Winnipeg: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is releasing a policy study that looks at the treaty settlement process in New Zealand and concludes that there are models for indigenous success in New Zealand.
The Ngai Tahu is the fourth largest Maori tribal group (iwi) in New Zealand and is known for its successes, absence of indigenous radicalism, and avoidance of revisiting the group’s settlement, unlike many other Maori groups.
Land confiscation and removal from the modern world have placed the indigenous Maori behind non-Maori on every social indicator, as in the case of Canada’s indigenous population. Despite negative racial relations between the indigenous population and white New Zealanders, good policy decisions can improve conditions. Negative opinions of the New Zealand treaty settlement process from non-Maori New Zealanders notwithstanding, there are examples like the Maori Ngâi Tahu tribal group which show that good investment and policy decisions have turned its historic settlement monies toward community improvement. It also reveals how an indigenous community can avoid misspending and bad ventures.
Andrew Falloon, New Zealand political advisor and lead author of the study, argues that while we should not forget the past and its wrongs, we should always remain focused on the future.
“Ngâi Tahu have shown that obstacles are not insurmountable,” said Falloon.
“They remain a beacon of hope that despite the hardship faced by Maori for nearly two centuries, despite the conflict, the disagreements and the disappointments, Maori are able to succeed and prosper.”
Questions remain unanswered over whether Ngâi Tahu can stand as a model for other indigenous peoples around the world, including Canada’s Indian population. Despite differences between the indigenous Maori and Canada’s First Nations, ideas and insights can be gleaned from the case study to show the way forward.
The study can be downloaded from the following link:
Click here for the full study.
About the author
Andrew Falloon has a degree in Political Science from the University of Canterbury and a Certificate in M?ori from Te W?nanga o Aotearoa. He works in New Zealand as an advisor to Hon. Rodney Hide, leader of ACT (Association of Consumers
And Taxpayers) New Zealand, a small centre-right classical liberal party currently in coalition government. He has led major research projects on climate change, treaty settlements education policy, and has assisted in the formulation of sentencing and parole legislation. His other policy interests include indigenous issues, agriculture and foreign affairs.
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