Iwi leaders highlight lack of Māori input in policy making

By Dean Nathan

Government departments continue to lack Māori input at their policy making level. This from the Chair of the Iwi leaders Whānau Ora committee.

Raniera (Sonny) Tau says the practice has gone on for generations despite the fact that Māori make up the majority of clientele.

Iwi leaders are furious that in this day and age, government agencies continue to neglect consulting with their Māori clientele.

Tau says, “If you continue to do the same thing year in and year out, you get the same results and waste a lot of time.  So we're not happy with the lack of Māori input at policy level.”

Despite his position, as Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell says that sometimes it's a situation he is not privy to.

“I spend a lot of my time following up my colleagues in Parliament on what Raniera Tau is referring to, getting Māori onto boards and panels charged with creating policies that impact on our people.”

After meeting with iwi leaders, Anne Tolley, the Minister of Child Youth and Family has agreed to appoint a Māori to her panel of experts with over 76% of all children in their custody of Māori ethnicity.

Flavell says, “It's a reoccurring situation in government that we continue to address. The majority of the time they come around but sometimes they get it wrong or they really stuff up.”

Tau says, “After 175 years, this government still hasn't done right for our children.  So how can they even consider reviewing their own policies?”