Te Whānau O Waipareira
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Ngā pae o maramatanga conference presentation

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back in June the Wai Research team submitted an abstract for the Catalyst of Health project entitled ‘Te Haerenga Roa o Urban Whanau - Capturing Catalysts of Hauora’ to be considered for inclusion  in the 7th Biennial International Indigenous Research Conference 2016 (IIRC 2016), hosted by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga on 15-18 November 2016 in Auckland.

This submission was successful and was a massive achievement for the Wai Research team, but more importantly was a testament to the power of our whānau stories.

The Catalyst of Health project looked at the determinants of health and wellbeing of West Auckland whānau in the last 30 years. We interviewed 25 whānau whose stories provided massive insight into the evolution of successful Urban Māori. Many whānau attributed a big part of their cultural, community and physical wellbeing to Whānau o Waipareira.

Nga Pae o Māramatanga (NPM) conferences have been held to wide acclaim and have been integral in showcasing our indigenous innovation as well as the significant amount of novel Māori research. The conference presentation will be a first for Donna and Haze who are both eager to undertake the challenge. The team will be assisted by Dr Amohia Boulton of Whakauae Iwi Research who has a long history within Māori health and Public health research. Her extensive experience in the research field will play a key factor in crafting an interesting and informative presentation.

“It is an absolute privilege to be able to share the stories of our whānau who have been part of the landscape of West Auckland. Our whānau stories are like gems that help paint a picture of a past that many of us who currently reside in this area have not been privy to.  Their stories help give us the context to who we are today as the organisation of Waipareira, and also the direction we need to head into in order to be successful for future generations.” -Donna Te Whiu

Urban Māori court victory over iwi

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Urban Māori court victory over iwi

by John Tamihere

Heading the list of present-day Māori challenges is still the apparently hopeless task of persuading the Crown to deliver on the promises it made in the 1840 Waitangi deal. But there are other issues well within the means of Māori to resolve. And one of those is mending the rift between iwi leaders and urban Māori authorities — particularly when it comes to sharing the Māori fisheries assets.

NUMA (the National Urban Māori Authority) has been under the impression that the assets have been for the benefit of all Māori — and that Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust was obliged (in the wake of the 2004 Māori Fisheries Act) to see that $20 million would go into the hands of the urban authorities.

John Tamihere, a former Labour MP (1999–2005) and now the chief executive of the Waipareira Trust, outlines the recent developments in the tussle, which includes a High Court ruling favouring the urban Māori argument.

“In 1992, Māori unemployment was hitting 34 per cent, so we were all looking for ways of levering our people into jobs and new opportunities.

The Ohu Kaimoana Fisheries Settlement of that year was one of the first and biggest Treaty of Waitangi Settlements to take place. Overall, it amounted to $170 million.

Our urban Māori group said: “We are Māori and we are in the cities. We make up a large bunch of Māori, so we want to be participating in this economic opportunity.”

But that was denied, which is why urban Māori have had to fight for any sort of share in the settlement from Day One.

To cut a long story short, this went to the Privy Council twice and has been to the High Court and Court of Appeal countless times. From that, Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust was formed after significant litigation waged by urban Māori groups through the 1990s.

The fisheries settlement that was firstly signed off was a Māori-wide settlement — it wasn’t an iwi settlement.

But the people who got the muskets first did best initially. What the modern-day iwi chiefs did was line up their QCs as their new muskets. We had to play the same game and, even though we got muskets late and couldn’t afford as much ammunition, we did pretty well.

Then, in 1999, I went to parliament and helped write the law of the Māori Settlements Act 2004. In that legislation, I accepted and always have done, that the local people should have the major say over our assets. But that’s subject to them never forgetting us in the cities and suburbs.

So, in regards to the Pūtea Whakatupu Trust, I accepted that the Fisheries Commission could continue to appoint our directors, but it was clear in the Act that it was for urban Māori and that the directors should come from urban Māori.

Once that legislation was done — and I was gloriously thrown out of parliament — iwi interests seized on taking it over by appointing their iwi mates.

That meant we were always outvoted 2-1 on the three-person trust. They backdoored us and took back control of the trust money. And the $20 million earmarked for urban Māori has never come our way.

Māori rights in fishing were actually better when we never had any quota. Right now, in deep sea fishing, it is Koreans and Russians who fish our quota.

And inshore fishing? It ain’t Māori doing that either. The only jobs that Māori get after 25 years of this settlement is driving trucks and cleaning and skinning fish on a trawler. After 25 years of this settlement asset, we don’t know what the iwi have done with the money.

What we do know is that they own 44 per cent of the industry, but no Māori is allowed to go anywhere near middle or senior management — and no kids are given a cadetship to learn how big business works.

If you go to a Māori Fisheries Commission AGM, they are predominantly non-Māori there.

Basically, for a lesson in how NOT to use a settlement to advance a people, look at fishing.

As the one genuine urban Māori representative on the three-person trust, my approach was to destroy the quorum by walking out of meetings before votes could be taken. I didn’t like the way they were spending all our money on paying for scholarships for well-off kids.

