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New Maori Governance Initiatives Announced

New Maori Governance Initiatives Announced

The governance of Maori organisations came to the fore today with the launch of three new initiatives by Te Puni Kokiri.

Chief executive Leith Comer announced details of a new governance information website and released two new publications at the annual conference of the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) in Wellington.

The moves are part of a Te Puni Kokiri initiative to strengthen Maori trusts, incorporations and companies.

The new “Effective Governance” website (http://governance.tpk.govt.nz) is an information source for directors and trustees. It offers best practice resources including material from the institute of directors, the stock exchange, the Securities Commission and Management magazine.

Creation of the website was based on focus group research and interviews, and is part of a five-year education strategy that includes targeted training on subjects like chairing a meeting, questions to ask at an annual general meeting and risk management.

The two publications released by Mr Comer are a discussion paper proposing a major change in Maori governance structures, and a management study of business success and governance in ten Maori organisations.

In releasing the discussion document “Nga Tipu Whakaritorito”, Mr Comer said the time had come to consider a tailor-made option for Maori collectives.

“Finding the right structure that will best meet the unique governance requirements of Maori collectives has challenged Maori incorporations and trusts for quite some decades,” he said.

“There are many legislative options, some complicated and difficult to establish, and others fairly simple. However, despite people’s views on available options, there is a consensus that a purpose-built entity designed specifically for whakapapa-based collectives is needed.”

The use of current structures has cost Maori collectives both time and money and, in certain situations, the statutory amendment of entities has been required.

These problems have motivated Te Puni Kokiri to undertake governance research and analysis. The results of this work are contained in the discussion document.

“Nga Tipu Whakaritorito” proposes a new governance model designed to provide flexibility for Maori collectives and to operate in line with tikanga and kawa.

Mr Comer said feedback on the proposal was vital.

“We want to make sure that we have got the model right and, if we haven’t, we want to know why and what needs to change to ensure the best solution.

“If you have been involved in governance entities, know the strengths and weaknesses of the current options and processes, or simply have a view on matters raised in this document, please let us know,” said Mr Comer.

Submissions are invited on the proposed governance model. Te Puni Kokiri will also be conducting regional workshops to facilitate discussion around the kaupapa. The workshops will be conducted throughout November with the submission process closing on December 24.

The management study report, titled “He Mahi, He Ritenga — Hei Whakatinana I te Turua Po 2004”, is the second such study undertaken jointly by FOMA and TPK. It profiles ten organisations including farm and forest companies and a health services provider.

For copies of “Nga Tipu Whakaritorito” and “He Mahi, He Ritenga — Hei Whakatinana i te Turua Po 2004”, go to the website www.tpk.govt.nz or call 0800 ASK TPK (0800 275 875). More information about the governance entity submission process and the regional workshops can also be found on the website. To access the Effective Governance information website go to: http://governance.tpk.govt.nz

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