Sunday, 30 October 2011

I read this article in the NZ Herald today Mana, Maori divided on asset sales, which was a summary of some of the comments made by political leaders on Q and A this morning. 

The Maori Party 2011 policy on sale of State Owned Assets is as follows:

We do not support asset sales. If privatisation of state owned assets occurs it must be managed in a manner that is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Māori Party will support iwi who wish to invest into state owned assets as a means of retaining New Zealand ownership.

This policy, in my view, is quite reasonable. The real issue that underlies the sale of State Owned Assets (and partial state owned assets) is the argument around capitalist interests driving the cost of our basic necessities of life. Obviously the assumption is that publicly owned assets will keep the costs down and therefore more affordable to the average New Zealander.

We agree - that we must keep the costs balanced in line with a reasonable cost of living. It is of course about our rights as people to a decent quality of life.

The second part of our policy, however, I think is misunderstood. It is not about propping up corporate Maori or Iwi interests (as suggested in the NZ Herald article) - it is about rangatiratanga, and also understanding that Iwi are not just businesses in the capitalist or western view of business - they are accountable to beneficiaries, and are accountable not just in terms of profits, but also social, cultural and environmental outcomes - they are values based organisations, driven out of our own Maori communities. If...and I mean only if....assets are to be sold off - wouldnʻt you rather see them in the hands of Iwi and New Zealanders?

✓ Maori Candidate
✓ Maori Party

A bit of history repeating

My Aunty read my first post, and saw the picture of my son Te Haanea hugging our carving Mokopuna (top) - and kindly sent me a picture of me doing the exact same thing when I was four years old. The lower picture, is of me, and Mokopuna, and is in a book called "Te Maori Whakahirahira".

The carving in this picture is called "Mokopuna" and is a representation of all grandchildren. It was carved by my Koro Hirini Mead and my dad. I used to love playing with Mokopuna as a child, but now my children love her just as much.


Maori Party releases 2011 Election Policies

Maori Party Policy Document 2011 - Link here

Kia Ora,

Have a look at our brand spanking new Maori Party policies. The top 3 for me are:

1) Ahi Kaa & Marae CBD policies - which are about building up the capacity of our marae, and our hau kainga to be able to generate more training and employment opportunities. Ultimately its about strengthening our home bases, but in doing so, providing a pathway home for those who live away

2) Rourou Economy - This concept, developed by Graham Smith, is about developing a sustainable economy based on the principles of sharing and caring. It is about literally growing our economy. Our focus is on food security, as kai is a key driver of our livelihoods and wellbeing, and also our economy. With the issue of peak oil, and a growing awareness that we are looking at more sustainable options n the energy space - the next critical area for development will come in the food security space.

3) Rangatahi policies - More than just the rangatahi policy itself, this document is full of opportunities for rangatahi. Our Maaku Ra Pea policy would see us supporting every Maori organisation in Aotearoa hiring two young people. This gives our youth a vital opportunity not only to learn critical employment skills, but also (hopefully!) engage them kaupapa Maori development opportunities - so that we are not just advancing our economic growth, but also our social, cultural and spiritual development.

Overall I believe our policies provide the critical balance between advancing both our social, and economic aspirations - within a framework built on our cultural beliefs. 

The Maori Party is about Maori - we are not 'left' and we are not 'right'. Our policies cross the entire political spectrum, focusing on lifting up our most vulnerable whanau, while also securing critical infrastructure so that we can move closer towards our achieving rangatiratanga.

Rangatiratanga does not live in parliament. It lives out there in our communities, on our marae, and in our hapu and iwi. Our role as a political party is to move us closer towards achieving our aspirations.


Maori Party - Te List (Two Ticks e hoa ma!)

