We are all in this together

7 April 2020

As Aotearoa New Zealand adjusts to the COVID-19 lock down the Independent Māori Statutory Board supports the advice of the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern, that “we are all in this together.”

Make no mistake however, about how lock down affects us individually and collectively and especially for many Māori who were struggling before COVID-19.

Tāmaki Makaurau has more Māori than any other urban area in New Zealand combined. The daily lives for many of our whānau in sprawling suburbs like Manurewa, Henderson-Massey, Papakura, Ōtara, Papatoetoe, Māngere and Ōtāhuhu is immensely challenging. The Board is deeply concerned for the wellbeing of our people when COVID-19 forces many of us into situations where there are fewer options and restricted access to life’s necessities.

There are many vulnerable whānau with little resilience to COVID-19. Māori living below the poverty line, living rough, living without work and without hope. For many Māori who do have a roof over their head, there are still too many living in cramped, cold, damp, sub-standard housing. They are relentlessly compromised both physically and mentally, from marginalised whanau, where comfort, security, health and happiness are not what they enjoy. The notion of being “all in this together” has more than a hollow ring to it.

Our Board considers that for Auckland Council to be the most effective with utilising its resources, it is vital to take a strategic and targeted response to COVID 19 and have robust plans for the recovery phase when it comes. Specific targets discussed with Māori leaders, with measurements and indicators, will determine the right actions to take.

Council needs proactive and practical solutions for Māori. We are greatly concerned that the current approach is far too general and simply replicates what central government and many iwi organisations are already communicating.

The Board is advocating to council for alternative support at this time especially when free WiFi and other facilities, including parks and recreation facilities, important for wellbeing, are no longer available.

We urgently requested that funding be provided to Mana Whenua and Mataawaka entities and that those Marae and the nearby hau kainga on water tank supply be provided this free of charge. Watercare has agreed to the latter.

The Board considers that special provision must be made for Tangihanga in this rohe/region. We have requested that council provide free plots and burials in council-owned cemetaries for those whānau who have not been able to take their beloved member back to their tribal home that is outside the Tāmaki Makaurau rohe.

The Board has also requested that there be an increase to the support Auckland Council is providing to coordinate and promote food banks in highly populated Māori suburbs. Communications need to be tailored to a Māori-specific audience rather than general updates.

These are all actions the Board considers can be achieved for Māori immediately. These are some of the simplest ways to connect whanau with resources and facilities without the hoop-jumping and hassle that many are presently experiencing as the grip of lock down tightens.

In the face of COVID-19, for Māori to genuinely feel that we are as the Prime Minister says, “all in this together”, we say, “He waka eke noa”, we rise together, fall together, work together, keep going together.

David Taipari
Independent Māori Statutory Board

Impact of COVID-19 on Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau of concern to Board

20 March 2020

The potentially severe impact the Covid 19 virus may have on Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau is of great concern to the Board.

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Rangatiratanga and Kaitiakitanga in the Resource Management System

20 February 2020

The Independent Māori Statutory Board has made a submission to the government panel reviewing the resource management system. 

Based on its Auckland experience it has advocated for a strengthened Treaty  approach, with Māori being part of decision-making  on spatial  planning  to transform the resource management system.

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Board Announces Appointments

1 November 2019

At the inaugural meeting of the new three-year term on Friday 1 November, the Independent Māori Statutory Board  confirmed the reappointment of Mr David Taipari as Board Chairman and the appointment of Hon. Tau Henare as Deputy Chairman.

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Advancing Māori Interests in Tāmaki Makaurau

14 October 2019

Board Chairman, David Taipari, takes stock of the last three years and reflects on pushing Māori interests to the forefront at Auckland Council where the future direction of New Zealand’s largest and most prosperous region, and home to Aotearoa’s largest and growing urban Māori youth population, is determined.

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Climate emergency vote must support specific actions

12 June 2019

The Independent Māori Statutory Board voted to declare a Climate Emergency for Tāmaki Makaurau at yesterday’s Environment and Community Committee.

