Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Maori Ministerial portfolios...

Kelvin Davis – Minister for Crown/Māori Relations
Minister of Corrections
Minister of Tourism
Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education)
Nanaia Mahuta - Minister for Māori Development
Minister of Local Government
Associate Minister for the Environment
Willie Jackson - Minister of Employment
Associate Minister for Māori Development
Peeni Henare - Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Minister for Whānau Ora
Minister for Youth
Associate Minister for Social Development
Meka Whaitiri - Minister of Customs
Associate Minister of Agriculture
Associate Minister for Crown/Māori Relations
Associate Minister of Local Government
Winston Peters – Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for State Owned Enterprises
Minister for Racing
Ron Mark – Minister of Defence
Minister for Veterans
Shane Jones – Minister of Forestry
Minister for Infrastructure
Minister for Regional Economic Development
Associate Minister of Finance
Associate Minister of Transport

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Dreaming Canada...


Now that I've said I can't be arsed keeping this blog updated, awesome things keep happening.

So, last night we promenade along Broadway, at the Fringe Festival, is one is wont to do, and we pass by the sound check for Dreamwatchers so make a point of catching their show. Awesome, as we say.

Then the next day. on campus, I call in to the Gordon Oakes Aboriginal Student Centre and here's Dreamcatchers getting a tour. And one of the young women talks to Willa and tells her to live her dreams, and how the Creator has put in place the people and things she needs to achieve those dreams.

She gives the news that a group she is involved with, Indigenous Climate Action, have been won a prize - the Lush Award - for their work.

All of which is quite inspiring.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Maori unemployment UP...

Doesn't seem to be featuring in mainstream media coverage but Maori unemployment is UP in a climate of generally declining jobless. What the fuck?!


NB: Our whanau has emigrated to Canada and I must confess to be somewhat disconnected from issues that once featured regularly on these pages which started as a an effort to catologue and collate miscellaneous data on the so-called Maori economy (which I remain highly dubious about).

I will shortly be setting up a new webpage to rationalise my various interweb contributions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NZ Productivity (via 'Croaking Cassandra')...

A while ago, I listed Michael Reddell's blog 'Croaking Cassandra' as a good one to follow for critique's of New Zealand's macro economic performance. His has had a few posts on productivity - the measure of wealth produced per unit of effort (normally GDP/hour). The latest presents this graph:

And recall how often we compare our economic indicators to Oz?

GDP phw NZ vs Aus June 17

In layman's terms we are poorer as a nation. The relevance of this to the Maori economy - always pitched as a way to grow the NZ economic pie - is that there is no extra paua's or pipi's for social programmes.

Hard rain's gonna fall.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Maori Economy on Waitangi Day

Image result for mARIA BARGH BOOK

The Maori Economy discourse continues its momentum - ie the Common Knowledge on Maori economic functioning expands - yet the fragility of Maori communities remains.

Here's a good article on the diverse components of this economy, and respect to Dr. Maria Bargh on highlighting such 'under-the-radar' contributions to the PMS (Private Military Security).

But this $42b sector amounts to just over 6% of the NZ economy and as the new PM sez, the government has reached the limits of what is can (by what he means will) do for Maori. So we gotta pay our way.

User pays remember.

Downhill I'm afraid...

But there is one area where we can get an empirical understanding: "And there are stats to show that Maori business people are innovators. The rate of innovation in small to medium Maori businesses, with 100 or fewer employees, was 63%, Statistics New Zealand figures show. That is considerably higher than the 'whole' of New Zealand business rate of 49%."

'Innovation', like 'sustainability' and 'resilience' are things you just have to say you are, regardless of the definition or auditing.

An innovation is a new idea, object or activity. It can also be a rediscovered idea, object or activity (and in this conceptualisation, Indigenous Peoples can really bring some change!).

But I rarely, if ever, see commentators discuss empirical innovations.

Hybrid corn varieties were one of the classic case studies, and one Maori can identify with (Zvi Griliches work was among the seminal publications). We - as in NZers - have come up with some seriously valuable innovations in agribusiness.

