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6 April 2001
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will be outlining their response to messages received from Maori in 1998 at 12 consultation hui around the country over the next 10 weeks.
Just after the new Ministry was created in 1998, it embarked on a consultation hui round to hear Maori views about how it should operate. According to MAF Director-General, Professor Bruce Ross, who attended all the hui, the messages received from Maori were direct and hard hitting.
"We were told that MAF should listen to Maori opinions and aspirations they have for their land and that the Ministry needed to consult more effectively" said Professor Ross. "We also heard a number of calls for a credible and effective Maori voice within MAF" he added.
These messages prompted MAF to re-examine its understanding of Maori issues and its capability to interact with the Maori community. This led directly to the development of a Treaty of Waitangi Goal in the Ministry’s 1999-2010 Strategic Plan and the commissioning of a consultant to review MAF’s responsiveness to Maori.
As a result, in early 2000 it was decided to establish a Maori Strategy Unit in MAF to develop and implement a Ministry-wide Maori responsiveness strategy. A Corporate Manager, Maori Strategy, Tikitu Tutua-Nathan, has been recruited to head the new unit and is a member of the Ministry’s Senior Management Team. A key part of the upcoming hui will be an overview and discussion of the role and functions of the Maori Strategy Unit.
As well as seeking feedback on MAF’s new direction for Maori, it is hoped that the hui round will provide an opportunity for participating MAF staff to meet with Maori and to identify areas for greater co-operation between MAF and Maori.
"A key part of the MAF Maori responsiveness plan is enabling the Ministry to develop ongoing effective relationships with Maori, and the hui round is a good opportunity to do this kanohi ki te kanohi – face-to-face" said Mr Tutua-Nathan.
It is also hoped that MAF officials will also to hear Maori views on MAF’s current role, the regulations it administers and services it provides. In addition, there will be seminar presentations on two new policy areas – the National Biosecurity Strategy and Climate Change.
The MAF Maori consultation hui round for 2001 begins in Rotorua on Wednesday, 11 April at Te Ao Marama Hall in Ohinemutu.
Hui are currently being arranged for May in the following centres:
NB All hui start at 10 am
For more information contact:
Neil McInnes, MAF Maori Strategy Unit
Tikitu Tutua-Nathan, MAF Maori Strategy Unit