-"Anne

Anne Williamson

Author

If Māori do well, New Zealand does well!

Post lockdown the world has changed. Māori need to quickly respond and a new breed of innovative Māori is required to navigate these uncertain waters. A new approach, to a new Māori, for a new future. A new waka is also necessary for such a journey. This moment in history presents us all with an opportunity to reset the future for Māori and chart a better course for our tamariki.

Whakamana hapū (Empowering Hapū)

Here are a few highlights from our policy for Tāngata Tuatahi (First Peoples). Vision New Zealand is committed to building better Māori whānau for the future. We would like to revive and reinvigorate the concept of hapū. We believe if we empower the hapū, we can change this nation! Everything stems from the home and hapū. When you have a healthy home, held up and supported by healthy hapū, no other institution can come close to competing with this. Before the implementation of western systems of government our Tupuna were tribal and moved in hapū with the leadership of Rangatira. Rangatira were distinguished representatives of the hapū. They had the wellbeing and the protection of their people at heart, and the people had a heart of honour and respect for their rangatira – their kaitiaki.

In the days pre-ceeding Te Tiriti o Waitangi the movements of Te Whakaminenga and He Whakaputanga were representations of the tribal model of hapū function at its best. Rangatira from around the motu worked collaboratively and in cooperation with each other to make decisions that they intended would protect our people and enhance our mana as hapū & whānau. Vision NZ is committed to reviving this model as the first step in providing that rongoā to begin to fight back the tsunami of negative statistics and outcomes that plague our first peoples.

In Aotearoa, sadly we witness too many negative statistics that are a reflection of struggling, broken homes. Our people are often genuine in their search for answers and assistance, but despite all of the government funding for Māori, hapū have been disempowered, and help is not always reaching our homes where it is needed the most.

Highly successful programmes like the Tū Tāngata programmes are proven to transform and empower hapū! Thousands upon thousands of whānau have been assisted over recent years through Tū Tāngata. Tū Tāngata o Te Iwi Tapu is a complimentary hapū, it does not substitute existing iwi or hapū from across the rohe. TTT has members from all across Aotearoa who have overcome obvious difficulties from their pasts to now being successful Māori (many in business), providing a transformational community (whakamana hapū). As in Tikanga Māori, we find more is caught than taught. However, the availability of these programmes is currently limited by funding and full-time personnel. These programmes to date have been self-funded and self-sustaining, and rather than this being a setback, it has been a setup, reinforcing that by Māori, for Māori is always the better model. These programmes include:

  • Tū Tane (ManUp)
  • Tū Wahine (Legacy)
  • Tū Taiohi (Youth Nation)

Vision New Zealand would like to make these programmes more widely available to hapū. These Tū Tāngata programmes get right to the heart of the issues within individuals. Too many people are held back in life due to past hurts and dysfunctions, and they need to find a place of deep internal healing, so that they can move on to create healthy homes and generational stability.

Every home should be a safe place for our tamariki to flourish in. Home is the first place of formation (socially, mentally, spiritually and economically). Underpinning the home, the wider hapū can also be empowered through these Tū Tāngata programmes to provide a loving, caring, healthy and whole environment for everyone to flourish in and become their full potential. In Māori-lore this is really a true return to the principles of hapū, marae and rangitira in a modern world.

In Aotearoa, fatherlessness is a concerning and growing problem in many homes, with almost half of our homes having an absent father, with many sad consequences. When prisoners were recently asked whether they would like to send a Christmas card to their mothers and fathers, 93% wanted to send a card to their mother, only 8-9% wanted to send one to their fathers. Which proves fatherlessness is a far deeper problem than we realise. Very little is done these days to empower men, even though they often are behind many of our worst statistics including high male suicide rates, high domestic violence offences, high incarceration rates, high levels of drug and alcohol abuse, high levels of anger management issues, large numbers of sexual offences, high levels of criminal activity and gang affiliations, poor health, low life expectancy….and the list goes on. Recent reports also show that escalating racism tensions globally have a strong link to fathlessness in many homes. So why are we not doing more to assist our Tāne?

Vision New Zealand will ensure that our Tāne are empowered and equipped to become better fathers, husbands, and contributors within our hapū and communities. We believe within most hapū there is rangitira that can arise to lead their hapū in a healthy and effective way, especially once they are offered some additional support, resources and had their mana restored through Tū Tāngata. We believe the whānau is the cornerstone of any healthy nation. Whether individuals win or loose in life, it starts in the whare!

We New Zealand will ensure:

  • We give Oranga Tamariki an overhaul so all care and protection notifications come to the hapū in the first instance, allowing them time and adequate resources to take appropriate action and avoid unnecessary and traumatic child uplifts at the hands of the State
  • We fully fund the highly successful Tū Tāngata programmes so many hapū can access these services
  • We introduce a new Minister for Men within parliament that supports and empowers Tāne
  • We empower parents, not politicians, and we strengthen hapū connections

Hapū rangatiratanga

Hapū sovereignty over Iwi control! Hapū rangatiratanga allows us the right to exercise authority over our hapū affairs. We believe hapū is more whānau-oriented and relational, whereas Iwi is more commercial. This is not to take away from the function of Iwi or the vital role they have to contribute to the ongoing success of our people. It’s unfair to ask Iwi to manage relational, whānau affairs while trying to manage the commercial and business side of Māori.

Let Māori be masters of their own destiny, and not held back by history.
Tino rangatiratanga – self-empowerment, self-determination, self-sustaining - for all Māori. Māori today should not be held back or judged based on past incidents, historic stigma and institutional racism. Let’s wipe the slate clean, and reset the nation’s approach towards Māori. Māori need to be treated as the special taonga that they are. There should be less state control and dependency. We need to empower the individual and disempower the state. Previous governments have tried to ensure Māori depend on them, so they
can control them. We want to allow Māori to finally break free from that bondage and have the independence and freedom to express their creativity and full potential.

Return Kaitiakitanga to Māori. We want to see Māori returned to their rightful place as Kaitiaki of all land, water and natural resources. There is to be no more foreign ownership of land, water and natural resources.

Vision New Zealand will ensure:

  • We will fight to see government funding directly allocated to Hapū, not Iwi or Māori departments within government agencies where it has difficulty making its way down to hapū
  • Establish a directory of hapū across all of Aotearoa, so government funding can be quickly directed accordingly
  • Kiwi land is in Kiwi hands – all foreign ownership of land to be returned to Māori. All Crown owned land to be returned to Māori.
  • All water rights to be returned to Māori
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured, and becomes a new constitution for all of Aotearoa.

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