"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