Social Service Management Plan with Ngāi Tuhoe agreed

  • Christopher Finlayson
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Cabinet has approved the signing of a social Service Management Plan (SMP) with Ngāi Tuhoe to improve social outcomes in the iwi’s rohe of Te Urewera, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The SMP is an undertaking by various government agencies to work with Tuhoe in improving the delivery of social services in Te Urewera. It has been developed by a high-level taskforce led by the Ministry of Social Development and representing a number of agencies, working closely with Ngāi Tūhoe.

The taskforce was set up following the signing of a relationship agreement between Tuhoe and the Crown in Ruatahuna in July 2011, and arose out of negotiations towards settling historical grievances.

The SMP will set out how the Ministries of Education, Social Development, Business, Innovation and Employment and three District Health Boards in the area will work with Tuhoe to address disadvantage and improve social outcomes in Te Urewera.

“This is a very positive development in the Crown – Tūhoe relationship,” Mr Finlayson said. “It builds on the relationship agreement (Ngā Kōrero Rangātira ā Tūhoe me Te Karauna) I signed at Ruatahuna in July 2011 which set the scene for a closer more constructive relationship between the Crown and Ngāi Tūhoe.  It is also indicative of the good progress being made in the Crown’s Treaty settlement negotiations with Ngāi Tūhoe.”

The agencies will collaborate with Tuhoe over the next five years on an agreed set of actions. For example:

  • Business, Innovation and Employment will assist Tūhoe to meet housing needs in Te Urewera by supporting spatial planning capability and relationship brokering on town planning issues;
  • Health will work with Tūhoe to improve the delivery of primary care services;
  • The Ministry of Education will help Tūhoe to develop a long-term education strategy, underpinned by a Tūhoe philosophy;
  • Child, Youth and Family will work with Tūhoe to achieve the goal of “no Tūhoe tamariki in CYF’s care.”

“The services management plan initiates a long-term relationship of cooperation between the Crown and Tuhoe to bring about better outcomes for Tuhoe people in Te Urewera,” Mr Finlayson said. “One of the goals of the SMP is to assist Tūhoe to build their capability to manage their own affairs as much as possible, while assisting the Crown in improving delivery of services in Te Urewera.”

The SMP also provides for an annual meeting between Ministers and Tuhoe leaders to discuss progress and any other matters concerning the Crown – Ngai Tuhoe relationship.

Negotiations are continuing between the Crown and Ngāi Tūhoe on remaining aspects of a comprehensive agreement to settle the iwi’s historical grievances.

The SMP will be signed at ceremony in October.