Data ILG enters Mana Ōrite Agreement with Department of Internal Affairs

The Data Iwi Leaders Group (ILG) and Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) have entered into a Mana Ōrite Relationship Agreement in a bid to create digital public services that are more responsive, accessible and enable better outcomes for Māori.

The agreement was officially signed on 22nd June and is the second Mana Ōrite Relationship Agreement Data ILG has entered into with a Crown agency, following its successful and ongoing relationship with Statistics NZ to find solutions to disparities in iwi data.

Data ILG Chair Karen Vercoe says entering into a Mana Ōrite Agreement is about fostering enduring relationships, rather than partnerships.

“A focus on developing the relationship first – to understand the intentions, aspirations and expectations of the parties, underpinned our first Mana Ōrite Agreement with Statistics NZ and has been instrumental in our work to improve data for iwi and Māori.

“Mana Ōrite Agreements are not a subsitute for the broader Māori and Crown relationship, rather, it builds on those foundations.”

This new, formal relationship with DIA ensures both parties have equal decision making power and acknowledges the validity of each side’s perspectives, knowledge systems and world views.

By embarking on this relationship, it is hoped stronger engagement between DIA and iwi across Aotearoa can be sustained, as well as the creation of a culturally competent digital public service.

DIA Chief Executive Paul James says the Mana Ōrite Agreement signing represents a genuinely exciting moment for the department.

“Te Tari Taiwhenua is focused on ensuring New Zealanders can easily Access Services and Information and that Iwi, hapū and communities across the country are safe, resilient and thriving.

“We will commit actively, recognising that the relationship’s success will be measured in the long term outcomes we deliver together.”

Embedding a te ao Māori lens into decision-making within the digital public service system and making sure digital needs and aspirations of Māori are met through digital strategies and policies are also key outcomes of the relationship.

Ms Vercoe says this Mana Ōrite Agreement will formalise efforts to ensure equitable outcomes regarding iwi and Māori digital inclusion across the public digital system.

“We also want Māori business and iwi to have the digital commercial and trade opportunities to contribute to the digital global economy.

“With these aspirations front of mind, this ongoing relationship will help facilitate better outcomes for Māori in the digital realm.”

Data Iwi Leaders Group was established by National Iwi Chairs Forum in 2016 in response to the increasing need for iwi to better harness the potential of data to enable our development and to advance the data kaupapa with the Crown.

Its kaupapa is to facilitate full, free access and control over data about and for iwi to empower the development of iwi.

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