Contents 2 Introduction: a fair go for all? 5

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Factors for success

Based on the evaluation report, several key factors can be identified in what makes the MFUs effective in addressing criminal motivation of offenders:

  1. Participants reported that strengthened cultural identity would strengthen their resolve to avoid future offending

  2. Offenders’ improved relationships with whānau and commitment to whānau.

  3. Tikanga Māori concepts learnt by offenders had positive impact in reducing criminal thinking patterns.

  4. The positive environment achieved in the MFUs was in part attributed to commitment from staff

  5. Evaluation is essential to justify expenditure and provide evidence on areas where improvements to the programme could add benefit


Ongoing commitment from the Department is key to the sustainability of MFUs. Because of the success indicated in the evaluation report, the Department is investing more funding into MFUs and strengthening them where appropriate. In 2011 the Department has decided to increase the delivery hours and delivery volume of the Māori Therapeutic Programme, ensuring a therapeutic pathway is available for all offenders in MFUs. Māori Therapeutic Programme designers are now also providing training to future providers.

Structural Discrimination in the Public Service

“Each State party shall take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists.” Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Article 2 (1) (c)
This section considers the workforce diversity of the public service, commitment to diversity and how the public service operates.194 We ask why public service senior management is not as ethnically diverse as the population it serves and whether the public policy process accurately reflects the needs of a diverse population.
Ethnic groups are fairly well represented in the public service, given overall population percentages in New Zealand. As at 30 June 2010, European and New Zealand European made up 75.7 per cent; Māori made up 16.4 percent; Pacific peoples 7.6 per cent; Asian peoples 7.4 per cent; Middle Eastern, Latin American and African peoples one per cent and others four per cent of the total public service. The most significant change since 2001 was a rise of four per cent in Asian peoples in the public service and a decrease of 6.8 per cent in European and New Zealand European.195
Ethnic groups are not, however, so well represented at senior management levels. In 2010, the State Services Commission reported on diversity in senior management in the public service. The Equality and Diversity Report: Senior Management of the Public Service was informed by interviews with people in public service management roles. They found that the proportion of Māori in senior management declined from 9.7 per cent in 2001 to 8.3 per cent in 2010. The proportion of Pacific peoples in senior management also declined slightly in the same period from 1.9 per cent to 1.5 per cent. The percentage of Asian peoples remains unchanged at 1.7 per cent.196
Diversity is important to the effectiveness of public services. A 2009 OECD report, quoted in the Equality and Diversity Report notes that “diversity plays a part in maintaining core public values, increasing managerial efficiency, improving policy effectiveness, raising the quality of public services and enhancing social mobility.” The interviews conducted by the State Services Commission for their 2010 report reflect a general trend in private and public management – few question the benefits of diversity. The importance of diversity initiatives is widely accepted, as is the need for ethnic equality. Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly is on record as saying, "If Māori and Pasifika don't succeed in the next twenty years; New Zealand will fail as a nation. It's that simple."197
What then, are the barriers to realising ethnic diversity within public service senior management? The State Services Commission’s 2010 report refers to the high proportion of young people within the Māori, Pacific and Asian populations as a factor that may hinder representation in senior management. Another factor is the location of most public service headquarters in Wellington which requires most roles to be based there, while the largest populations of Māori, Pacific and Asian people are based in Auckland. However, these factors alone do not account for overall under-representation. The report says that “For Māori, Pacific and Asian peoples, cultural differences may also come into play, along with direct and indirect discrimination.”
In 2006, the State Services Commission reported on failure to meet diversity objectives set in the 2001 Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Policy. The objectives were for the elimination of all forms of unfair discrimination in employment. This was to be achieved through:

  • inclusive, respectful and responsive organisational cultures which enable access to work, equitable career opportunities, and maximum participation for members of designated groups and all employees

  • procedural fairness as a feature of all human resource strategies, systems and practices

  • employment of EEO groups at all levels in the workplace.198

The 2006 report found that a lack of public service-wide leadership and a lack of genuine commitment contributed to the failure to meet the policy’s objectives. Some departments made good progress to achieve the objectives of the policy. However, for most of the Public Service EEO has tended to be regarded and implemented as a human resource practice.” It went on to say that EEO policy had failed because it “operated in such a way that ‘target groups’ have continued to be defined in relation to the existing dominant groups. In other words, these ‘target groups’ are simply added to the existing dominant power structure but the essential qualities of the structure remain the same.” 199

Another element that may contribute to the failure to meet EEO objectives is the tendency for recruiters to appoint people like themselves. A literature review by the State Services Commission on the appropriateness of EEO targets found:
the social psychology literature emphasises the innate tendency for a dominant group to tend to appoint people like themselves and listen more to people like themselves – often being unaware of the bias involved.200
Good practice to promote diversity includes a combination of approaches, including mentoring, training for management, organisational diversity review and ongoing monitoring, leadership and resourcing. The State Services report on senior management notes, “many commentators warn that without an over-arching framework, specific initiatives will inevitably fail.”201
Policy should be designed with diverse groups in mind. In April 2005 the Treasury and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs hosted an inter-agency workshop: “Ensuring delivery of effective policy outcomes to diverse groups.” The workshop identified a number of issues requiring further attention, including the need for a whole-of-government approach if the needs of diverse population groups are to be addressed effectively.202
According to interviews undertaken by the Commission, we heard that policy advice is often not developed with the implications for Māori and Pacific people in mind. Checklists for drafting Cabinet papers illustrate this point. Most agencies’ Cabinet paper checklists include a box to be ticked off to indicate Treaty of Waitangi principles were followed in the development of the advice. The checklist box does not ask whether the Cabinet paper contains advice on the implications of proposed policy for Māori. Even if those implications are negative, such an analysis would provide Ministers more complete information about the full range of implications associated with a given proposed policy. Including analysis of implications for Māori earlier on in the policy process is important to ensuring solutions for Māori sit comfortably within the final policy package, rather than as an addition at the end of the process.
There have been some recent attempts by agencies to shift organisational attitudes. In 2007 the Office of Ethnic Affairs published its report Improving the quantity and quality of ethnic affairs policy related research about and with ethnic communities. The Department of Corrections has refined its policy development process to include and “Effectiveness for Māori Guide.” The guide asks policy makers to consider such questions as “How does this work impact on Māori?”203 Although there have been developments to incorporate thinking about implications for diverse groups and guidance provided, change is yet to be fully implemented at a whole-of-government level.

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