to mobilise the significant resources provided by Māori NGOs, other iwi, and Māori organisations. We will continue in this role as long as we are needed. It is also our intention that where appropriate, a number of our priority areas will include a focus on the re-build of Christchurch.

The primary focus of Te Puni Kōkiri in the immediate future, undoubtedly, is the five priorities of the Minister of Māori Affairs agreed with Government, and identifying the opportunities for Māori as a result of the Public Sector Reforms.

More recently I have noticed that governments globally and especially the public sector are in various states and rates of change driven by economic factors such as reducing costs, achieving greater efficiencies or responding to changes in social conditions. New Zealand is certainly no different. The one critical factor however, that is unique for Te Puni Kōkiri in our public service and within the wider machinery of government is the form of Crown-Māori relationships.

Within this context, two important questions arise; what role do Māori people wish to take within change; and what effect might this have on our public service? For us in Te Puni Kōkiri, this means considering the best role and shape for our organisation in order to respond to change. In view of this, we must stay in the present and continue to deliver on the priorities of our Ministers, while maintaining a watch on the medium term. We will of course be guided by our strategic outcome of “Māori succeeding as Māori”.

In terms of the Minister of Māori Affairs priorities, the statements contained in the Ministerial Foreword are very explicit. The detail of Te Puni Kōkiri’s work is contained in the Operating Intentions section of this document and should be read in conjunction with the Māori, Other Populations and Cultural Sector Information Supporting the Estimates 2011/12, particularly the performance information for appropriations in Vote Māori Affairs. A snapshot of how we intend to address the Government’s expectations over the medium term is as follows:

Māori Culture and Indigeneity

  • Culture is the unique and distinguishing feature of Māori vis-à-vis non-Māori, and is the foundation for the strategic outcome of Māori Succeeding as Māori – more secure, confident and expert in their own culture. Te Puni Kōkiri will:
  • contribute to the development of the wholeof-government response to the Review of the Māori Language Sector and Strategy and implement Cabinet’s decisions arising from the Review;
  • work to strengthen Māori broadcasting;
  • support a strong Māori cultural presence as part of Rugby World Cup 2011; and
  • support community based opportunities to strengthen cultural practice and cultural events.

Crown-Māori Relationships

Te Puni Kōkiri in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice will play a lead role in the constitutional review and reform that is likely to require an ongoing facilitation and brokerage role for Te Puni Kōkiri during the process as well as provision of related policy advice. The extent of work required will largely depend on the agreed terms of reference and level of wider engagement required.

Te Puni Kōkiri provides advice, facilitation and brokerage to support the Government’s aim of completing the settlement of historical Treaty claims by 2014. We will also advise government on improved and efficient Māori participation in natural resource management, including the Resource Management Act reform programme. These, along with wider national and regional advice, facilitation, brokerage and investment activities contribute to supporting an enhanced Treaty partnership between the Crown and Māori.

Māori Economic Opportunities

Policy settings need to support a shift in the drivers to ensure more balanced and sustainable economic growth for Māori. Te Puni Kōkiri will also be required to influence the policy advice process concerning the impact on Māori as a result of the Government’s wider economic growth agenda; dairy, forestry, aquaculture/ seafood, mining, resource management, taxation system, and the recent decision to establish a New Zealand Productivity Commission.

The Māori economy is growing. Te Puni Kōkiri research shows that the majority of Māori contribution to the economy still comes from wages and consumption, rather than ownership, entrepreneurship and management.

To support Māori in achieving their economic aspirations, Te Puni Kōkiri will develop an Economic Investment Plan in 2011 to guide their interventions. Specifically, we will advise on increasing Māori participation and success in the economy.

Whānau Ora

Whānau Ora is a new initiative of government developed from a Māori world view and philosophy with a single overarching aim of – best outcomes for whānau. Its meaning is best described as attaining and maintaining wellness, health and resilience. Te Puni Kōkiri has a lead role in the implementation of Whānau Ora on behalf of government and will:

  • continue to provide timely advice on Whānau Ora outcomes, linked to regional plans;
  • measure the progress of Whānau Ora and associated interventions;
  • identify partner agencies output contributions and processes that address agreed Whānau Ora outcomes;
  • support Whānau Ora Governance Group and RLG’s development;
  • Extend uptake of Whānau Ora nationally; and
  • maintain a communication plan to promote achievements of Whānau Ora to enhance understanding and support of the programme.

Whole of Government Effectiveness for Māori

Māori are substantial consumers of mainstream services provided by the public sector and are important stakeholders in many aspects of government business. However, there is little tangible evidence about the effectiveness for Māori of the programmes and services delivered by public sector agencies. In this current economic climate, it is important that we find better ways to judge the effectiveness of the public sector’s efforts for Māori, and then work to make the necessary improvements.

Te Puni Kōkiri will:

  • work with central agencies with the view to sharpening the focus of the public sector accountability system on effectiveness for Māori;
  • focus state sector agencies on meeting the needs of Māori and on ongoing improvement to their service delivery;
  • lead a comprehensive programme of research and analysis to ensure policy development and programme design is underpinned by robust evidence; and
  • provide the public with high quality information so that they can enhance the quality of their engagement with government.

In concluding, Māori know only too well that our history is also our future – looking back not only helps us to look forward but also to be bold in our thinking and approaches. We have responded with pace to improvements identified in the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF), an independent review of our capability and capacity.

I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the future. We need collectively to make maximum use of all the levers, talent and information available to us, to enhance our reputation as a smart, effective public service organisation.

Nō reira, noho ora mai koutou i ngā marae kāinga o te motu.

Leith Comer
Chief Executive