In the 2004 legislation, we put in a twilight clause to allow us to review where things were in 10 years. That allowed us to try to get some common sense that this trust money would be deployed in the urban Māori population.

But we got locked out of the review. We never got any invites. We were excluded from the conversation about a trust that was only set up because of us!

And, instead of seeing that urban Māori had a say, they attempted to take over total control — even though 85 per cent of Māori don’t live in the homeland.

So that forced us to go to court. The end result of that court case is that the judge found the process of excluding us from the review was not fair or right — and that Te Ohu Kaimoana’s application of the law was wrong. The court said they must appoint directors with urban Māori experience — not just puppets for themselves.

So they are now obliged to consult with us. But they have a right to appeal to the Court of Appeal, so that is a possibility. And, given their propensity to spend money without any accountability, it becomes an even more distinct possibility.

The judge ruled that costs for the latest court case should be paid out of Te Pūtea trust. But that’s not fair. It should have come from the iwi, not from the urban Māori pocket. After all, we won the decision.

What happens next? We have already asked the Fisheries Commission whether we can meet them in light of the directions from the High Court. But they have their own little game in play. They will advise iwi about a report they will take to the minister to amend (or otherwise) the legislation. Once again we have been excluded from that.

If there is anything in that review that is prejudicial or discriminates against us again — then, of course, we will litigate that.

Every step of the way, these guys try as much as they can to make it very difficult for us.

But here’s their problem. Whether it was the Māori land marches, or the march to get an independent Māori Statutory Board, or the first kōhanga reo, or the first whare kura — everything came from the urban Māori activists. None of it came out of these guys who have seized the chequebook.

There is this new aristocracy that has arisen from these compensation chequebooks. And because they've been able to out-persevere and out-spend their own poorer cousin, they think they can beat us the same way.

Well, we’ll soon see. If they continue down this track you will see significant litigation against them for being so bad at being stewards of our assets. They have set up a distribution scheme that replicates social welfare rather than providing Māori with economic opportunity and advantage.

That’s exactly what they’ve done with the urban Māori money. And we can’t afford that any longer.”

Ngā Tau Miharo Whānau First and Foremost

Thursday, August 04, 2016

“My children deserve the best from us as parents, now they know what they’re doing because we know what we’re doing… This course has been a blessing in our lives.”

Three classfuls of beaming parents graduated the Incredible Years programme o Waipareira, July 10, with a special film screening featuring interviews, direction and starring IY whānau.

Our Wai-Atamai team (strategy and innovation) and Incredible Years whānau have been colaborating on a video project that saw the rarents reflect and acknowledge their journey, capturing the changes they experienced in their lives as a result of being on the course.

The plan was simple: In groups the parents were to interview each other at the beginning, middle and end of the course. They were given an iPad and some guidence but by the second round of filming, they were off.

Jacqui Harema of Wai-Atamai wanted to capture these changes from the perspective of the parents. “We had no expectations, we just wanted to give them a chance to author their own experience. We give out surveys to gauge how they felt the course went but this takes it that much further. This actually gives hem a voice and a chance to articulate that to themselves and an opportunity to inspire the wider community.”

When Jacqui’s team got a chance to review the content they found: "The biggest change was in their language and seeing how their confidence grew in having a community of parents around them".

Incredible Years is a 14 week programme based in group sessions for whānau who may have children with behavioural issues, and it’s also a place where parents and grandparents can get together to learn new ways to build positive relationships with their tamariki and mokopuna.

The resounding conclusions from the parents were: feeling calmer, praising their children equals better results, and the benefits of being able to share their experience with other parents. Many parents said they felt alone in their challenges but it was good to, “actually realise that we all go through the same things, bouncing off the other parents and hearing their story and going 'me too', despite the different backgrounds and cultures we come from."

This programme, from a kaupapa Māori approach, supports a diverse range of experiences including: A first time mother who had come to educate herself, a father looking for a way to start a positive relationship with his children. A couple with 14 children at home, a single mother, two sisters who have come to work together for both of their families.

Were the desired outcomes met? It’s all in the evidence:
“I’m a lot happier, our households a lot happier.”
“I’ve learnt that there are better ways of dealing with your children’s bad behaviours than just hitting.”
“A lot of the stuff you learn on the course you can also use with your partner, so its brought our whole family together.”
“I don’t have my children in my care right now, but I’m working on my goals and getting them back. It’s improvement in my life.”
“It’s an opening of a door, a new beginning in handling my children.”

Course co-ordinator Vivian Cope has been running this programme since 2011 and from this project others have reached out wanting to be a part of the kaupapa too. “You gave these parents a voice, and that is something so powerful.”

Viv and her kai-awhina, Yolanda Bucheler-Mackie and Maria Ikinofo, have created a community that extends beyond what they learn within the walls at the trust buildings on Edmonton Road. Students, both current and former, also have an online community where they participate in a facebook group as they continue to update each other, share their stories and awhi one another through the inevitable twists, turns and curve balls faced in being a parent.