From: “OIA Inbox” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: (Martin Devlin)
Sent: 9/02/2022 1:58:00 PM
Subject: Response to your request for official information (Ref 215245)
Tēnā koe Martin
On 9 December 2022, you requested:
University staff at my former university are now expected or required to adopt tikanga Maori protocols -mihi, waiata and karakia (prayers) at all meetings and occasions, irrespective of whether Maori colleagues are present, and are monitored and measured on their capability in these protocols as a condition of employment. In addition they must also demonstrate their understanding of and commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and its (undefined) “principles. My own research shows there are at least 13 different lists of “principles” claimed by different organisations, ranging from two to thirteen principles. No two lists are the same. I have been approached by former colleagues asking whether or not they can decline to adopt and to participate in these protocols as a condition of their employment. It is unclear whether individual participation is optional, expected or required. In one instance a colleague declined to attend a meeting until the protocols were finished, only to be branded a racist and non-conformer. It is now clear that to decline to participate in these protocols, or to challenge the introduction of Te Ao Maori views into academic courses, is to invite serious and adverse career outcomes. My reading of the legislation is that it is in breach of our Human Rights legislation to require (or indeed to coerce) a person to adopt or engage in cultural practices not their own. In the wider sense, this approach is called “inverse acculturation” which if coercive (which it clearly is), must breach the Human Rights and Bill of Rights Acts, plus the Education Act on academic freedom?I would appreciate your interpretation and advice regarding this matter, please?
I have made a similar request to the Tertiary Education Union to provide their policy on this matter, but they are unwilling to respond.
This request is made under the Official Information Act
The Commission does not consider your request to amount to an Official Information Act 1982 request. Rather, your request seeks “interpretation and advice” from the Commission as regards to whether, a person engaging in cultural practices that are not their own, amounts to a breach of human rights. Accordingly, we are declining your request under s 18(e) of the Act.
As you may be aware, the Commission’s functions do not include making determinations on potential breaches of human rights. Further, the Commission cannot provide you with legal advice, including interpretation of legislation.
If you believe you have faced discrimination or your human rights have been denied, you can lodge a complaint with the Commission online: https://www.hrc.co.nz/complaint-form/, over the phone: 0800 496 877, or email: email@example.com
If you are not satisfied with this response, under the Official Information Act you are entitled to complain to the Ombudsman’s Office. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or on freephone 0800 802 602.
Apart from refusing to answer a proper request, one notes also the length of time they took. These are supposed to be answered within 20 working days; this useless department took 33 days just to say in effect ‘Stuff off’. —Eds
Appalling and pathetic ………….. this is where Labour has taken our country; and all this Maori language – goodness, Martin is a NZer, who speaks English (Martin, do you know much of the Maori language ???) The last time I heard you talking, yes (or should I use jabcinda’s term – “YIP”) ………… English.
More significant, the person who provided the reply, may be a NZer (possibly), though her name gives the game away – my pick, a SAfer – jolly good at the Maori introduction and farewell !!!!! Ms van Heerden, your reply is an embarrassment to a worthy request for information, and an insult to Mr Martin Devlin.
Goodness, where is our country headed under jabcinda.
Jack Tuhawaiki said:
Absolute nonsense by public servants. The ironic twist is Jacinda Ardern I doubt is sincere in pushing Maori activist independence. She operates on ‘divide and conquer’ to carry out her agenda. Keep the people fighting each other and they are distracted to what government is up to. I have utter disrespect for Ardern, her juvenile delinquent Speaker Mallard and her gutless cronies in her cabinet. You all are a disgrace to democracy. Your fathers and grandfathers fought fascism in two World Wars to save democracy and its associated freedoms.
You’re right Jack, she is a total phoney. Anyone with a glimmer of critical thinking can spot that in under 30 seconds.
I don’t think she gives a damn about Maori, especially high-viz Maori who can only dream of the income that Maori elites get. I have a Maori colleague and she refuses to do any tikanga type activities because she views the government as dial-a-Maori and says she would just be used as a convenience.
As for the lame stream media calling the protestors white supremacists, I think a good many Maori would be surprised to hear that.
Media: this is about bodily sovereignty and freedom – not race. Get over yourselves.
Bud jones JonesQSM said:
I have been involved first hand with this racist hocus pokus I was asked to assist my head of dept. when it looked like his career path would be terminal if he failed to show implementation of this stone age blather in the school’s courses I advised that the university charter will explicitly forbid inclusion of any religious or ethnic bias in courses. Outside the school of Religious studies of course. There is a place where the sun don’t shine where this racism should be lodged, & heroically my collogue told his superiors to shove it there.This Ardern generated nonsense must stop it is tearing the country apart, soon that tear will be tears.
Read that new teachers MUST be fluent in maori to the satisfaction of a maori elite inquisitor to pass a teaching diploma.
Get ready for the mass exodus of people from all levels (but especially those with school age children to Oz.