Lil Anderson: Aotearoa-New Zealand’s Waitangi Treaty process
Articles Blog

Lil Anderson: Aotearoa-New Zealand’s Waitangi Treaty process

November 18, 2019


Tēnā koutou katoa. Firstly let me
acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we stand
I want to thank ANZSOG for the opportunity to come over to Melbourne
because it’s Melbourne but also I think to share some of my insights with you I
also want to acknowledge as part of the audience and all of you here my husband
who after 25 years still isn’t sick of the sound of my voice and has followed
me over to listen in today. I think to show you and demonstrate how quickly
public service can move when I submitted my bio for the conference I was in fact
the deputy secretary at the Ministry of Justice I’m now the acting chief
executive of a new agency called Te Arawhiti is the office for Māori Crown
Relations in New Zealand and it recognises and as the name suggests so
Te Arawhiti is a bridge is the names of suggests the organisation is seen as a
bridge between our past and our future in a bridge between the crown or
government in its current form in Māori and so I think as I go through my
discussion today you will pick up I think where we are on the journey as
public servants and actually as a country. Professor Langton painfully brought up
the Indigenous game that happened last week which we lost.
I’ll just acknowledge that once and once only. Her reference to that
was really around the leg up we have in New Zealand called the Treaty. We have
something that nobody else in the world has so I want to start there I want to
start by talking to you about 1840 on the 6th of February 1840 two peoples
stood on a bluff in the Bay of Islands and in their minds they were about to
embark on a relationship some might even say a partnership and
making New Zealand a great place whether or not you believe that they were
signing up to govern equally or whether you believe that one was subsidiary to
the other there is no doubt that those two people’s standing on that Bluff on
likely a windy day given it was the Bay of Islands had something in their minds
about how they were going to work together to make our country great what
followed that period of time was an undoing of that agreement one side of
that partnership decided it didn’t really like the terms of that agreement
and it started taking land it started taking lives and it did so without
hesitation I could talk about that for hours but we don’t have that
time what then followed in the 1970s was Māori standing up and saying you know
what that’s actually not good enough there were land marches led by my Whaia Whina Cooper from Panguru. There was legislation passed that said actually as
a country we need to start thinking about those things that happened and
recognising that we have to do things better then we have the treaty process
my background comes from I sit at the table with Māori as a Māori but I lead
the government side and we have negotiated 89 treaty settlements and
would you believe it we are four to five years away from completing all treaty
settlements in New Zealand. That is one of the first examples of co-design we
didn’t sit there and say to Māori here is what you’re going to get hope you
like it because that wouldn’t have lasted two seconds we sat down we talked
about each other’s parameters we talked about aspirations we talked about dreams
we heard our hurt and we worked together to come to a solution that was no
nowhere near perfect but it was something that both parties
were prepared to move forward on we’re coming through the end of that treaty
process down and we have a Māori partner who are organized they have capacity they
have capability and they’re standing there looking at the government going where
are you in the meantime we as a government and as the public service are
trying to rearrange ourselves and think differently about policy process about
engagement and about partnership in some ways we’re back on that bluff in the
differences we don’t have guns and muskets
we have pens and computers and those pens and computers will dictate I think
how well we go into the future and my hope is obviously that we don’t end up
back in the place we were but I think we need to realise whether you’re in
Australia New Zealand Canada or the States the power of the pen and so I
want to talk to you about a couple of the things we’re thinking about at the
moment and those are that as part of Te Arawhiti’s work we’re responsible
for looking at the journey the journey from the journey I’ve just spoken to you
about but the journey into the future and to what we would call real
partnership so we use a lot of the words we all do we talk about co-design
we talk about partnership we talk about engagement but are we really really
clear on what that means are we clear that when we talk to Māori
we need to understand (in New Zealand) their world view we need to understand
the basis upon which they are coming to talk to us and if you don’t understand
that you immediately start off on the wrong foot so our big challenge at the
moment is how do you reconcile that Māori world view with the policy
processes of government as a person of Māori descent and very proudly so you
know I see it see both sides and part of
our challenge is really to find our way to true engagement, engagement that
doesn’t start when you have a great policy idea and go out and tell Māori
about it it’s about when you have a shared problem because Māori I think are
very sick of you know and it sounds like the world over are very sick of being
diagnosed they’re sick of people telling them what’s wrong with them and so they
want apart in designing whatever that solution is to whatever those problems
are and that has to start from the very beginning I think part of that is about
educating ourselves and building a baseline within the public sector of
comfort the first thing is comfort people have to be comfortable engaging
with Maori. people are afraid to do so they then need to be competent
and competent is a lot about listening it’s a lot about solution finding and
it’s a lot about sharing ideas I think there’s this feeling that you know in
New Zealand we because of our treaty we are strides ahead of people and we do
some great stuff don’t get me wrong but we are at the start of a very long
journey and I think part of the puzzle we have is we have to start with the
lowest common denominator within the public service and we have to help them
lift then we have a set of state sector reforms which I’m speaking about later
today which come in from the top enjoy accountability from CES down towards
staff and in the middle we had these great Māori public servants all over the
place in New Zealand and we have to support them to continue to do the good
things they are doing in their respective agencies so we’re on the cusp
of redesigning how we look at policy how we think about policy problems
what does delivering on the promise of that treaty that they stood on that
Bluff and signed look like in 1840 and 2040
200 years in 2040 I think that the thing I’ll leave you with is and I could
talk about this stuff for hours as you don’t have to reimagine public
administration too much in New Zealand actually we have this thing called the
treaty it has three articles in it the first article is about Kāwanatanga that is the right to govern and Māori you know Māori after Māori had
challenged the government’s right to govern but it’s right there in the
treaty the second is rangatiratanga is about
the ability of Māori to run and have their own affairs and the
authority over those affairs in my view those two articles lead to the third
which is Oritetanga or citizenship citizenship is about equality so I think
we don’t need anymore frameworks or guidelines than that I
think all we need is a courageous public service that is ready to learn and I
think very supportive and we do have that at the moment we have a very
supportive government and I think an ability to work together and use a lot
of the strength in this room to redesign the way we look at policy so
that’s our challenge. Kia Ora

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *