Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maori Party may quit government

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Tony Ryall, says provisions protecting land under Treaty claims would still apply. However, Section 9 is under review...

What's Section 9 I hear you ask?

9. Treaty of Waitangi
  • Nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

    Oh dear. They wouldn't ignore Maori concerns again. 

    Would they? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Maori economy via Google alert

Two weeks ago I availed myself of weekly auto-updates through Google's news trawling abilities, using the key terms 'Maori economy' and 'Indigenous economies'. Thus far I've had just one update on the Maori economy, and that an old item on BNZ's appointment of a Maori business manager (that I posted on awhile ago). This is despite several Maori trusts being involved in Michael Fay's abortive attempt to purchase the Crafar farms and other activities around Maori cultural political economies.

Somethings wrong, or something may be right.

First, mainstream media undoubtedly doesn't have great interest or wherewithal to follow and report what is going on under any general labeling of 'Maori economic activities' (a wide sphere through any intelligent approach).

But second, few Maori ventures make a big song and dance about their work. On the contrary, the more successful, the less they seem to say! Of course, the less they have to say...

Here's the latest Google alert:

Symposium to focus on leadership within Maori Business
TangataWhenua.com: Maori News & Views
The simultaneous growth in the size of the Maori economy combined with the ongoing need to address social issues puts pressure on existing leadership and ...
Key's speech upsets Maori affairs minister
Mr Key's speech ranged from the economy to welfare, health and education and Dr Sharples, who holds ministerial portfolios including Maori affairs, ...
Sharples disappointed at 'obvious omissions' from PM's speech
Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples is disappointed at the obvious omissions ... exclusively about the economy and budgetary matters," said Dr Sharples.
Exclusion irritates Chamber of Commerce
Otago Daily Times
"We want to understand Maori views before we take final decisions. ... David Parker said the Government's low expectations for the New Zealand economy, ...
Maori name changes on the cards in settlement
An eventual collective settlement will include Maori guardianship of Ninety Mile Beach, ... "It will be a shot in the arm for the economy.

Perhaps we're still gearing up for 2012.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tucson Book Bans?!

Tucson is special to my heart, having been the first US destination I visited (attending Prof. Charles Ragin's excellent graduate course on QCA). So I follow it in the news, and unfortuantely, not enough dull moments in what people think of as a sleep ol' town...

And what to make of recent wire buzz, are they really banning books in this day and age?! Seems Mexican-American Studies teachers were sent a memo from the school district saying that the following books, which are specifically mentioned in a court order, are to be removed from the classroom, boxed up, and stored in the district's textbook depository, presumably until furnace-time can be booked:

Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez

Message to Aztlan by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales

Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Fiere

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson

Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña

Seems work by Winona LaDuke's "To the Women of the World: Our Future, Our Responsibility" is also on the banned list, high praise we might say...

Downtown Tucson carpark...maybe they could light the bonfire here?
Salon piece...

Science of Cities: the future for urban Indigenous communities...

Will Allen (who has an excellent website, 'Learning for Sustainability') flicks on dozens of great snippets including this on a blog by Michale Batty on 'The Science of Cities'. Love the graphics...

I always do a quick search for 'indigenous' on new sites and, shame but no surprises ...

This lack does open up considerable challenges and opportunities for Indigenous research in the area of urbanising indigenous communities. 84% of Maori now live in urban areas - it was only 26% at the end of WW2...

Source: Te Ara

How are we to live? An age old question perhaps, but in Christchurch we are faced with framing a future urban existence not from a blank slate exactly, more like a rubble-state. I'm now a convert to Michael Gunder's thesis in seeing the whole concept and practice of 'planning' as an empty signifier. Let's admit that for all the planners we've produced, fat lot of good it did for the citizens of Otautahi/Christchurch.

I'm only up to chapter four of his and Hillier's 'Planning in Ten Words or Less' but it gives some meaty material for my courses this year as I work in the implications for Maori planning and development.

There is some good stuff coming out of my old workplace, Manaaki Whenua, and Kepa Morgan has published on the Mauri model...

Source: A Tangata Whenua Perspective on Sustainability using the Mauri Model

Urban Maori as ‘New Citizens’: The Quest for Recognition and Resources by Paul Meredith 

The role of Māori values in Low-impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD) by Garth Harmsworth


Saturday, January 07, 2012

Maori Economy, news update

The Labour Party announced its new line up at the end of last year, with Shane Jones at No. 7 and taking on the newly established shadow cabinet position of Maori Economic Development. (NB: always funny to see non-Maori, non-Pasifika, non-Asian NZ MPs as 'European', a la Kiwiblog).

Sealord, the joint venture between Aotearoa Fisheries and Japanese company Nissui, netted $20m
profit on revenue of $573m during 15 months trading to September. Although slightly up on the previous result, an unchanged dividend of $16m is to be paid out.

Mutton birds will be tested for radioactivity following leaks from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, having fed and shed in the region in April of last year.

This site records the history of the so-called Maori economy that includes an outline of those reports that have contributed to the current model of understanding and interpreting this economy, and therefore the model by which other cultures and their economies (notably, of course, the Treaty partner), including banks, universities, agribusiness, exporters, and importers. We now see a number of strategic decisions by these potential and existing stakeholders. BNZ have appointed a head of Maori business, Pierre Tohe (of Waikato descent), in acknowledgement of this growing sector.

Other banks are also attentive: ANZ appointed David Harrison as head of Maori relationships in March, 2011; Westpac is also expanding its national Maori strategy.

International Indigenous economies snippets...

Jennifer Campeau elected to Saskatchewan Legislature
Sask Party First Nations candidate, Jennifer Campeau, has been elected in Saskatoon Fairview to the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Jennifer has been a regular attendee of the annual Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference and organised a panel on Indigenous economic development at last years meeting in Sacramento.

