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Ed Sheeran

Bureaucrat hostility threat to Māori aspiration

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A member of the team that produced Puao Te Ata Tu says a lesson to be learned from that report is the way public servants will undermine policies they don't like or feel uncomfortable with.

Sir Kim Workman says the inquiry into the Department of Social Welfare 30 years ago led to significant change, including some world-leading legislation and a 90 percent reduction in the number of Māori children and young people in state care.

But other reforms were quickly abandoned, like the district committees on Māori which sat alongside the department to develop policy.

There's a lesson in that as the He Waka Roimata report on the family court and other reports on justice and welfare make their way through the system.

"As Māori we have to be ever vigilant when people try to change stuff because they feel uncomfortable, it's not stuff they necessarily want to be involved in and so we have to take them on that journey and I think that's going to be the real challenge," Sir Kim says.

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