September 02, 2014
Loans affair blunted Hui Taumata progress
A former secretary for Maori Affairs has pointed to Rogernomics and the Maori Loans Affairs as blunting the impetus of the original 1984 Hui Taumata.
Sir Tamati Reedy was addressing Te Pae Roa 2040, a commemorative hui at Massey University’s Albany campus looking at the past and future of Maori development.
He says the 1984 hui called by then Maori Affairs Minister Koro Wetere led to the a range of policies aimed at putting control of Maori development in Maori hands.
Significant legislative changes included changing the Waitangi Tribunal Act to allow claims back to 1840, the Maori Language Act providing a basis for Maori immersion education, the return of Maori land which was being developed by government departments, and the Iwi Runanga Act, which provided a framework for legal recognition of tribes.
Sir Tamati says the Maori Affairs budget was only $57 million, but the development objectives identified would cost $260 million.
He says his attempt to determine whether an offer of overseas funding had any substance was characterised as negatively, but he had informed the Board of Maori Affairs, Treasury and his minister about his activities.
He says the subsequent controversy threatened to end his career, but he prevailed through support from Maori leaders and kept his mental equilibrium by keeping physically fit through marathon running and the power of mind.
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