Zimbabwean Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere argues 2012 should see people pursue economic empowerment with the understanding it was only when the majority indigenous Zimbabweans own and participate in their national economy that it would grow in a sustainable manner.

He said such growth, pursued within the socio-economic harmony achieved when the majority was guaranteed an equitable share in their national economy, would become more appealing to foreign investors whose investments are best secured by locals with whom they will partner.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Aotearoa/New Zealand and income disparity

Christchurch is atwirl at council CEO Tony Marryattt’s recent pay rise of 14.4% adding $68,129 to his salary of $470,400 to $538,529 a year, backdated from July 1 last year. Marryatt's annual salary package has increased 45 per cent during his four years at the council, beginning at $370,825. Nice work if you can get it...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

How Indigenous Peoples are changing the economics of the energy and resource sectors...

An interesting debate taking place regarding Canadian First Nations engaging in direct negotiations with large corporations over transmission logistics which provide some insight into how Maori may benefit. Two examples given by Suzanne LeClair are:

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, where Aboriginal land leverage is now worth 10% of the $5.5 billion project with $1 billion worth of economic benefits to native communities along the route.
Source: Native leaders vow to block Northern Gateway pipeline, The Globe and Mail.


Nunavut Land Claim and royalties on Arctic resources

The powerful mining sector has spent $2.2 billion in Nunavut since 1999. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc (NTI) will begin collecting 12% royalty on all resources located in its jurisdiction. Estimates are that NTI will collect about:
  • $219m between 2013 and 2019 from Agnico-Eagle’s mine
  • $400 m by 2023 for Areva’s Kiggavik uranium mine (if approved...)
  • $256m by 2031 from Newmont Mining
  • $1.8 billion in royalties from Arcelor Mittal’ Mary River iron project by 2021.
Source: Welcome to Nunavut

Staggering sums, although it is often employment that is dangled as the carrot for Indigenous Peoples. Rio Tinto, Australia, has increased its Indigenous workforce to six per cent, up from 0.5 per cent in 1996. What is the Canadian data?
Canadian First Nations Employment in Mining
A 1998 survey of 53 operating mines indicated that: 18 mining operations had hired Aboriginal employees in 1997; the total number of Aboriginal employees was 422; the most frequent types of jobs filled by Aboriginal people included labourers, miners, truck drivers/equipment operators, trades and maintenance operators. These figures had increased somewhat from an earlier survey administered in 1991/1992 (IGWG 1998). A 1996 report (IGWG 1996) noted that Aboriginal employment in Canada averages 4.2%, with higher rates in Saskatchewan (5.7%), Manitoba (9.7%) NWT (28.3%) and Yukon (12.5%). (Source: Hipwell et al. 2002).

Found this nice historical piece on Maori and the goldrushes on 'The Prow' dot org, korero from Te Tau Ihu, top of the South Island). Maori employment in agriculture and mining has recovered from a previous decline recorded from 2004-2009:

 Māori and non-Māori employment by industry, 2004–2009

Māori employment growth has recently been relatively strong in mining and agriculture, although I've yet to find this data decomposed into just mining employment.

Percentage change in employment by ethnicity and industry, June 2008 to June 2010

 Source: Dept. of Labour.

Mining is yet to feature in the Maori economy data (see the BERL analysis...currently 0% exposure). However, the Iwi Chairs forum recommended discussion on "the strategic relevance of the exploration of mining within the conservation estate as a direct issue as well as more broadly reflecting a change in policy toward reconciling economic and environmental interests." There are plenty of caveats for Indigenous engagement in mining of course. Two Maori commentators have chipped in with their perspectives. 

For Buddy Mikaere "...there are many good reasons for Indigenous People to have equity positions or ownership (whether sole or in partnership) in vital infrastructure such as pipelines or transmission lines." He rightly points out the needed investment diversification outside the normal iwi interests of farming, fishing and forestry and the opportunities for employment and gaining management experience and partnering with utilities in future projects.

Mikaere paints a rather tidier picture than actually exists in Aotearoa. The Maori Party is twisting itself into a characteristic knot where it opposes asset sales but if/when they take place (and the senior coalition party is committed to the sale of these assets despite the economics of such a deal being very shonky), they argue iwi corporations should be front of the queue.

Te Taru White argues "...it is ultimately about relationship and respect and to ignore this, will be very costly in time, energy and money." For Te Taru, "consultation must move from the ground level up and that quasi-tribal organisations and those established and often fed by the Government's hand, cannot be construed as representing communities. They are in conflict and are prone to being attracted by perverse incentives." He further notes the 'convenient short cuts' available to Government and corporates "to get a decision through without having to deal with the 'riff raff' otherwise referred to as communities. Amazing what a swanky environment, rubbing shoulders with the hoi poloi, a nice glass of chardonnay and of course a promise of continued Government handouts ..."

Australian initiatives show dedicated resources and a comprehensive strategy of improving Aboriginal employment in what is a very strong sector, albeit one whose history is written in blood with ongoing issues for those communities in which it is embedded. The issues at this point in Aotearoa are primarily environmental and are resonating throughout many Maori communities, particularly along the East Coast, and look set to be a key environmental issue over the next generation for all Aotearoans. Look for a continuation of the classic development (jobs, economic growth, import substitution) versus the environment dichotomy battle lines. Surely this is precisely the context in which an Indigenous philosophy should be able to both broaden and deepen the debate?

Aboriginal Peoples and Mining in Canada: Consultation, Participation and Prospects for Change by William Hipwell, Katy Mamen, Viviane Weitzner and Gail Whiteman, (2002).


Moving mountains: Communities confront mining and globalizatio by GR Evans, J Goodman (2002).

Simon Lambert

Create Your Badge