3 May 2012

Plans for Te Puni Kokiri to be in policy loop

9:28 am on 3 May 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says he has vision for Te Puni Kokiri to guide all Government departments with their policy-making to ensure the Maori voice is heard.

Dr Sharples has ordered a review into the work done by the Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kokiri).

He says changes would give the ministry its rangatiratanga (authority and leadership) and the ability to represent Maori across all Crown bodies.

Dr Sharples says it would be good for Te Puni Kokiri to become the overall central agency to assist other Government departments to foster good relations between Maori and other New Zealanders.

He says the ministry has to be part of the overall policy-making group - otherwise Maori aren't in the game.

Dr Sharples says over the years the Ministry of Maori Development has felt under threat, because it's not totally recognised by other Government departments.

He says changes would give Te Puni Kokiri its rangatiratanga.

He has appointed a four-strong panel to make recommendations on how the ministry can change and better support the Government and iwi.

Panel members include Naida Glavish of Ngati Whatua and Piri Sciascia, chair of Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency Te Mangai Paho.

The review panel will report back by 16 July.