But we now import considerable inputs to our main sector (Palm Kernel Extract for example). We are, if anything, late adopters of best practice agriculture. Our 'clean, green image' is now completely trashed internally and subject to dispute externally. Our increasing inequality is yet another symptom of a dysfunctional society.

Image result for social inequality in nz

And through all of this, the Maori Economy is to not just maintain our communities but improve their situation?!

Ain't gonna happen without significant transfer of wealth from individuals with wealth to those without. Which political parties promise that?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Maori Economy 2017: Not my economy...

Anand Menon was in Newcastle speaking before the Brexit referendum. 'Invoking the gods of economics', Professor Menon argued the UK’s GDP was likely to plunge if Britain left the EU. A Geordie woman yelled out: “That’s your bloody GDP. Not ours.”'

Out of the mouths of hecklers, ay.

And therein lies the rub.
So what Maori economy?

Recall its inception by BERL (at the behest of the Minister of Maori Development). The initial model toted it up as:

• Trusts and incorporations of $4.0 billion
• Other Maori entities of $6.7 billion
• Businesses of self-employed Maori of $5.4 billion
• Businesses of Maori employers of $20.8 billion

I'd suggest few Maori are actually 'beneficiaries' (a loaded term) of this economy, and many who are, aren't picking up much of a cheque.

Fast-forward to 2017. Yes an election year, so expect lots of soundbites (including a rich white man calling a not-so-rich Maori man an Uncle Tom). The key comment for me came from the new Prime Minister, Bill English:

"[W]e have reached the limits of what government can do."

This is contrary to what Professor Jonathon Boston stated on Radio NZ (interview link here). Boston discusses evidence on the growth of poverty and the loss of opportunity for many New Zealanders through explicit government policies (from the left and the right although the mainstream left in NZ are hardly supportive of labour)

So if the government won't do more (I actually think they will, simply to maintain appearances), where are the resources to come from? I think it's quite clear that the expectation of government and many Maori leaders (iwi and business), is that Maori are to be supported by this Maori economy.

One might expect Maori to start heckling speakers such as Bill English. But not just Wee Will Pom (let's not forget his double-dipping over Parliamentary accommodation monies). Maori leaders should also be heckled over their economic naivety (ok, tikanga may prevent or at least censure traditional European heckling. And as an academic i must abide my many ancient rules that frame debates).

This Maori Economy is not the economy of many Maori at all, at all...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Expertsure link...

A while ago (sheez, 7 years!) I posted on Indigenous Peoples and Mining, specifically in response to Schedule 4 land in Aotearoa.

One of the links, to Bolivian lithium reserves, went to a site that has recently shifted domains. So, in the interests maintaining the information exchange, the new site can be viewed at...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Data ethics: The Signal Code

Hot of the press, The Signal Code articulates five human rights to information during crisis:

1. The Right to Information
2. The Right to Protection from Harm
3. The Right to Data Security and Privacy
4. The Right to Data Agency
5. The Right to Redress and Rectification

I was lucky enough to be one of the reviewers of this important publication and feel privileged to have met some of the instigators.

In this digitally connected world where data is generated by setting your alarm clock and sending some 'xxx' to your children, the need for a transparent ethical approach to data management in a humanitarian crisis might seem too messy.

What is argued here is that framing all our work in this space with a 'rights based approach' ensures an ethical commitment from the outset.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Te Arawa seeks place in Hauraki settlement

Iwi and hapu have interests in land that may now reside within another iwi's territory: we're quilted.

Te Arawa has a long-standing arrangements around the burial place of Tama Te Kapua, captain of Te Arawa waka, on Moehau, Coromandel Peninsula.

Under the proposed Pare Hauraki Treaty settlement, the maunga will be vested in Hauraki.

Kaumatua Toby Curtis hopes iwi can settle this without resorting to lawyers. The particular wahi tapu comes under a 439 Trust that has a Te Arawa representative.

