New life breathed into the Te Hiku o Te Ika – Crown Social Accord
Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, and Minister for Maori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, have today met with senior leadership from Te Hiku o Te Ika Iwi and other Government Ministers to show their renewed commitment to the Te Hiku – Crown Social Accord.
Signed in 2013 by four Iwi of Te Hiku and the then Prime Minister, the Te Hiku – Crown Social Accord was established to improve the social development and wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi of Te Hiku o Te Ika.
The Te Hiku Social Accord was negotiated as part of the Te Hiku/Far North Iwi Treaty Settlement legislation; placing iwi at the decision-making table alongside government agencies that invest in social services, education, and justice.
Minister Sepuloni said that the first of two Taumata Rangitira Hui this year was focused on re-establishing relationships and discussing how the Social Accord can be used to support the social wellbeing of Te Hiku Iwi.
Carmel Sepuloni said, “At a regional level, we know a great deal of foundation work has been done between the Iwi and government agencies, but sadly, progress under the Accord has lost momentum over the years. However the Accord remains a valuable cornerstone in the relationship between Te Hiku and the Crown
“Having Te Hiku Iwi and the Ministers around the same table has given us the opportunity to re-establish the relationships needed to move the Social Accord forward.”
Minister Mahuta also welcomed the reigniting of the Accord, saying it highlights the shared values and goals that can be the foundation of a genuine partnership.
Nanaia Mahuta said, “Together Te Hiku o Te Ika and the Crown can bring the Accord to life and become an example of positive change.
“The opportunity to use the Accord as a framework to delivering on our commitments and support Te Hiku Iwi aspirations makes this a partnership worth strengthening and maintaining.”
Both Ministers agreed that restoring the mana of the Accord and creating a vibrant Crown Māori partnership was an opportunity to create a framework for developing the same with other Iwi throughout New Zealand.
A second Hui planned for September will concentrate on gaining agreement on work priorities and collaborative projects that will support the improvement of the social circumstances of the Te Hiku Iwi, hapū and whānau, and wider community.
Before Te Hiku Iwi senior leaders return north, they will be attending a follow up Te Kāhui Tiaki Whānau Hui with senior officials to continue building momentum and strengthen new relationships. Under the Te Hiku – Crown Social Accord, Te Kāhui Tiaki Whānau brings together senior Te Hiku representatives and senior officials from relevant agencies, including Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Commission, Ministry of Justice, Police, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Department of Internal Affairs, Statistics New Zealand and Te Puni Kōkiri