Sir Graham Latimer, Chairman, New Zealand Maori Council


In 1840 our founding ancestors committed themselves to building a place where Maori and Pakeha would look to each other with aroha, mana and manaaki.  On Waitangi day this year I together with Sir John Turei and Justice Edward Durie, set as a challenge for us all: Rua Rautau.

As we approach 2040 and the bi-centenary of the signing of the Treaty, we have the opportunity to strengthen and rebuild harmonious relations between Maori and Pakeha. Rua Rautau calls on all communities and organisations, Maori and Pakeha, to consider how future community relations should develop and how different views might be reconciled.  Rua Rautau is a long term strategy. It will require us to take stock every five years to determine how we are progressing towards our goals.

This volume, Indigenous Peoples and Justice Tangata Whenua I Roto I Te Tika, is the first in a series under a similar kaupapa, Ngai Tatou 2020 (All of Us Together). It will be work like this that will help complete the aims and goals of our challenge - Rua Rautau.

Many Maori still see the present system as alien, imposed by the dominant society, and deeply insensitive to their traditions and values. Maori account for approximately 15 percent of the population of New Zealand, yet more than half of the prison population is Maori.

These facts speak to the need for fundamental change in a system that is clearly inappropriate when it comes to serving Maori.

The F.I.R.S.T. Foundation, in assembling together academics, practitioners, politicians and community leaders with knowledge and expertise on the selected themes, asked them to produce papers on a series of questions that participants were asked to consider. In the course of presentations and the resultant discussions, participants had ample opportunity to put forward their views and recommendations as they related to the questions.

This report of the proceedings is intended to stimulate further dialogue and positive changes in policy.

I leave you with two thoughts, implementation requires so much more concentration and effort than recommendations and nearly everything that has worked for Maori in the past, seems to have come from a Maori base.