December 05, 2012
New TPK head looking for increased capability
The new head of Te Puni Kokiri is keen to get some clarity from ministers about what they expect from the Ministry for Māori Development.
Former Te Papa Māori leader Michelle Hippolite from Waikato Tainui started on the job this week, replacing long-serving chief executive Leith Comer.
She faces differing expectations on what the ministry can do from Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and Whānau Ora Minister Tariana Turia and a high level review of the department whose recommendations are now being considered by ministers.
There could also be competition for staff and resources with the creation of a new Māori unit in the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment – something she doesn't see as a threat.
"The more we have government agencies building their capability, being able to think through at the front end of a process what is really important, and that is the part we have a lot of role in when people are thinking about what they need to do, to have an agency also prepare itself to think about what it needs to do in my view complements the work we do, not replace it," Ms Hippolite says.
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