Te Arawa seeks place in Hauraki settlement (Waatea News)

The full name of the maunga tells this history: Te Moengahau-o-Tamatekapua (the windy sleeping place of Tamatekapua).

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Second Eejit thesis: Dickheads, Race Hustlers, PR Queens...

The recent Aotearoa NZ racism spat has been dismissed by some as a non-event, a rush of outrage to fill the Xmas holidays slow-news days. The facts are not in dispute: Wealthy Pakeha sports fan and philanthropist Sir Peter Leitch made a throwaway comment to Lara Wharepapa Bridger that Waiheke Island was 'white man's island' . Even the Race Relations Conciliator Dame Susan Devoy (we throw gongs around here for sportsie peeps) called this 'casual racism' and she's hardly renowned by Maori for being a bastion of support.

Sir Peter quickly backtracked, not least because his accuser went to Facebook with a tearful video she removed after many thousands of hits.

While many people want to brush this aside, it is always the response to accusations of racism that is important, The Second Eejit Thesis.

So the Second Eejit in this case was the redoubtable Ms Michelle Boag, National Party stalwart and PR Queen, who Sir Peter enlisted to go on point and who promptly fucked up by saying Ms Bridger was only 'coffee coloured', implying she didn't really have much claim to being Maori, and she just wanted to get famous.

Comments by Auckland City Councillor Dick Quax that Ms Bridger is a 'race hustler' are also offensive, like calling a rape victim a slut. At this point I repeat the old joke: How do you win a silver medal in the Olympics? Sit in a bucket of cold water until your dick quacks... Dick Quax just gets a bronze this time.

The best comments I found on this tawdry episode come from Leilani Tamu who calls Pete Leitch what he is: a patron. While PL may not be racist - and our country's Race Relations 'expert' considers him the 'least racist person' she's ever met, he certainly leverages his support from people he has financially supported.

Patronage. The money's great but the hours suck.

MMA Fighter Mark Hunter on Pete Leitch

White Owl on a Highway

Moving to Saskatoon very soon, I've decided to start a new blog 'White Owl on Highway 11' about personal and professional experiences in a new land, background research for which has already started...

Image result for Saskatoon highway

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

That was that... Maori unemployment still high, sheds aren't homes, and Rakiura win in customary rights case

I've gone quiet over the last few months, a few desultory postings, some updates. Nothing special.

So what's new I hear you laugh...

As a reminder, this blog started as a digital repository of news releases and data sources related to the 'Maori economy'. Despite wider and deeper data on things economic (and what's not economic, right), Maori seemed curiously absent. No, not absent but kinda glossed over. Both there and not there. So I've tried to collate whatever data appears, and track some figures over time e.g., Household Labour Force Survey and the so-called Maori economy.

This Maori economy, up-dated in 2013 to the tune of $42.6 billion, intrigues me. From its conception (by BERL) it has been used as political leverage for successive Maori Ministers.

But you still see an awful lot of tin sheds in Aotearoa with Maori tenants...
And while I say Maori are like ghosts in our own landscape, there are endless press releases on Iwi development, Maori branding, Maori innovation, bringing Maori land into production or seeking greater productivity from that land which is already a component in the NZ supply chain. Meanwhile, unemployment is stubbornly double-figures.

As for 2016, well the planet still spins on its axis, the Pacific Ring of Fire still rocks and rolls, Aotearoa NZ is still racist (and perhaps more so), Canterbury's environment is still degrading, and Lincoln University continues its struggles to remain a credible tertiary institution.

But let's finish on a positive note :) I think the highlight for Maori economic rights occurred right at the end of the year with the New Zealand high Court deciding on the first claim under the 2011 Takutai Moana Act. Denis Tipene represented his whanau and hapu in  succesfully claiming customary rights on Pohowaitai and Tamaitemioka, off the east coast of Rakiura (Stewart Island).

There are many other cases to come up and as Mr. Tipene says, Rakiura is probably the easiest place to decide on Maori rights, one of the benefits of isolation.

So roll on 2017. My focus is going to shift to Turtle Island, the America's. Watch this space...

Simon Lambert

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