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Maori Council call for culture change in SOE

The New Zealand Maori has today released figures showing only six Maori sit on boards right across the State Owned Enterprise Sector begging the statement from Council’s Executive Director Matthew Tukaki – “No wonder we are not making progress around our social and economic futures we aren’t even sitting at the table!”

The information was released to Council under an Official Information Act request showing that there are a total of 77 Directors of State Owned Enterprises and yet only six are Maori. It is questionable as to whether or not a single Maori person is the Chair of a State Owned Enterprise and there is no development strategy of targeted program either encouraging Maori to apply or actively recruiting them:

“This is an absolute indictment to those State Owned Enterprises that like to tick a Maori box, have a Kaumata turn up for a karakia and a cup of tea and then wave them good bye as they then get down to business – so not only are we locked out of the Boardroom we are then excluded from the decision making process around that things that will largely impact us either socially or economically. Take for a example – ACC – not one Maori person. Take Kiwi Rail and New Zealand Railways – those trains ply their trade across our land and waterways, Valuation New Zealand, Crown Asset Management and the Earthquake Commission – all of these organisations and the many more need to get their act together and look at recruiting Maori onto their boards and not just for a cup of tea.” Tukaki said

“We have an immense talent pool of Maori out there doing amazing things. We have senior executives within the business community both here and overseas, we have incredible, innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers and leaders, we have those with an immense amount of valuable professional and lived experience – how do we know that? Because Maori Council is constantly recommending our people and putting them forward”. Tukaki said
Tukaki also indicated that Maori Council had a solution to the problem that was easy to follow and easy to get in behind,

“We are very keen to work with the Crown when it comes to identifying and putting this amazing talent forward. This is one of the reasons why we formed a national committee called access to industry and employment. We would be more than happy to work directly with the SOE sector on a talent strategy. The second is we need Ministers to begin pushing back and asking the question “where is our Maori representation and voice?” and third is to develop a campaign to encourage our people to come forward and get involved. You can have a successful commercial career at the same time as making a contribution to our people.” Tukaki said.

“The final thing I would say is that we must ensure gender diversity. There is an incredible number of talented Maori women out there that can any job as well as and better than most of us. Its about time we also ensured they were also sitting at the table and respect them for their talent and contributions.” Tukaki said

Council is preparing a submission to each Minister and Chair of Each SOE outlining its proposals.

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