TWM

REDUCING THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DISPARITIES
in
HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, HEALTH & EDUCATION
Author:  Professor Whatarangi Winiata, 8 December 1998
 
A MAORI SOLUTION

As this Nation [New Zealand] entered the second half of last century the Maori partner to the Treaty [of Waitangi] was the dominant force in a vibrant, growing and prosperous economy. Within twenty years, due to wars, disease and rejection Maori economic prominence had declined dramatically; and, now, 130 years later, this once aggressive and energetic entrepreneurial group with a demonstrated high regard for knowledge, is not able to hold their own with their Treaty partner. The Maori partner continues to lose ground. Accordingly, Maori are prominent among those for whom the Hikoi made the call "Enough is enough!"

After 13 decades in this position, it is transparent to Maori, if not to the rest of the World, that the policies formulated, implemented and managed by the Kawana [government] have failed to deliver the promises of the Treaty. Kawanatanga, as this Country has known it, cannot be tolerated much longer by the Maori partner. Constitutional change to provide for two cultures development and partnership is a necessary step to begin the urgent and sustained reinvigoration and enhancement of the lives of the two partners.

Failure by our Nation to take steps in this direction so as to change the management of our affairs and way of governing ourselves, will create the circumstances where the fury of tino rangatiratanga will produce the true believers, namely, those who will die for the cause. Time is running out. As with the Maori Battalion, the Maori people must be provided with the means to do "the job" and then set free to do it, while being accountable to the Nation. Their task would not be to destroy the capacity of a human enemy, as it was in the 1940s, but to destroy the dark side of their human condition.

Evidence over the last 135 years screams out the proposition that it is not possible for people of one culture to formulate and implement policies for people of another culture and get it right. Maori have coined this style of hugely wasteful management, GIRA: Getting It Right Accidentally. Wave after wave of Crown designed and implemented policies have not produced the goods. And, they could not be expected to. And the same can be predicted for the next 135 years if the emerging kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Maori, whare kura and wananga graduates do not rebel. But they will, and it will not be a quiet revolution. "Ka rahi, ka rahi, ka rahi: Enough is enough is enough" could be their call to disobedience and to what follows.

A huge amount is spent on Maori every year. With a youngish 15 percent of the population "over-represented" on primary and secondary school rolls, in hospitals, on unemployment registers, in detention centres and on welfare lists, somewhere in the vicinity of 20 percent of total appropriations is spent for and on behalf of the Maori partner. In today's dollars, the amount would be about $8 billion. The Maori partner has little to say about how much the appropriations should be, what the policies should be, how policies are to be implemented and how policies and their managers are to be evaluated. But this partner gets the blame for poor performance, which, relative to Tikanga Pakeha, is getting worse. For Maori, the amount that is available from these appropriations is not in dispute. It is the existence of unjust structures and their perpetuation of the GIRA principle of management with all its wastefulness, that Maoridom will not continue to countenance. Nor will the rest of the Nation. A fear is that the two partners to the Treaty may clash over the concern about wastage but from opposite sides.

There is a model of constitutional arrangements which is one of the principal foundations of the revised Constitution (1857) of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. It grew out of a Maori setting, was adapted by the Anglicans and has been well tested by this part of the community in Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides for two cultures development and partnership. In the absence of any hint of a division being called in the principal legislature of the Anglican Church, namely, the General Synod, there are reasons to suppose that the model is working. A full sense of participation in the affairs of the Church while preserving independence for each of the partners has been achieved. There is no talk of "majority" or "minority", there is no imposition of the will of the more numerous over that of the less numerous, there is no budget without the endorsement of each partner and, as noted above, there have been no time consuming divisions called.

The policies of the present Government have not served Maori well, few instances can be found where the Kawana has performed creditably. Moreover, it is difficult to find examples where the Crown has said Maori "Here are the resources you said you need, go and do the job." The years 1939 to 1945 provide the only clear example in our history. Did Maori let the Nation down?

Aotearoa New Zealand has a dual economy. There is the Maori economy; there is the Pakeha economy. The unemployment experience, the level of training, the age distribution, the health experience, the housing condition, the degree of diversification and liquidity of the asset base and so on are quite different between the two economies. Each economy requires quite different prescriptions to prosper. The employment experience of the Maori partner may be characterised as FOLI: First Out, Last In. What about training and employment policy, designed and implemented by Maori, which has the intention of relieving the Maori partner of being the shock absorber for the Nation's economy.

Consider the following prescription to deal with the long-term disaster zones for Maori: Of the Appropriations Notes in Education, Health and Social Welfare: Pass the funds which are currently being spent for and on behalf of Maori to a Maori group with power to legislate (such a body to be created) and have them do the job. It is unlikely that Wananga Maori would face the transparent prejudicial financing practices of the present Ministry of Education - a matter currently before the Waitangi Tribunal.

Consider the need for infrastructure. A couple of examples, perhaps. a) Broadcasting: tikanga Maori = Maori culture and Tikanga Maori = the followers of that culture, have been shut out of this industry, including all of its tentacles, essentially, for the whole life of television and radio; currently, a Pakeha Minister of the Crown, who hasn't learned the GIRA principle is prescribing a solution for Maori and it will fail. (b) A substantial development funding institution: no need for this in the Pakeha economy, it seems; however, the Maori economy is at a different stage of development and support is needed -just as Europe required the World Bank at the end of World War II.

Treaty settlements:
It is easy to understand why the late Hepi Te Heuheu attracted 100% support from the Maori partner for his stand against the ungenerous fiscal envelope. The amount offered to settle all claims forever, was about 3% of all appropriations for one year. If, instead, the commitment were to provide that small proportion of total appropriations year after year until the job was done, not only would that have been applauded, it would have guaranteed the resolution of all claims from a reassured and inspired Maori partner confident in the generosity of the Crown. The $ 1 billion fiscal envelope offered to settle all claims compares miserably with the $230 million payable by the Crown to settle a few unhappy investors who were mislead by Treasury. We have an unhappy partnership under the Treaty. That can be changed. The Nation can afford to change it. If it took that step the Maori response would be electric and the Nation could scarce believe its beneficial effects. As people who ascribe significant social value to mana maximisation - largely associated with generosity, the Nation would rediscover the promises of the Treaty of Waitangi. Long term relief for Maori from the present circumstances will not come from more Pakeha inspired policies but from constitutional change which ensures that the two partners can grow within their respective cultures and value systems and make decisions together as full partners mindful of each others concerns and preferences.

Whatarangi Winiata
8 December 1998

www.geocities.com/~ubinz/Hikoi/MaoriSolutionWiniata.html

 
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