Deconstructing the Lack of Capability Myth

From Te Manu Korihi:

Chris Karamea Insley of iwi development company 37 Degrees South said the review would tidy up the structures and laws but it would not drive the development of Maori land.

He said the Maori trusts and incorporations which hold large scale assets didn’t have the capability, staffing or technical expertise to get the job done.

Mr Insley said while the review was helpful, it wouldn’t address the capability problems within trust and corporations and therefore was not a solution.

The review of Te Ture Whenua Māori 1993 is gathering pace, and it is encouraging that an important piece of the Māori economic development framework is being reworked to reflect 21 years of knowledge and experience that we have gained from operating our commercial affairs under predominately Western structures.  Yet, as the above quotation recognises, simply reviewing the legislation governing the administration of Māori land is not going to be a complete solution to the problems faced by Māori who seek to develop their land.  Te Ture Whenua Māori was never designed to solve any capability problem within Māori organisations.  It is only part of the Māori economic development framework.  An integral part all the same.

The point I want to touch on today is the idea that there is a capability problem holding back Māori organisations.  To put it briefly, and to put it bluntly – there is no capability problem within Te Ao Māori.  I am proud to be part of a highly-skilled, highly-motivated, generation of Māori.  Māori with the capability to drive our continued development.  Look inside any major corporation, industry, political movement, and iwi organisation and you will find young Māori making their mark.  And there are more and more coming out of our Universities and our Wananga each and every year.

There is no capability problems – only a mindset problem.  The mindset that says that Rangatahi Māori have to wait their turn.  The mindset that says that Kaumatua are the best people to sit on commercial boards.  The mindset that there is simply not enough talented, knowledgable, and experienced Māori to do the job correctly.  There are a multitude of issues holding back Māori land development, lack of capability is not one of them.

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