29 Apr 2015

Settlement process 'insufficent' on social services

7:54 am on 29 April 2015

The government has been told the Treaty settlement process is not well suited to exploring opportunities for Maori groups to be more involved in commissioning social services.

The finding was part of a Productivity Commission report on the public welfare system.

Productivity Commission senior advisor, Paul Miller.

Productivity Commission senior advisor, Paul Miller. Photo: RNZ / Gareth Thomas

The commission's report said enabling greater rangatiratanga within social services meant the Crown would have to step back from 'deciding for' and 'doing for' Maori.

But the commission also noted that if the Crown were to step back too far it would risk breaching the Treaty of Waitangi because the Crown would not be treating tangata whenua in the same way as others.

Senior advisor Paul Miller said the report recommended the government create opportunities for Maori groups to be part of commissioning social services outside the Treaty settlement process.

"I think we could read a reasonable nudge there in that recommendation around ... what are our other possibilities here.

"Certainly what we're saying is that consigning this to the Treaty settlement process - and only to that process - is likely to be insufficient and we need to look at some other options".

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