Time For A Maori Policy Unit

I have spoken with a lot of people over the past few weeks about section 9 and the effects of the state owned enterprise regime on Maori Te Tiriti claims and what has struck me is the vast amount of issues that are simply not being addressed by our current approach to law reform.  In short, while there is plenty of passion around such issues from within Te Ao Maori, most of us simply do not have the time to dedicate to providing substantial critiques and counterproposals for reform to the Government.

It is for this reason that I believe that it is time for the formation of an independent Maori Policy Unit.  A body whose sole purpose is to undertake in-depth analysis of issues of importance to Maori and propose workable models of law reform – a Maori Law Commission if you will.  I am keen to get the ball rolling on this, but I need your help.  Do you think an independent Maori Policy Unit is a good idea, what skills would the members of the MPU need to have, how can it be funded, what principles should it be founded on, and how broadly should the aims, functions, and purposes of the MPU be drawn?

Let me know your whakaaro in the comments section, or email me at jcphitchcock@gmail.com


    • Thanks Morgan. I’m going to have a brainstorm session sometime in the next few days and put a bit more flesh to the idea as well. Look forward to your whakaaro.

      • Tena koe Joshua,Have sent proposal out to hapu/whanau groups within Te tai Tokerau for capacity building for the purpose of researchers and policy makers to counter what i see as a high jacking by the Iwi forum and constitutional reform panel
        set up by the Government.Our view in the north is that only Hapu can speak on behalf of He Whakaputanga me te Tiriti and not a legislated body.but yeah i think an independent policy unit without government influence is a great idea.


  1. Kia ora Joshua, I am of the mind that this idea is indeed of dire need and like Morgan, I need time to think about the questions you pose in your koorero. I have shared your koorero amongst two FB Groups I am part of, one being the Independant Constitutional Group whose working Committee is spearheaded by Moana Jackson, Margaret Mutu and Mike Smith and the other Group being Tino Rangatiratanga. I will get back to you within the week with some feedback e hoa…..

  2. I absolutely agree. Such a policy unit is sorely needed in the last 30 years we have gone from Tu Tangata – Kohanga Reo – Matua Whangai – Puao Te Ata Tu and the Children Young Persons and THEIR Families Act 1989 and heaps of reports in between and the
    situation of disparity is as bad if not worse today than wen this all began.

  3. This is a great idea, Maori policy units should be developed across the spectrum of institutions not just law – labour relations, education, economics, health, welfare, business etc.

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