Saturday, March 28, 2009

Minister of Maori Affairs appoints Taskforce on Maori economy

Lets take a look at the line up...
Mark Solomon, (Ngai Tahu). Kaiwhakahaere of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Seemingly forever embroiled in a leadership challenge).

Ngahiwi Tomoana, (Ngati Kahungunu). Chair of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, based in Hastings

Bentham Ohia, (Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Pukenga, Ngati Ranginui, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Rarua). Pouhere (CEO), Te Wananga o Aotearoa, for past five years, Chair, Te Tauihu o nga Wananga (national body of wananga). Trained teacher, senior manager at TWoA for 14 years.

Daphne Luke, (Ngati Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine). Tumuaki, Te Arahanga o Nga Iwi Maori Economic Development Agency, Otaki. Self-employed business coach and consultant. Post-graduate lecturer in Maori entrepreneurship, Te Wananga o Raukawa

John Tamihere, (Ngati Porou ki Harataunga). Consultant and broadcaster, CEO of Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust. Former Minister of Statistics and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs (Economic Development)

June McCabe (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri). Chair of Exelerator, New Zealand Leadership Institute, Auckland University. Board member of Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ) and a former director of ACC and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Limited. Former Director of Corporate Affairs, Westpac Bank,

Rob McLeod (Ngati Porou). Managing Partner, Ernst and Young New Zealand. Chair of the NZ Business Roundtable, Member of Capital Markets Task Force. Lead negotiator, Nga Haeata (Ngati Porou hapu Treaty settlement committee). Chair of Government Tax Review in 2001. Former Chair and director of major New Zealand and Maori enterprises

It's not true to say, as many culpable in the crisis have, that no one saw it coming. Lots of people did, although reading through the Maori media editorials of last year you'd be hard pressed to say they had any original insight into the economy. This is an important point as Maori argue we have a) a different economy, and b) this economy is somehow better (not necessarily in earning more money - although we all accept that would be nice, but in how it operates, how it treats people).

I'm skeptical, in the professional sense (i.e., steering clear of that oozing, dripping cynicism that too often passes for a critique on anything Maori, although also avoiding like the plague that romanticised view of the battlefield caravaneers...).

Sharples has put in place a two years project, by which time the recession will be over and the Taskforce no doubt lauded a success. Nice work if you can get it.

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Simon Lambert

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