Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa

New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy

5. Strengthening partnerships with and opportunities for Māori

Te whakapakari i ngā pātuitanga me ngā āheinga mō ngāi Māori

We recognise and respect Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Building strong, meaningful and enduring relationships with Māori is one of the foundations to ensure our infrastructure works for everyone.

Children playing in Te Oro, the Glenn Innes Community Centre. The name ‘Te Oro’ has been gifted to the centre by Ngāti Pāoa with the endorsement of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Source: Sara Orme, New Zealand Story.

Children playing in Te Oro, the Glenn Innes Community Centre. The name ‘Te Oro’ has been gifted to the centre by Ngāti Pāoa with the endorsement of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Source: Sara Orme, New Zealand Story.

The way Māori interact with infrastructure is growing and evolving.

Māori are users of infrastructure, relying on the services it provides to access work, recreation and education, as well as to run their businesses and provide opportunities for entrepreneurship. Māori are also investors, developers, partners, governors and owners (see Figure 7). For example, Te Ōhanga Māori (the Māori economy), is growing. It accounted for $17 billion in production GDP (6.5%) in 2018.26 Māori are also involved in building infrastructure, with 12% of the Māori workforce employed in the construction sector.27

In these different roles, Māori bring a depth of knowledge, experience and values that can expand the knowledge base of all infrastructure providers. Building mutually empowering relationships with Māori will enrich the knowledge of the entire sector and unlock opportunities for Māori.

Figure 7: The many roles of Māori in our infrastructure system

Source: Te Waihanga

Source: Te Waihanga

A strategic approach is needed to build mutually empowering relationships.

These mutually empowering relationships must be based on agreed values and principles. We’ve drawn on those established in Te Ara Kotahi (the Waka Kotahi Māori Strategy)28 as the basis for a proposed approach (see Table 2).

Table 2: Te Ara Kotahi (the Waka Kotahi Māori Strategy)

Source: Adapted from Waka Kotahi (2020)

Source: Adapted from Waka Kotahi (2020)

Three areas for action: partnerships, unlocking opportunities and incorporating mātauranga Māori.

Drawing on the Waka Kotahi framework, we’ve prioritised three areas for action:

  • Creating stronger partnerships with Māori across infrastructure planning and delivery.
  • Unlocking opportunities for Māori across the infrastructure system.
  • Incorporating mātauranga Māori into infrastructure design, planning and delivery. These weave into all aspects of this strategy (see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Weaving Māori objectives into the strategy

Source: Te Waihanga

Source: Te Waihanga

Strengthening partnerships with Māori.

Across infrastructure planning and design, a partnering approach ensures that Māori values and aspirations are reflected in infrastructure projects from the beginning. This might involve deciding on the location of a hospital, recognising and supporting the potential for iwi investment, or understanding the way changes to a water network might impact the mauri of local waterways. In these ways and many more, partnering with Māori can ensure that a project has the greatest benefit for the community it’s designed to serve, unlocking economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.

Strengthening partnerships requires effective engagement that starts early, uses best practice and is proportional to the issue, nature and strength of Māori interests. It must also recognise and provide for cultural heritage, identity and mātauranga Māori. The development of a framework for building stronger partnerships during infrastructure planning and delivery is an important step in this process. The framework must be based on tikanga Māori, recognise that different partnership models will be appropriate for different types of infrastructure and must be consistent with an all-of-government approach. The development of this framework would be guided by a joint advisory group. This would need to be developed in a way that’s consistent with other government partnership approaches currently being considered under various policy reforms.

We must provide the time and resources for partnerships, as well as proactive, clear and timely dialogue on the direction of infrastructure investment. Many iwi suffer from intense demands on their time, which is often given voluntarily, as they’re invited to consult and partner in an increasingly complex environment. The government is currently leading major reform across water, health, and local government, as well as historic levels of infrastructure investment. This places a significant burden on iwi resources, time and personnel. At the same time, many government agencies and infrastructure providers vary in their understanding of engagement with Māori and their capabilities to do so. For these reasons it will be important to build the capacity and capabilities for a successful partnering approach throughout the infrastructure system, as well as within iwi. It needs to be built in a way that’s sustainable and enduring. This work has started with the development of the Māori Crown Relations Capability Framework.30

Partnership principles approved by the government provide the following guidance.29

  • Build the relationship before focusing on the work.
  • Plan together from the start.
  • Value each party’s contribution and knowledge.
  • Ensure outcomes are meaningful to all parties.
  • Be open, be flexible and accept risk.
  • Share decision-making.

We must provide the time and resources for partnerships, as well as proactive, clear and timely dialogue on the direction of infrastructure investment. Many iwi suffer from intense demands on their time, which is often given voluntarily, as they’re invited to consult and partner in an increasingly complex environment. The government is currently leading major reform across water, health, and local government, as well as historic levels of infrastructure investment. This places a significant burden on iwi resources, time and personnel. At the same time, many government agencies and infrastructure providers vary in their understanding of engagement with Māori and their capabilities to do so. For these reasons it will be important to build the capacity and capabilities for a successful partnering approach throughout the infrastructure system, as well as within iwi. It needs to be built in a way that’s sustainable and enduring. This work has started with the development of the Māori Crown Relations Capability Framework.30

Unlocking opportunities for Māori.

