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Tühono - Connecting You To Your Iwi

BACKGROUNDER

The Tühono initiative was developed and promoted by the Tautoko Mäori Trust (TMT) committee which was set up in 1997.

The initial TMT committee comprised Sir Paul Reeves, chairman, with other members being the late Bishop Manuhuia Bennett, Hon Koro Wetere, Druis Barrett and Dan Te Kanawa.

Dr Terry Ryan joined the committee prior to the passing of Bishop Bennett in December 2001.

TMT’s founding purpose was to develop initiatives to help Mäori identify and maintain their cultural and tribal links.

From this came the concept of a centralised service to assist the development of iwi membership registers.

These registers will play an important role in confirming the membership and demonstrating the mandate of iwi organisations in future Treaty of Waitangi settlements and fisheries asset allocation.

At the request of the TMT committee and after years of consultation, the Government amended the Electoral Act 1993 in 2002.

This amendment allows the Chief Registrar of Electors (CROE) to seek permission from declared Mäori voters to have their enrolment details and iwi affiliation shared with a central Mäori organisation.

The Electoral Act and wider New Zealand privacy law require the consent of Mäori voters before their electoral details and affiliation can be shared.

In December 2003, the Tautoko Mäori Trust (TMT) was formally incorporated. The five initial TMT trustees are Sir Paul Reeves (chairman), Hon Koro Wetere (vice-chairman), Druis Barrett, Dr Terry Ryan and Wharehuia Milroy.

TMT’s operational unit - the Mäori Affiliation Service – has been named ‘Tühono’, a word meaning connect or link that has deep spiritual meaning for Mäori.

The Tautoko Mäori Trust has been appointed by the Government as the designated body to receive the electoral information of consenting Mäori voters for access and use by their selected iwi organisations which must be authorised users.

The aim of Tühono is to:

- improve links between individual Mäori and the respective tribal organisations that represent their collective interests

- assist iwi organisations to develop and maintain more accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive membership registers

- help iwi and other Mäori organisations develop strong, inclusive, effective and accountable governance structures

In terms of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002, CROE has been given the power to contact voters registered as being of Mäori descent, both on the Mäori and general rolls.

CROE advised that the most appropriate time for this initiative was early 2004, ahead of this year’s local government elections and next year’s general election.

Achieving widespread awareness, understanding and participation will be crucial to the success of this initiative.

For this reason, CROE and Tühono will mount a nationwide programme to seek the consent of declared Mäori voters to release their electoral enrolment details (names, mailing address, date of birth) and iwi affiliation to their selected iwi for the purpose of establishing and maintaining up-to-date iwi registers through the Tühono initiative.

This consent process will be conducted through a series of mail-outs, similar to the Mäori Option programme in 2001.

It will involve:

- CROE and Tühono jointly sending out two mail-outs – first, an information pack and later, consent forms - to all eligible voters of Mäori descent, advising them of Tühono and what they need to do to consent to their iwi affiliation being shared with the Tühono service

- a nationwide multi-media information campaign to make Mäori aware of the initiative and encourage them to take part.

The establishment and operation of Tühono has been jointly funded by Te Ohu Kai Moana ($700,000) and the Government. The Government will fund CROE to undertake the initial electoral consent process ($1.49M) and the TMT to implement the Tühono service ($2.64M over three years).

KEY DATES

- Official launch of Tühono: 1pm, 2 March 2004, at Te Ohu Kai Moana, Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington

- First mailout (pre-notification) 2-5 April 2004

- Main mailout (consent forms) 3 May 2004

- Data of all consents provided to Tühono – June 2004


PURPOSE

- Tühono links individual Mäori to their iwi group

- Tühono promotes good governance, accountability and enables Mäori to meet the challenges of the modern world

- Tühono is a centralised iwi affiliation service which collects electoral information of consenting Mäori voters, then forwards it to the voter’s identified iwi organisations

- Tühono is the most cost effective and efficient way for Mäori to register with their iwi

- Tühono enables Mäori to participate in their cultural, social and economic future

- Tühono is not a government agency – it is run by Mäori for Mäori

PROCESS

- The consent process will be conducted through a series of mail-outs to all eligible voters of Mäori descent, by the Chief Registrar of Electors during April and May 2004. A nationwide multi-media information campaign to alert Mäori to the initiative will take place during this time.

BACKGROUND

- The Tühono initiative was developed and promoted by the Tautoko Mäori Trust (TMT) committee, established in 1997 and chaired by Sir Paul Reeves.

- At the request of the TMT committee and after years of consultation, the Government amended the Electoral Act 1993 in 2002 to allow the Chief Registrar of Electors to seek permission from Mäori voters to have their enrolment details and iwi affiliation shared with their iwi organisation/s through a designated central Mäori body.

- The Tautoko Mäori Trust was appointed by the Government as the designated body to receive the electoral information of consenting Mäori voters for access and use by their selected iwi organisations which must be authorised users.

- The Electoral Act and wider New Zealand privacy law require the consent of Mäori voters before their electoral details and affiliation can be shared.

- This information will only go to authorised iwi and Mäori organisations. No government agencies can access information on iwi affiliation through the Tühono process.

- In December 2003, the Tautoko Mäori Trust (TMT) was formally incorporated. The five initial trustees are Sir Paul Reeves (chair), Hon. Koro Wetere, Druis Barrett, Dr Terry Ryan and Wharehuia Milroy.

- The Tautoko Mäori Trust is a legal entity. Its operational services have been called Tühono, also known as the Mäori Affiliation Service.

- Dan Te Kanawa has been appointed as the acting chief executive by the Tautoko Mäori Trust with management responsibilities for Tühono.

FUNDING

- The establishment and operation of Tühono has been jointly funded by Te Ohu Kai Moana ($700,000 over two years) and the Government. The Government will fund the Chief Registrar of Electors to undertake the initial electoral consent process ($1.49M) and the TMT to implement the Tühono service ($2.64M over three years).

ENDS

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