Chair David Taipari says the urgent need to address climate change for the benefit of current and future generations aligns strongly with Māori values relating to environmental and inter-generational wellbeing.

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Next steps in the Kāinga Strategic Action Plan: mutual understanding and shared expectations.

27 March 2019

In early March the Board met with Housing and Urban Development Minister, Phil Twyford, and newly appointed Associate Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, to discuss endorsement of the Kāinga Strategic Action Plan (the Plan) and the opportunities it presents.

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Online voting has potential to increase young Māori political participation - Independent Māori Statutory Board

23 May 2018

Online voting has potential to increase young Māori political participation - Independent Māori Statutory Board

The Independent Māori Statutory Board (IMSB) says trialling online voting for local elections in Tāmaki Makaurau would potentially increase Rangatahi, or Māori youth, participation in local body elections.

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Summit Welcomes Government Commitment to Improving Housing Outcomes for Māori in Auckland

24 April 2018

The Auckland Māori Housing Summit has welcomed the government’s recognition of the impact of Auckland’s housing crisis and government housing policy and decisions on Māori in Auckland. The Summit also heard a clear commitment to improving those increasingly drastic housing outcomes.

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Auckland Māori Housing Summit to Focus on Development Opportunities

16 April 2018

The Auckland Māori Housing Summit is an opportunity for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau to help shape the future of housing development in Auckland, and to address housing issues in the region with key government Ministers, the Chairman of the Independent Māori Statutory Board, David Taipari says.

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Auckland’s Māori Identity will help make the Cup regatta a winner for Aotearoa

28 June 2017

Nothing speaks “New Zealand Inc.” more strongly than our Māori identity. The return of the America’s Cup to Tāmaki Makaurau is a real opportunity for the region to lift the promotion of its Māori identity. The Challenge is brimming with opportunity for Auckland Council and its Council Controlled Organisations: ATEED, Panuku, and Auckland Transport, to work with Mana Whenua from day one to create an experience that is not only unique, but delivers direct economic benefits to all Aucklanders.

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Council must decide its role for Auckland’s housing solution

5 July 2017

Increasing housing supply is a necessity as everyone knows but Auckland does not need more large and unaffordable houses, supplied by the open market in response to unconstrained stimulus. This, unfortunately, is what the task force recommends in abundance. What’s desperately needed are houses people can afford to buy, priced within reach of ordinary working families.

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What incentive for affordable homes in Auckland’s $300m infrastructure stimulus?

15 July 2017

Is it time for the advocates for affordable housing in Tāmaki Makaurau to finally celebrate? At first glance, the ten-and-a-half thousand new homes for Whenuapai and Redhills promised this week by Mayor Goff looks like a cause for optimism. But does simply opening up more land and making the infrastructure conditions right for development make housing affordable?  Experience tells us that increased housing supply does not equate to more affordable houses being built.

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Council behind pace in unlocking potential of Māori economy

27 November 2017

An independent assessment of Auckland Council’s activities to improve Māori economic, social, cultural and environmental development in Tāmaki Makaurau highlights ongoing and significant missed opportunities, not only for Auckland Māori, but for the region as a whole.

The Board-commissioned assessment by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) finds that over half of the issues raised in a 2014 assessment report remained unresolved. Underspending on budgets and over-reporting on some expenditure remains a feature; and matters relating to setting outcome measures and the variable quality of project management remain unresolved, with high impact on the effectiveness of projects.

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New Auckland Transport CEO well-placed to unlock value of region's Māori identity

18 December 2017

The Independent Maori Statutory Board welcomes Shane Ellison, Ngāi Tahu and Te Āti Awa, as he takes up his new role as Chief Executive of Auckland Transport this week.  His arrival is timely. As new CEO, Mr Ellison is well-placed to bring a fresh approach to the part Auckland Transport can play in acting effectively in the interest of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau and to realise the benefits that advancing the interests of Māori can bring to the region as a whole.

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