Support Māori representation


Together_macron.jpgMāori representation in local government (and everywhere else) delivers great benefits to our communities. Currently the level of representation in local government is extremely low. One way councils can begin to address this is through the establishment of Māori wards. Five councils recently decided to do so, Kaikōura, Palmerston North, Manawatu, Western Bays and Whakatāne. However due to discriminatory legislation and the work of Hobson’s Pledge the establishment of these wards in under threat.

Thankfully there are many locals working hard in these communities in support of Māori representation. Groundwork: Facilitating Change is working with ActionStation and these locals to encourage people to Vote Yes for Māori wards. If you live in one of these communities, or elsewhere in Aotearoa, you can support this. Find out more here:

Te reo Māori capital

te tauihu






Following the inspiration of Ōtaki and Rotorua, the capital city is on the waka to becoming a bilingual city.  Ka mau te wehi!

Wellington City is currently consulting on Te Tauihu, their draft te reo Māori policy.
You don’t need to be a te reo speaker or live in Te Whanganui-a-Tara to make a submission. Nor do you need to write a lengthy submission (but of course do if you want to!).  The only thing that is really required at this stage is speed as submissions close at 5pm on Monday 12th March.

It’s important to make a submission, not just because it’s an important step for the capital but also because numbers matter.  It’s an opportunity show your support. Karawhuia!

The State of the Pākehā Nation


Halloween 2017: It’s a balmy spring evening and my daughter and her friend are discussing how it’s way too hot to be dressed up in black. “What were the British thinking? Didn’t they know that when it’s winter there it’s summer here?”

This State of the Pākehā Nation essay, commissioned by Network Waitangi Whāngarei for Waitangi Day, considers what Pākehā need to grapple with to make the Pākehā nation a compelling place for the children of my daughter’s generation.

Drawing inspiration from many sources including events of 2017, friends and mentors in the Treaty movement and workshop participants, the essay explores the necessity to unravel privilege, racism and colonisation, and suggests ways in which Pākehā might work to do so.

It’s here to read to read/hear and share!
State of the Pākehā Nation (PDF) and Podcast


It’s all relative

Ngai Tahu settlement

Recently some mainstream media ran a story on Ngāi Tahu and Waikato-Tainui “quietly” receiving “huge top-ups” to their “full and final settlements.” These relativity payments were agreed between the Crown and these iwi as part of their settlements.

Simply put, as Ngāi Tahu and Tainui were being offered a proportion of the pie that was available at the time (the $1b the Crown proposed to allocate to all settlements), it was agreed that if the pie increased in size over time they would get some more of it – meaning that the total amount they received would remain proportional to what was committed at the outset. As this balanced discussion of relativity payments explains, these payouts are part of the Crown’s contractual obligations, there’s nothing secretive in making them.

Within the skewed reporting on Treaty settlement relativity payments there was a bigger story that was totally overlooked — that according to the Office of Treaty Settlements a total of $2.2 billion was spent on Treaty settlements to iwi in the last 25 years (1992 – 2017). Here are a couple of examples of relativity in the context of the total financial payments.

Settlements govt exp


So where’s the headline story about the relatively tiny amounts that are being allocated to this process?

Why Ngāi Tahu and Tainui’s Treaty payment top-ups are fair and legal (The Spinoff 23/01/18)
Ministry of Defence takes the blame for a $148 milllion frigate upgrade budget blowout (Stuff 14/12/17)
Financial Statements Year End June 17 (Treasury)
Office of Treaty Settlements.


Webinar: Community organisations engaging with Te Tiriti o Waitangi


This recent webinar provides guidance for Tangata Tiriti community organisations in their efforts to engage with Te Tiriti. It contains discussion of:

  • How organisations are engaging with the Treaty of Waitangi
  • The factors of effective engagement
  • Where to find additional resources to guide you
  • Practical NGO application, as told by Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa / Occupational Therapy New Zealand


Treaty voyages workshop


A few last minute places have just become available on this workshop next week. It is being run by Groundwork: Facilitating Change in conjunction with Community Law’s Wellington office.

Treaty Voyages – Half day workshop for community organisations
Whether your voyage is well underway or you’re still contemplating how to start, this training will provide an opportunity to consider your direction and seek some wise feedback on your organisation’s questions. To get the most out of this training, we suggest you sign up as a small group. Space is limited so reserve your places early.
WHEN: Tuesday 28 November 2017, 1-4pm
WHERE: Community Law Wellington office (Level 8, 203 Willis Street)
COST: $40 (registration includes a free copy of Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti)

Read more details in the Treaty Voyages Flyer
Places are limited so register now.

It’s Independence Day


“He Whakaputanga te matua, Te Tiriti te tamaiti.
He Whakaputanga is the parent, Te Tiriti is the child.” (Hone Sadler, Ngāpuhi)

On this day in 1835 rangatira in the north, along with British representatives gathered to sign He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence). Its a foundational document for this country. In He Whakaputanga, the rangatira asserted their mana, rangatiratanga and independence over the northern parts of New Zealand. They stated that any foreign authority could be exercised only as they directed. They also agreed to meet annually at Waitangi for the purpose of framing laws for the purposes of justice, peace, good order, and trade. They invited hapū from southern parts of the country to join them in this (rangatira from other regions added their signatures over the following years). The Declaration was recognised by the British, French and US governments.

The independence of the hapū asserted in He Whakaputanga was affirmed in 1840 in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. As the Waitangi Tribunal recently concludedin February 1840 the rangatira who signed te Tiriti did not cede their sovereignty. That is, they did not cede their authority to make and enforce law over their people or their territories. Rather, they agreed to share power and authority with the Governor. They agreed to a relationship: one in which they and Hobson [who represented the British Crown] were to be equal – equal while having different roles and different spheres of influence. In essence, rangatira retained their authority over their hapu and territories, while Hobson was given authority to control Pākehā.’

It’s a busy day in Te Whanganui a Tara, if you are in the capital you might be heading to parliament to resist racism, or remembering the NZ Wars by attending the new exhibition at Te Papa, or attending this picnic to reflect on all the significant events of the day (extra points for doing all three!). With your spare time in between take a moment (realistically a good hour) to visit He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence), housed at the National Library. If you’re elsewhere in the country then take time to learn more about He Whakaputanga by reading more or watching this wonderfully clear and informative kōrero by Moana Jackson.