More from October BayBuzz Digest

Back in May, a Lindisfarne alumnus, the Honourable Justice Joseph Williams of the High Court, formerly Chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal, spoke at an “Embracing Futures” breakfast sponsored by the HB Regional Council.

He addressed the growing role of Maori in New Zealand’s economy and public affairs, fueled both by aspiration and sheer population growth. More specifically, Justice Williams stressed the need for local government to engage Maori in decision-making better than it ever has. His thought-provoking presentation was videotaped by Television Hawke’s Bay and is well-worth viewing (you can view it here).

Justice Williams argued that local government has failed in its leadership responsibility to use available tools under the Resource Management Act to enter into joint partnerships and planning with iwi and hapu. He commented: “If we have a situation in 2020-2030 with a Maori population that is completely disconnected from local government decision-making, we have a recipe for serious problems. It is a big enough problem now … in 15-20 years with a population in Hawke’s Bay that is one-third Maori and growing, it will be simply unsustainable.” He added, referring to the standard practise of local bodies setting up Maori advisory committees: “Advisory Committees just don’t cut it.”

I attend a fair number of Council meetings, including, occasionally, sessions of the various Councils’ Maori Advisory Committees. One gets the impression that neither local government leaders nor Maori leaders are much satisfied with the processes of engagement that exist. From the local government side, this sometimes gets expressed as a question about who speaks authoritatively for Maori on various issues. For the October BayBuzz Digest, we asked various parties, Maori and Pakeha, to comment on Maori participation. As you’ll see, from the Maori perspective, the issues are just as legitimately … who speaks for Pakeha, or who listens?

Des Ratima, Right Thought, Wrong Question

Morry Black, Who Represents Maori?

Ngahiwi Tomoana, Who Speaks For Pakeha?

Mike Mohi, Who Speaks For Maori?

Dale Moffett, No Shortage Of Maori Voices

Andrew Newman, Treaty Settlements In Hawke’s Bay

Anne Wilson-Hunt, Who Speaks For Maori?

Some of our other articles also touch on Maori issues. Elizabeth Sisson reports on the new Maori Business Directory just published by the Maori Business Facilitation Service, as well as on a new working relationship between the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Hawke’s Bay Maori Business Network.

And Brooks Belford contributes Making History, a stirring insight into how Waimarama Maori Tourism has transformed Te Hakikino, a 15th century Pa site, into an outstanding Maori heritage site and cultural experience already enjoyed by over one thousand visitors.


Tom Belford

P.S. You can download the entire October Baybuzz Digest in PDF format.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Well done Baybuzz. These are a very interesting, insightful and enlightening suite of articles on our cultures, treaty issues and moving forward.

    Earlier this year High Court judge and Hastings boy Justice Joe Williams (father-freezing worker, mother-tomato picker) was recorded by HBRC/TVHB talking about 'The Promises of the Treaty' and this is also highly recommended for viewing. Check out
    My thanks to those who have contributed to this discussion and I look forward to more in the same vein.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.