Topic: Politics

TPK, Māori Wardens & Ture Whenua Act Mahuta’s focus for 2019

By Talisa Kupenga

Nanaia Mahuta, the first woman to take on the role of Māori Development Minister, reflects on 2018 and talks about priority areas for the new year.

One of Nanaia Mahuta's most memorable moments this year was becoming the Māori Housing Minister.

"That was a big deal. A focus on supporting those already in homes, those looking for a home and those wanting to build a papakāinga,” Mahuta says.

Supporting and promoting more women into positions of power was also a highlight.

"Dr Charlotte Severne was appointed Māori Trustee of Te Tumu Paeroa. That's awesome! Dr Rawinia Higgins taking the role of Chairwoman at the Māori Language Commission. It’s an example perhaps for our Māori women out there."

As well as ending the political year with the sign-off of $1 million allocated to the Māori Wardens to further develop a Māori youth outcomes programme.

"In the new year, I will meet with the Māori Wardens to really discuss the different areas and changes they want to pursue to push this forward."

But come the new year Te Puni Kōkiri will remain a key focus for the Minister.

"I will be expecting that Te Puni Kokiri's Chief Executive look to enhance the policy side in line with the government's new strategy because that is the overarching component that will guide our work and allow us to take care of our Māori programmes."

As well as the Ture Whenua Māori Act.

Mahuta says, "We haven't yet been able to make the changes to the Act, we are working on it, but those working on the changes know it's about making it more simple when it comes to working on the land.

"There are some funds for Māori Trusts to help develop their aspirations on the land and access the Provincial Growth Fund."

The Minister will also be watching very closely the Māori media space with the Māori media sector currently under review.