September 02, 2014
New structures needed for iwi nations
Ngai Tahu kaumatua Sir Tipene O’Regan has challenged iwi to think different about the way they structure themselves and prepare for future.
He told Te Pae Roa 2040 at Massey University’s Albany campus that the days of assimilation are over, but too many Maori organisations have structures that mirror those in the mainstream.
The conference is looking at Maori development since the 1984 Hui Taumata.
Sir Tipene says what Maori should have learned since then is never to trust the state, because it will always sell Maori out.
He says every programme developed for Maori that proves to be successful will be abandoned sooner rather than later because of majority pressure.
He says land trusts, incorporations and other Maori entities are standard capitalist structures with personal shares owned by individuals and groups, whereas iwi need to see themselves as having all the functions of a nation.
That means having a legal personality, which only Ngai Tahu and Tainui have as part of their treaty settlements.
Sir Tipene says Ngai Tahu was shaped by carrying a claim for seven generations, and the settlement has meant it must move beyond grievance and find a new way to think about its future.
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