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Group to advise NZAF on Maori strategy

Wed 12 Nov 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News

A consultation group is meeting this Saturday to advise on early stage development of a strategy to improve the NZ AIDS Foundation's responsiveness to Māori at operating and governance levels. The Foundation's board has not confirmed who the members of the informal group are but understands approaches have been made to Anglican Minister and veteran Maori activist Dr Hone Kaa and past NZAF staffer Richard Tankersley, amongst others. The group has been selected by the Board and consultation adviser Anton Blank. "Anton is convening a meeting [of] a broad range of key stakeholders that have been identified by him and the Trust Board," says a Foundation spokesperson. "This group is considered key to the development of the Māori Strategy and they will provide feedback on the plan to develop the Strategy." Foundation members voted two years ago to delete references to the Treaty of Waitangi from the revised trust deed which is now in place. The NZAF has lost a number of high-profile staff in recent times, including Eriata Peri and Te Herekeke Herewini, and also lost its longtime kaumatua when Henare te Ua died in May last year. The Foundation says a replacement kaumatua is amongst the moves to be considered for the Maori Strategy. The NZAF says it has recently strengthened its Māori HIV Prevention response, "with the confirmation of Jordon Harris as Kaiārahi," a leadership position across the NZAF on Māori HIV Prevention, health and well-being for takatāpui, "and two new full time Kaimahi Hauora positions are due for appointment in Wellington and Auckland," joining Geoff Rua'ine in Hamilton and Harris. Project manager for the NZAF's takatāpui initiatives is head-office based Matt Creamer. "The NZAF wants to improve its responsiveness to Māori, particularly Takatāpui Tāne, and the organisational commitment to biculturalism," says the Foundation. "The Trust Board and National Management Team have had a commitment to developing a Māori Strategy to advance this for some time... We will be developing a plan for a strategy that acknowledges the crucial importance of Māori to the present and future of the NZAF and the right to self-determination by Māori to determine the nature and direction that Māori have with the NZAF." [Amendment, Friday 14/10/08: We have now been advised that Hone Kaa was not amongst those invited to this hui. The only confirmed participant we have been made aware of is Richard Tankersley.]    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 12th November 2008 - 3:07pm

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