Wednesday, January 21, 2015

International Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction...

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga successful in CoRE rebid

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga's Centre of Research rebid has been successful and the group (which I am involved with along with fellow Lincoln colleagues Dr's Jamie Ataria and Amanda Black, and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt) has been invited to submit a full proposal.

The two unsuccessful bids were Te Kapuia (headed by Professor Linda Smith, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama and Dr. Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai) and Nga Pou Whakawhenua (a Southern Hub bid which was Lincoln University's 'formal' collaboration in this tortuous process).

I was critical of Nga Pae's earlier (failed) bid, which I thought very disjointed and poorly led.

So, congratulations this time! Much credit must go to Associate Professor Tracy Mackintosh who visited us personally at Lincoln (an important step in our personal support).

Nga Pae now have a few weeks to submit their full proposal, with TEC's final decision expected in June.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cultural Law, a text and a cautionary tale...

Cambridge text on Cultural Law that has some interesting chapters on Indigenous Peoples, including Maori, on the basis that 'legal issues lead multiple lives.. they can be political, economic, social, historical, and cultural' (p. 1).

A New Zealand example is legislation to regulate against offensive marks in the Trade Marks Act of 2002 that prevents trade marks being registered if they are likely to be offensive to a significant section of the community, including Maori.

Of course, there is always a test case to rattle the cage. I recall an application for Tiki Wines being declined by the Maori Trade Marks Advisory Committee on the basis of this offense clause with 'TIki' being interpreted as an atua of humankind, generic to all Maori and thus protected by this legislation.

Permission was finally given when it was pointed out that 'Tiki' was a tipuna of Royce McKean and the whanau who owned and operated the vineyard, and they had the perfect right to use the name!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thar she blows...MoBIE report on white elephants?

Further to the reports released by MPI on Maori land productivity comes a negative report on MoBIEs performance on, among other tings, the Business Growth Agenda (BGA. Page 24 notes 'no sense of the extent to which these actions are contributing, or will be sufficient, to achieve the BGA goals.'

Say what?!

As for direct engagement with Maori, 'MBIE’s approach is embryonic and needs to clarify what the right role for government is in helping promote Māori economic development in the post-Treaty settlement phase. While MBIE is more focused on this issue than its constituent agencies, has better links with other agencies and has an advisory panel to help it still needs to refine its approach, develop its relationships with Māori business and build its internal capacity.' (p. 26).

So situation normal then.

Further, 'Expectations need to be well anchored in more refined deliverables or there is a risk they 
will get ahead of what government either should be doing or can actually deliver.'

The trick is to have zero expectations and then be relieved when they spell your name right.

MoBIE is behind other Ministries in '[s]ector collaboration and partnership' which are 'particularly important to realise the benefits from accelerating Māori economic development, particularly given MBIE’s starting place. MBIE has much to learn from organisations, such as MPI and NZTE which got an earlier start.' 9p. 53).

I'm not convinced 'accelerating' our economic development is possible in the vacuum of Pakeha leadership in this point in time and space.

Pardon the cynicism but it's Xmas. Gordon Campbell of Scoop discusses this and other 'bad news dumps' to herald the close of the year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'One the first day of Xmas my government gave to me, a Maaori ecooooonomyyy'

The latest reports on 'our economy' are out. This one from Kinnect/MPI finds that not only is MPI brilliant at working with (selected) Maori, there remain issues over governance, scale and capability, specifically:
  • a need to consolidate multiple owners with small shareholdings into mandated governance entities with effective decision making;
  • economic scale to support profitable agribusiness;
  • and the capability to grow agribusiness productivity and profitability.
Another report (PriceWaterhouseCoopers/MPI December 2014, same link as above) has some interesting tables on Maori land use and potential for improvement. Note over a quarter of Maori Freehold Land (MFL) is in natural forest and a further 8% in plantation forest. Conversion to dairying remains the sexy beast in the picture... 

The purpose of this report was to confirm the value of additional work into converting and otherwise innovating on Maori land (the original impetus for this came from the BERL reports of 2011 I've posted on before). The Benfit Cost Ratio of 'interventions' are tabulated below, by sector:

A figure below 1 means you technically 'lose' money by intervention.

We can quibble about methodology till the cows come home but dairying remains the go to approach for growing our/the economy (although note horticultures high BCR though against a very low percentage of MFL).

So, business-as-usual.

Given the now confirmed decline of our water quality, including our iconic beaches (remember when iwi/Maori were the risk to these strips of foreshore and seabed?!), there are considerable costs and risks associated with dairy. Further, given the urban character of our rangatahi and the struggle we have with the education system, how to we get our people into secure employment when the trend is less security?

No answers, just more patai.

Meri kirihimete tatou katoa!
Simon Lambert

Simon Lambert

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