Infrastructure can have a major impact on wellbeing, whether it’s providing access to hospitals and schools, powering our workplaces or creating jobs in construction. However, we know that the outcomes for Māori in many of our infrastructure sectors are poor (see Figure 9) and that it’s important to identify opportunities where infrastructure can have a role in improving Māori wellbeing. These opportunities include:

  • Caring for the environment and supporting Māori to exercise kaitiakitanga (environmental stewardship/guardianship).
  • Promoting employment opportunities31,32 (see Section 7.5).
  • Improving diversity across the infrastructure workforce (see Section 7.5).
  • Enhancing social wellbeing through access to infrastructure services. For example, through telecommunication and internet services that improve connectivity in places where Māori live, transport infrastructure that brings employment opportunities closer and education that improves economic opportunity.
  • Establishing an effective process for partnership within regional spatial plans (see Section 6.2).
  • Identifying ways the infrastructure system can support an equitable transition for Māori, for example in the transition to clean energy required to deliver net-zero carbon emissions and informing a fair transition (see Section 6.1).
  • Using procurement as a mechanism to unlock opportunities for Māori. For example, in 2020 the government announced that it would require mandated agencies to ensure that at least 5% of relevant contracts are awarded to Māori.
  • Recognising and respecting Māori rangatiratanga while supporting iwi aspirations, plans and goals.

Figure 9: Māori outcomes can be improved across our key infrastructure sectors

Source: Climate Change Commission (2021), Statistics New Zealand (2021), Digital Public Service (2020), Tokona Te Raki Māori Futures Collective (2019), Ministry of Health (2019)

Source: Climate Change Commission (2021), Statistics New Zealand (2021), Digital Public Service (2020), Tokona Te Raki Māori Futures Collective (2019), Ministry of Health (2019)

Incorporating mātauranga Māori into infrastructure design, planning and delivery.

Mātauranga Māori, the knowledge, skills and concepts developed by Māori over centuries of living in Aotearoa, has made important contributions to health, social policy and many other fields. However, the potential for mātauranga Māori to contribute to the development of infrastructure is only just being realised within the sector. We can work to grow information and advice about how mātauranga Māori informs infrastructure planning, policy and delivery, as well as decision-making on infrastructure priorities.

Strengthening the mātauranga knowledge base requires a research agenda. This can draw on best practice from previous projects (see Case Study 1). Building a strong evidence base of what works will support better strategy, planning and project delivery across the system.

Section 5 - Strengthening partnerships with and opportunities for Māori

1. Strengthen partnerships with Māori across the infrastructure system of Aotearoa New Zealand

How

  1. Undertake a ‘State of Play’ of current Māori engagement activity for infrastructure to help inform and educate readers on how infrastructure providers can engage and work with Māori in a way that works for Māori and infrastructure providers.
  2. Identify a lead government agency that will establish a Māori advisory group to develop a framework for strengthening partnerships with Māori in infrastructure planning and delivery. The framework should be based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and tikanga Māori and consistent with an all-of-government approach. The advisory group should also consider the evolving role of Māori in the infrastructure system and options for ongoing governance and oversight of the framework.

Who

Iwi, Te Waihanga, Te Arawhiti, Central Government, Local Government, Sector

When

2022-2031

Want to know more

CEM

2. Develop capabilities and capacity across the infrastructure system for effective partnerships with Māori

How

Put in place a programme to develop capabilities and capacity for effective partnership that should:

  1. Build specialist Māori infrastructure capabilities at the centre of government that can support agencies and Māori.
  2. Consolidate and enhance specific funding for the provision of technical support for iwi with infrastructure planning and delivery partnerships (agency or programme specific).
  3. Broker partnerships with Crown agencies and industry to create fixed-term secondment opportunities for iwi organisations.
  4. Leverage procurement opportunities for Māori across infrastructure policy, planning, delivery, maintenance and research.

Who

Iwi, Te Waihanga, Te Arawhiti, Central Government, Local Government, Sector

When

2022-2031

Want to know more

CEM

3. Strengthen the Māori infrastructure evidence base

How

A collaborative multi-decade research agenda should be designed that:

  1. Builds an evidence base exploring how infrastructure planning and delivery out to 2050 and beyond can help empower Māori and enable rangatiratanga.
  2. Builds and disseminates a programme of in-depth case studies from leading Māori infrastructure partnership projects.
  3. Investigates the use of an appropriate national framework for assessing the nationally agreed effects of infrastructure on cultural values (sometimes referred to as a cultural impact assessment, the mauri model or similar), as a supplement to the local, rohe-specific effects (determined on a project-specific basis by iwi and hapū).

Who

Iwi, Te Waihanga, Te Arawhiti, Central Government, Local Government

When

2022-2050

Want to know more

CEM

Pou Tū Te Rangi at Britomart, Auckland, by Chris Bailey. Pouwhenua, carved wooden posts, mark territorial boundaries or places of significance. Source: New Zealand Story.

Pou Tū Te Rangi at Britomart, Auckland, by Chris Bailey. Pouwhenua, carved wooden posts, mark territorial boundaries or places of significance. Source: New Zealand Story.