Kia Ora whanau,

Here is the Party List line up for the Maori Party

1   Waihoroi Shortland (Candidate for Te Tai Tokerau)
2   Kaapua Smith
3   Wheturangi Walsh Tapiata
4   Tina Porou
5   Awanui Black
6   Davina Murray
7   Hon. Tariana Turia (Co Leader, Candidate for Te Tai Hauauru)
8   Hon. Dr. Pita Sharples (Co Leader, Candidate for Tamaki Makaurau)
9   Te Ururoa Flavell (Candidate for Waiariki)
10 Josie Peita
11 Paora Te Hurihanganui
12 Fallyn Flavell
13 Daryl Christie
14 Tom Phillips
15 Tim Morrison
16 Tamai Nicholson
17 Aroha Rickus

and of course our awesome Maori electorate candidates

Rahui Katene - Te Tai Tonga
Te Ururoa Flavell - Waiariki
Tauhuia Bruce Mataki - Hauraki Waikato
Na Raihania - Ikaroa Rawhiti
Waihoroi Shortland - Te Tai Tokerau
Dr. Pita Sharples - Tamaki Makaurau
Tariana Turia - Te Tai Hauauru

For more information on our candidates click on this link: Maori Party Candidate Profiles

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Introductory Speech at Maori Party AGM 29 October 2011

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

I am very humbled, and also proud to be standing here today, as a member of the Maori Party, but also as a voice for a new generation of Maori.

Ko te patai pea a etahi – ko wai tenei e tu ake nei? Ko au, he uri o Ngati Porou, o Ngati Awa, Ngati Apa, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngai Tahu, me Whanganui. He mokopuna, i puta mai i te Kohanga Reo o Natari, te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Maungawhau, me te kura noho Maori o Hato Hohepa.

Te tamaiti o Linda raua ko Graham Smith, te teina o Ramari Jackson, aa te whaea a Te Haanea raua ko Niwa. He kotiro i tipu ake i raro i te maru o te kaupapa Maori, aa I roto I te korowai o tetahi whanau, e ai ki au - he whanau ora.

I am here today to speak as a Maori Party list candidate. First of all, I would like to commend the Party for their commitment to represent the ‘many faces’ of Maori through their list, and in my view, show their commitment to the growing and diverse needs of our whanau, hapu and Iwi.

I would also like to make particular mention of the clearly visible prioritising of rangatahi, or rangatakapu in the list. As a young-ish person myself, I recognise the ‘leap of faith’ taken by our pakeke – we all know that 50% of Maori are aged 23years and under, but we also know, that sometimes rangatahi need time to learn, time to grow, and to develop.

I am young too, but I have also grown up in a whanau committed to the kaupapa of Maori development. I work hard, because my parents taught me to work hard, and to stand on my own two feet. I strive towards Maori development because my parents, my Aunties and Uncles, and my Nannies and Koro’s did it, and they taught me that is my responsibility to continue on that path. My whanau taught me things that cannot be learned in an educational institution, they taught me about the beauty of being part of a whanau, and the uniqueness that comes with being Maori.  
My Koro once said to me, that if you aspire to do great things, then go and learn from someone who has walked that road. So I did, and here I am. I sought an education, of a kind. Working in many Maori organisations, in some government departments, and finally ended up in the Maori Party offices in Parliament. It is about “akoranga” – both learning and teaching – and I am grateful to our Party and our MP’s for allowing me to learn alongside you.

Just to take some time to reflect on that experience –  I have only been working in there for one year, but already I have seen the hard work, the long hours and the dedication that our candidates have put in to their work. Our Co-Leaders, Papa Pita and Whaea Tari work hard, they are not just our Co-Leaders, or Ministers of this portfolio or that. Our people view them as Ministers of all things Maori – and as such they worked hard both to open opportunities, but also to shut down threats to our development.

