Iwi, hapū and whānau have a right to economic self-determination, to build and develop the Māori economy at both a national and global level. Economic development is a universal thread that can contribute to social, cultural and poitical security and is a cornerstone of exercising tino rangatiratanga.
Since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 Government has not had a national Māori Economic Strategy. Changing this was the priority of the Māori Party coming into Government in 2008 as a support-partner. Between 2009-2012 the development of the strategy has progress over three stages.
Underpining the development of the new strategy has been the need to also respond to the global economic recession that began in 2008 that has impacted upon New Zealand and disproportionaltely on Māori. This shaped the strategy, in particular the work of the Taskforce, to direct resources towards implementing immediate measures.
Māori Economic Summits and Māori Economic Taskforce
On 28 January 2009, Minister Sharples hosted a Māori Economic Summit at Te Puni Kōkiri, Wellington. It brought together more than a 150 Māori leaders to discuss the impact of the recession on Māori and the development of Māori economic policy. Out of the Summit the Maori Economic Taskforce was established, chaired by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Dr Sharples.
Over the period of 2009-2010 the Māori Economic Taskforce worked with a budget of 4.5m per annum. On 5 May 2011 the Taskforce released the Māori Economic Taskforce Report with reports, information sheets, discussion papers and achievements at the 2nd Māori Economic Summit in Auckland. One of the significant announcements made was that the Māori Economy and Asset Base 2010 is now worth 36.9 billion dollars.
Māori Economic Development Panel and Consultation Process
While the Māori Asset Base had more than doubled from 16.5 million in 2008 to 36.9 billion in 2010 what was also revealled was that the Māori contribution to GDP had relatively remained the same only increasing from 5.4% to 5.9%. This meant that while Māori/Iwi were accumulating more natural resources and assets the wealth they were generating was limited. This was for a number of reasons, such as inadequate legislation, limited research, innovation and development funding, access to capital growth funds and inefficient governance systems—in other words, no Māori Economic Strategy.
On 13 September 2011 Minister Sharples and Minister Carter announced the development of a Māori Economic Strategy and Action Plan, including its Terms of Reference. The Panel Members were also named, chaired by Ngahiwi Tomoana.
The panel initiatiated a consultation process releasing the Māori Economic Development Discussion Document and holding hui in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch between 22-30 March 2012. The closing date for submissions was 11 April 2012.
Māori Economic Strategy and Action Plan
One key announcement was the establishment of new Māori Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Expert Māori Board to overlook and implement the Strategy and Action Plan.
Maori Economic Taskforce Report 2011
The Asset Base, Income, Expenditure and GDP of the 2010 Maori Economy
The Maori Economy, Science and Innovation
He Oranga Hapori
Maori Enterprise and the New Zeland Capital Market
Iwi Infrastructure and Investment
Shanghai Delegation Summary
Further information refer to Taskforce Website for information sheets, discussion papers and presentations.