Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our kaiwhakahaere and Q&A

Good interview from Mark Solomon on Q&A. I don't agree with everything he says but he is our kaiwhakahaere and i support our kaiwhakahaere.

"GUYON But state owned assets, have you had specific conversation with ministers about Iwi getting involved in stakes of state owned assets.
MARK Yes I have, I first raised it with the National Party in July 2008, prior to them coming into power, did the same with the Labour Party and talks have continued since."
We really need to have a think about this. if, from a maori perspective, state assets are shared with iwi via some ppp's - are iwi just a private company that is maori or are there deeper issues, such as the development of tino rangatiratanga. If maori get involved with these state assets - are they doing it just to make money or are they doing it to assert mana over the area. If just for money - don't do it.
"GUYON Let's look at one of the opportunities that is coming up, and that is in the prison sector, because there is joint development in public private partnership there if you like, in contracting out to private providers. Are Iwi looking at being part of any bids to manage any of the private prisons?
MARK Myself and three other Iwi leaders were invited by TPK to meet with some of the companies that are coming into the company to potentially bid for private prisons. I will be up front, my interest wasn't so much in having an equity share in the prison. I wanted to know how these companies that are offshore companies would deal with the cultural aspects when they came into New Zealand. So we met with GE4S.
GUYON A Melbourne based company.
MARK And Serco, yes the other Australian based company. We were blown away in the way that they deal with their prisoners.
GUYON You were impressed?
MARK We're completely impressed."
When you read about the things that impressed them - these companies or organisations that run prisons should be doing those things anyway. The big danger here is that maori will get used by these corporate-prison entities. I do not believe that prisons should be run for profit. I do not believe that maori should be shareholders in prisons run for profit and i do not believe that private companies should have anything to do with running prisons. I do think that there should be very strong and persuasive cultural content and context for any and all prisoners. In this country the cultural content should be based around te ao maori.

Kia kaha Mark


robertguyton said...

My thoughts exactly Marty. Mark explains the position well but is blinded by te rama.
Using and being used. That doesn't build mana.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where Robert gets off commenting on whether the Kaiwhakahaere of Ngai Tahu is "blinded by te rama" and then insinuating he is using and being used.

He went on a fact finding mission and has seen for himself a difference in the way the Australian private prison system is attempting to do things better - will they succeed? who knows but they look to the indigenous people for advice and partnership in a way the public sector does not and we do not in NZ.

He is also aware that Maori are over-represented in prison populations and are more likely to be incarcerated - given that situation, if we as a collective could improve outcomes for those brothers, sisters and cousins who are locked up we should keep an open mind on all options.

I don't want Ngai Tahu to own a prison, but I would welcome the chance to change how the prison system operates.

it is entirely in keeping with the mana of Ngai Tahu and the Kaiwhakahaere to keep an open mind on these matters rather than just shooting from the lip.

I find it hard to beleive anyone thinks the current way of doing things is good for Maori.

Robert Guyton said...

Anonymous -
If the State-run prisons were 'ideal', they would provide those things that Mark Solomon describes seeing in the Australian prisons. Proposing that private providers do it instead of the State is in my opinion a mistake and a grave mistake at that. Our elected representatives should be responsible for the welfare of our prison population and they should do it well. They are not, but putting in a private company that does will undermine any chance that the State ever will. It will also create a raft of unintended consequences. Mark Solomon does not seem to hold this view. His desire for Iwi to play the part is the reason for my comment.

maps said...

Well said Robert. If we learned one thing from the '80s and '90s, it ought to have been that privatisation is never progressive. What's next - selling off schools to companies that promise to appoint a token Maori rep to the board?

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora koutou

good discussion.

If the government allows private prisons should maori be involved?

If the private prisons are going to happen, and we know that a majority of prisoners are maori - then should maori be involved with those prisons? And in what capacity?

Should maori withhold their support until the private prisons are disestablished? Who wins and loses under this scenario?

Should maori say, "well we need to help our people and we will work with the devil to do that if we have to."

By supporting our people to develop cultural pride and reduce reoffending are we also supporting the multi-national prison complex? If maori don't buy into this approach - will someone else come along and do it, and take control of the rehabilation of our people.

Can we save the people by destroying the people?

This is a very big issue and I am not sure what the answer is. What do you think?