I also saw our MP’s Te Ururoa and Rahui holding it down for our people on a day to day basis in the House. I can recall one particular Bill the “Policing (Storage of Youth Identifying Particulars) Bill, and I watched Rahui stand up for our position all day in the house.  She took a verbal hammering from National, from Labour, from Act  and others. But she stood firm, she stood up and said “No” – this is not right for our people, and it’s not right for our kids. And all I remember thinking was – “Rahui’s bloody awesome”! She stood there, as the voice for Maori on that day, she made her view heard, and she represented us proudly.

Lots of people work hard when a camera is around, but its those who do it behind the scenes when no one is looking that make the biggest impression on me.

So I do feel privileged and I have learnt so much. So thank you to the our MP’s and thank you to my colleagues.

One of the things I quickly want to touch on before I finish up is the reason why I support the Maori Party. In 2004, I was a political studies student at Auckland University, when the foreshore and seabed act was passed, and the hikoi happened and the Maori Party was born. I remember being so moved by the display of unity, but even more impressive was the calibre of people who stood up for the Maori Party and took up the rakau to take our issues to parliament.

It’s intimidating. It’s intimidating to think about the wonderful contributions and advancements that they have made to Te Ao Maori, but also towards my own life. I went to Kura Kaupapa – Papa Pita is the godfather of Kura; Whaea Tari, otherwise known as Whaea of the Nation because of her staunch advocacy for Maori on the foreshore and seabed issue, probably one of the most important moments in our history that awoke our collective consciousness; and Te Ururoa, Uncle Jimbo – well your impact on me will be life lasting – I wear the mark of your brand in my name – you are godfather to me.

The point is that my world is a different place to that of my parents, because of the contributions that our Pakeke, our Kaumatua, and our tipuna have made. And I am who I am today because of our candidates, our MP’s and our Party.

At the end of the day, all parties have policies, all parties have candidates, and logos, they all care about New Zealand, and disparity – but the Maori Party is the only Party that is about Maori solutions. It is the only party that is about Kaupapa Maori, and it is the only party that truly knows the meaning of whakapapa, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, Rangatiratanga and more.

As a kura kid, those are the values I was raised to believe in – those values to me, are like home.  

So, while it is intimidating, I am also struck by the need to continue this advancement for my own tamariki, and for the world that they will grow up in. I am also mindful of the aspirations of my generation, and of those generations that follow – and the need for them to have an ear, eyes, and a voice at all levels of decision making.

 So on that note, I would like to announce our fabulous Maori Party rangatahi policy:

The Maori Party will
  • Establish internships, voluntary work, and other vocational development including specialised programmes run jointly by employers and schools
  • Ensure that each school-leaver will be mentored by work brokers to enable them to graduate with a plan which prepares them for employment including possible career opportunities and tertiary study options
  • focus on sectors with the biggest skills shortages: health care, infrastructure, finance and green energy, recognising that green energy developments will open up jobs that don’t exist now
  • establish youth councils with statutory advisory roles in city and regional councils and initiate a national summit for rangatahi
  • investigate the establishment of rangatahi rangatira – Maori Youth Leadership colleges to better inform Government policy.

These policies I am sure will enhance rangatahi participation and meaningful engagement in decision making, as well provide critical support for them to thrive in our future!

I just want to finish this korero today by saying as a rangatahi, and on behalf of my generation – that we are the fruits of your hard work. And we have a voice. and we have knowledge and experiences hei tapiri atu ki ou, e aku rangatira.

Our generation will face new challenges. Global challenges. We must take our people into a digital world, and into a globally connected world. We will chart a course into a global era, that will see us taking up new opportunities, but also an era that will pose potential risks that we must navigate around. We will face the challenge of this new world, while also needing to ensure that our identity, our culture and our connection to our whenua, hapu and Iwi and is maintained.

We must start to build those foundations now to ensure that our mokopuna are secure in their identity as Maori, but also engaged and staunch citizens of Aotearoa.

Rangatahi have knowledge to add to this endevour, we want to be heard, and to have our experiences valued, but most of all we want to know that we can participate in a safe and meaningful way.

No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.