The New Zealand Maori Council has told the Prime Minister and Minister for State Services that it no longer has confidence in the Public Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes. Council’s Executive Director has also indicated that the Council is deeply concerned about the recruitment, search and selection process of the next Police Commissioner and warned the Government that it is prepared to act further should it not heed the warnings. Council’s Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, has said that the lack of engagement with Maori around key appointments, the lack of appointments to State Owned Enterprise boards and Departmental executive roles smacks of the old boy’s network in full swing:
‘The truth is it’s like a merry go round of jobs for the boys or jobs for the box tickers and yet the point is that Governments come and go, the public service remains – all too often we come against people who say they are engaging with Maori to co-design and solve problems and yet all we get are the brown box tickers. Mr Hughes presides over the appointments process but also the performance of many of these senior executives and let me tell you his performance leaves a lot to be desired.” Tukaki said
“While the Government might say they have increased the number of Directors on DHBs who are Maori the reality is altogether different when it comes to nearly every other Government department and agency including State Owned Enterprises – and yet they only engage Maori in one of those brown box ticking forums they form, put their ideas and what they are doing to do and say all good with met with Maoris and we’ll still do it our way. It is just crazy what goes on.” Tukaki said
“Then there is the absolute debacle that is the recruitment process for the Police Commissioner role. Instead of seeing it as a chance to promote one of this nation’s most senior and experienced warranted officers they essentially turn their backs and go with cookie cutter central. And then they have the cheek to not meet with Iwi leaders around the same flawed process? Again if you’re looking for the other half of the cup of crazy then there it is. Every time this happens it’s another missed opportunity.” Tukaki said
“Of course that leads to the belief that how can Maori and Maori organisations have any faith in the head of the State Services Commission if this sort of nonsense is going on. Mind you lets also make this about performance – how many current public service heads preside over budget blow-outs? Endless non-delivery of projects and programs, failure to implement policy and so on – let’s face it it’s not like the current lot are over achievers or achievers more generally.” Tukaki said
Tukaki has said that the recruitment process for a new Police Commissioner needs to stop and the reset button pushed – he’s also warned the Government that he is not afraid to take them and the public service on through the Waitangi Tribunal.
Video accompanying this statement: