Posts Tagged ‘environmental trade’

Waitangi 2012 – the dawn of a new era in Crown – Maori relationships?

February 7, 2012

A watershed moment in Crown - Maori relationships?

Amid the too often media publicised images of distrust and conflict between the Crown and Maori, quietly and in the background more than 60 Maori/Iwi leaders representing the $NZ37 billion Maori economy, sat  together considering the issues confronting each Iwi across the country as well as the major issues confronting all Iwi/maori across the country. These issues included each and all of the following;

  • Constitutional reform;
  • The Treaty of Waitangi and its inclusion (or exclusion) in enabling State Owned entity asset sales;
  • The proposed restructuring of the Ministry of Maori Economic development (Te Puni Kokiri);
  • Child abuse;
  • Health;
  • Education;
  • Science, Innovation and the role of technology to drive sustainable Iwi/Maori development;
  • Economic development and trade; and
  • Climate – change as it relates to the interests of Iwi/Maori.
All very big issues. It was amazing to see both the strong and rational debate on these issues and especially, the very high level of unity across Iwi leaders on the need to seriously confront and deal these issues and firstly by raising these issues directly with Prime Minister John Key and his leading cabinet Ministers.

The Prime Minister reciprocated by acknowledging each and all of these as major issues not only facing Iwi/Maori but indeed facing the New Zealand economy at large and genuinely committing along with his key Ministers to work constructively together on each of these issues in the weeks and months ahead noting that these are major issues and will need some tough decisions made. Decisions that will no doubt require some trade-offs i.e. economic trade-offs against social and environmental trade-offs (and vice-versa).

They key point is a genuine commitment from both sides to work through these issues and challenges together. Again, a real shame that this work does not get reported and portrayed much more publicly by the media who choose to report only the negative and confrontational side of Waitangi Day. This unbalanced reporting only serves to further drive a wedge between Iwi/Maori, Pakeha and indeed the Crown.

What do you think?

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