Manutuke hui speaks with minister on frustrations frustration with local Government

Frustration with local Government was a big issue for about 70 people who attended an open conversation with Minister for Crown/Maori Relations Kelvin Davis at Manutuke last Saturday.

Manutuke township was the seventh of 16 places a hui was held as part of a nationwide consultation about how the relationship with Maori and Crown should be in future.

Mr Davis said Maori wanted a government empathetic and compassionate to the way Maori people do things.

“There is frustration with local government, especially around the Resource Management Act.

“We have to find ways that Maori, local and central Government can co-operate to reduce this frustration.”

There was a feeling among those who attended that the system was against them, he said.

“Officialdom annoys them.

“Someone said, ‘face the issues with us, if there’s a problem work alongside us’.

“Maori have said they do not like to be engaged with as stakeholders. They are not just another group, they are tangata whenua (people of the land).

“Conversations they have had with ministers, and the progress they had hoped for from those, are lost in bureaucracy.

“There was specific mention of the relationship with Gisborne District Council”

Mr Davis said it was “the million- dollar question” how the relationship would be fixed.

“We need to develop a way for Maori to be more engaged and have their concerns addressed, and the local Government are in the middle of this. They have to implement the rules the central government puts on them.”

Mr Davis said he was also told Maori people wanted New Zealand history to be taught in schools.

There were concerns over the environment and Maori people’s inability to have a say into decision making around the environment.

“They have the skills and local knowledge, yet they are ignored”.

Mr Davis was told it was “systemic racism”.

“They are wanting to be able to make decisions in the best interests for themselves. What is good for Maori is good for New Zealand.”

Mr Davis said it was about bringing all these points together from the hui so the relationship between Crown and Maori could make progress and they could work together as true partners.

As well as being the Minister for Crown/Maori Relations, Mr Davis is also Minister of Corrections.

There was a strong message from all the hui to not build a new prison.

“They feel that is the ultimate evidence of the breakdown of the Crown and Maori relationship.

“More than half of the prison population are Maori. If we get that relationship right, there will be less need for prisons.

“They would like a rehabilitation centre on the East Coast, a detox centre.

Mr Davis said anything was possible.

“This Government is looking at all options.”

Frustration with local Government was a big issue for about 70 people who attended an open conversation with Minister for Crown/Maori Relations Kelvin Davis at Manutuke last Saturday.

Manutuke township was the seventh of 16 places a hui was held as part of a nationwide consultation about how the relationship with Maori and Crown should be in future.

Mr Davis said Maori wanted a government empathetic and compassionate to the way Maori people do things.

“There is frustration with local government, especially around the Resource Management Act.

“We have to find ways that Maori, local and central Government can co-operate to reduce this frustration.”

There was a feeling among those who attended that the system was against them, he said.

“Officialdom annoys them.

“Someone said, ‘face the issues with us, if there’s a problem work alongside us’.

“Maori have said they do not like to be engaged with as stakeholders. They are not just another group, they are tangata whenua (people of the land).

“Conversations they have had with ministers, and the progress they had hoped for from those, are lost in bureaucracy.

“There was specific mention of the relationship with Gisborne District Council”

Mr Davis said it was “the million- dollar question” how the relationship would be fixed.

“We need to develop a way for Maori to be more engaged and have their concerns addressed, and the local Government are in the middle of this. They have to implement the rules the central government puts on them.”

Mr Davis said he was also told Maori people wanted New Zealand history to be taught in schools.

There were concerns over the environment and Maori people’s inability to have a say into decision making around the environment.

“They have the skills and local knowledge, yet they are ignored”.

Mr Davis was told it was “systemic racism”.

“They are wanting to be able to make decisions in the best interests for themselves. What is good for Maori is good for New Zealand.”

Mr Davis said it was about bringing all these points together from the hui so the relationship between Crown and Maori could make progress and they could work together as true partners.

As well as being the Minister for Crown/Maori Relations, Mr Davis is also Minister of Corrections.

There was a strong message from all the hui to not build a new prison.

“They feel that is the ultimate evidence of the breakdown of the Crown and Maori relationship.

“More than half of the prison population are Maori. If we get that relationship right, there will be less need for prisons.

“They would like a rehabilitation centre on the East Coast, a detox centre.

Mr Davis said anything was possible.

“This Government is looking at all options.”

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