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NZ Maori Council steps into lead the social policy agenda

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NZ Maori Council steps into lead the social policy agenda – a new path has been set

For immediate release: The future development of social policy impacting on Maori has never been more certain now that the New Zealand Maori Council’s new structure is in place. At the national hui in July a new strategic direction was proposed that focussed the energy and work of the New Zealand Maori Council around its role as a partner with Government when it comes to the development of social policy.

The New Zealand Maori Council has decided to go a step further according to Chairman of the Council, Sir Taihakurei Durie: “Firstly this new direction we are embarking on is very much getting back to the heart and soul of why the New Zealand Maori Council was first established – to provide guidance and insights on the challenges our people faced – our step further is not just to provide advice but to ensure that advice comes from the evidence we collect through deepening our engagement with the very smallest of Maori communities in our regions and rural areas right through to our urban populations…”

Matthew Tukaki, Chairman of the Maori Council’s Auckland District (and newly elected to the National Executive) outlines the new direction: “We have listened to our people who are both suffering in every social indicator going and feel their voices are not being heard.

In the first instance we have established working groups at the national level around social policy issues from housing and housing affordability to employment and industry access, to climate change and the environment to Te Reo, Culture and education. Each of these working groups will engage Maori wherever they might be, include them in the process and generate this up to build national policy approaches. No one can deny the voice of our people when it comes to the shaping of this process and how it is presented to Government…”

“We all know the data – Maori are more likely to be incarcerated, we are more likely to be long term unemployed, take our own lives, have little or no access to credit and therefore unable to afford a house let alone the rent, we are more likely to be homeless – if we are going to have a meaningful impact then we need to work together to do just that. We have developed a structure to not only give voice to Maori wherever they might be but to also engage experts in particular fields…” Tukaki said.

At the recent National Hui, the strategy the new direction was overwhelmingly endorsed as was the commitment for a regional listening hui to begin shaping the new approach.
The new working groups are (and led by a member of the National Executive of New Zealand Maori Council):
• Health and Well-Being: Henare Mason
• Justice, Law and Corrections: Roimata Minhinnick
• Housing and Housing Affordability: Ngaio Te Ua & Marama Fox
• Education and Training: Raewyn Harrison
• Culture, Community and Language: Tane Cook
• Access to Employment and Industry: Matthew Tukaki
• Maori Wardens: Harvey Ruru
Three others have been endorsed waiting for Chair appointments:
• Rangatahi / Youth
• Women’s Empowerment
• Climate Change and Environment

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