Iwi takes action on social problems

By Whare Akuhata whare.akuhata@dailypost.co.nz

A Te Arawa trust has announced it will be putting together a plan to fight the serious social problems impacting iwi.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa gave a presentation called Te Arawa Tangata (Te Arawa People) to their affiliate members and kaumatua at Tunohopu Marae in Rotorua yesterday.

Te Arawa Tangata is being developed by a working party and aims to come up with at least three projects they hope will make a difference. Those projects are yet to be developed, but will be project managed by Taria Tahana.

TPT general manager Rawiri Te Whare said Te Arawa Tangata is about Te Arawa taking responsibility for the negative aspects of child abuse, domestic violence and the other socio-economic problems. "It answers the question from whanau, hapu and iwi about not seeing the benefits of treaty settlements."

It is also a response to the Minister of Social Development and Employment Paula Bennett who challenged iwi to take a lead role in the problem of the significant number of Maori children who suffer from abuse.

Ms Tahana gave the presentation and said Te Pumautanga was about making a difference for Te Arawa. "It is about Te Arawa taking control and thinking about future solutions based on the traditional structures of whanau, hapu and iwi."

Ms Tahana said the very act of taking back control over their communities was empowering and revitalising. She said social development of whanau, hapu and iwi was a core function of Te Pumautanga o Arawa.

Aspirations of the affiliates revolve around the whanau, hapu and iwi being happy and safe.

Ms Tahana outlined a strategic framework and emphasised key relationships with other Te Arawa treaty organisations, social, health and education providers and government agencies. "We can achieve more by working together."

Over the next year the project will establish a collective vision for whanau, hapu and iwi and will look at engaging with every affiliate. Ms Tahana said they will start at least three projects.

They had looked at other initiatives including Waipareira Trust who Mr Te Whare said the Government could not ignore because they had achieved significant outcomes and made a difference in West Auckland.

Affiliate and police officer Inspector Wally Haumaha said to the 45 affiliates and guests yesterday the project was visionary. "It is the right concept at the right time and has the right people."

To help progress some of the work Aneta Morgan had been appointed as the hapu programme and research officer.

A hapu development manager appointment is also to be made.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa represents 24,000 people of 11 Te Arawa iwi and hapu (known as the affiliates). It was formed in 2006 as a legal entity established to receive, hold and manage settlement assets negotiated on behalf of its affiliates. The trust is working towards the agreed outcomes of the deed signing with the Crown in 2009 and the following settlement legislation as passed in Parliament. Its subsidiaries are its commercial arm, Te Arawa Group Holdings, and is one of eight iwi groupings in the forestry settlement group known as CNI Iwi Holdings.

The Te Arawa Tangata strategy is established under Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Charitable Trust and CNI Group Holdings.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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