The New Zealand Maori Council has called on the Department of Corrections to name names in a confidential internal report naming Maori Nationalist organisations as a threat. Council Executive Director Matthew Tukaki has called the comments “from a few recalcitrant” public servants as a step too far in Maori Crown relations. He's also congratulated Minister Kelvon Davis for stepping in and calling it out.
“The report out of the Department of Corrections is ill conceived, a flight of fancy and quite frankly lends itself to the fundamental question of just who they are talking about? Maori Nationalist Groups? Are they referring to the Maori Council? Are the referring to the Maori Women’s Welfafe League? Are they referring to the Maori Nurses Federation or the Kohanga movement? This kind of nonsense aligned with somehow the threat of terrorism is exactly what divides a community instead of brining it together” Matthew Tukaki said
“The real question we need to be asking ourselves isn’t just the performance of the Department in light of these flights of fancy but just who are they speaking off? Put it on the record instead of tarring all Maori organisations with the same brush as terror groups.” Tukaki went on to say
“This is yet another example of a Government Department and public servants running around doing whatever they want, writing whatever they want and saying whatever they want. Its high time the State Services Commission got a handle on the performance of each Government Department from the top down and remind the public service that these sorts of thought bubbles, this sort of nonsense and this sort of behavior is not fit for purpose.” Tukaki said
“At the same time it is worth noting that the State Services Commission and all Minister should remind each Head of Government Departments and Agencies about their obligations and responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi – and remind them what that means.” Tukaki said
“I think this is yet another strong case for the Minister Davis’ Maori Crown Relations Agency to be pulled out of the Justice and Corrections portfolio and stand alone as a Ministry with its own legislation and its own operating plan, program of work and budget. If the concept is going to work it needs to last and it needs to be independent of a Ministry that has let this sort of nonsense to happen. Tukaki Said
Mr. Tukaki said that this type of Maori bashing commentary has no place in todays society and puts Maori Crown relations at a great risk.