Category Archives: Maori

Research and Destroy

Studies of race relations are sometimes used to bolster prejudice, not reveal the truth.    Listener: 10 February, 2007.     Keywords: Health; Maori; Social Policy;    Don Brash’s January 2004 Orewa speech may have been a key event in New Zealand race relations. The earlier foreshore and seabed decisions had stirred a restlessness about…
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Ethnicity and the Census: Statistics New Zealand Asks ”’whaddarya?”

Listener: 25 February, 2006

Keywords: Literature and Culture; Statistics;

March 7 is Census Day, the day on which Statistics New Zealand (like Foreskin) asks “Whaddarya?” The Census may not cover all the questions you think important, but a good quality Census response makes the surveys that ask such questions cheaper and you are surveyed less often.

On Being Pakeha: Some Thoughts Of a New Zealander

For Kapiti U3A, August 11, 2005

Keywords: Maori; Political Economy & History;

This paper begins with a little about my experience of growing up a Pakeha New Zealander. Although I dont think there is much of interest in me, it is perhaps worth noting that most of us have similarly conventional histories. I will then talk about my relationship with the Maori, and try to draw a few useful conclusions. I will finish with a discussion on nationalism and being a New Zealander, which is the topic I am currently working on in the context of my Marsden Research Grant on globalisation.

The Public Domain: Who Will ”Own” the Foreshore?

Listener: 1 May 2004.

Keywords: Environment & Resources; Maori;

Property rights – the rights to use, transform and transfer (sell) a resource – is a better term than “ownership” because there are so many aspects to them and different groups can share the rights. An effective market needs a clear and comprehensive definition of those property rights. The economic reforms of the 1980s clarified many. Sometimes the outcomes were paradoxical. The largest ever nationalisation in dollar terms was by Rogernomes, for the government first had to own State Insurance before it could privatise it. But property rights continue to trouble us.

Culture Matters

Don Brash says, “I can’t think of anything in health which is specifically Maori.” So why treat Maori differently?

Listener: 20 March, 2004.

Keywords: Health; Maori;

Sadly, the proportion of Maori who smoke, and as a consequence suffer the diseases from smoking and die early, is higher than that of Pakeha. Moreover, although there has been some success from the campaign to reduce smoking, it seems to have had little impact on Maori rates. So it makes sense to have a specifically Maori anti-smoking campaign, administered by Maori. One of its successes has been that most marae now ban smoking. No Pakeha-dominated organisation could have achieved such an outcome.

Public Policy and the Maori

The following is a transcript of an interview by Carol Archie for Mana News broadcast on “Radio New Zealand”, 6.25am Tuesday 10 February 2004. It has been lightly edited.(“Hansard” rules – for presentation, syntax, and sense – but not for content).

Keywords: Maori; Social Policy;

Presenter (Dale Husband): This morning our focus is economics and how the National Party’s new policy around Maori services stacks up in the world of finance. One economist, Brian Easton, disagrees with Don Brash’s contention that resources should be based purely on need and never targeted specifically for Maori as a race. Brian Easton told Carol Archie that targeting particular groups often makes good economic sense.

Closing the Credibility Gap

Why Act’s race-based welfare statistics are worthless

Listener: 7 February, 2004.

Keywords: Maori; Statistics;

Early in January the Act Party released a paper that calculated the tax collected from Maori was $2.3 billion a year, while government spending on Maori was $7.3 billion a year. Whatever the factual situation –– below I suggest that the figures are misleading –– different political flavours will draw different conclusions.

An Affidavit About Reporting Surveys to the Courts

Affidiavits are usually too specific to be of interest outside a particular court case. However, this one may be of wider interest, because it sets down some issues about reporting surveys to a court. The specific references to the person whose affidavit is being rebutted are removed, because it is the general principles which of interest here. Also removed are the cross references to the earlier affidavit. Otherwise there are no changes. The full affidavit is filed in the High Court, and its identifying details can be obtained from me. Brian Easton.

Rightful Owners

Extended families, who happen to have a common Maori ancestor, have as much right to their family inheritance as do Europeans.
Listener: 23 August, 2003.

A fundamental principle of the political right has been to support private-property rights as a bulwark against the power of the state. Economists have added that economies with well-protected private-property rights tend to have higher standards of living, because economic actors are able to plan with more security. The 1980s Labour government thought this so important that it strengthened private-property rights by such policies as privatisation, leading many to assume that it had shifted to the political right.

Two Great Economists: Raymond Firth (1901-2002) & James Tobin (1918-2002)

Listener 25 January, 2003.

History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Maori;

I would start a beginning course in economics with Economics of the New Zealand Maori by Raymond Firth, who died last year. Not only is the book a part of our heritage but it confronts students with the classical Maori economy which answered the central economic problems of ‘what, how, for whom, where and when’ in quite different ways from today. Starting with an alternative to the narrow idealised version of the US economy which they are usually taught, would help students realise how special it is. It might even suggest that every economy is particular, and such general economic principles there are, need not result in the policies which slavishly follow from the idealised US one.

Maori Index

Items with a substantial discussion on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi marked *

Keywords: Maori;

Riches without Wealth (November 1979)
For Whom the Treaty Tolls (February 1990)*
The Green Maori (May 1990)*
The Maori Broadcasting Claim: A Pakeha Economist’s Perspective (September 1990)*
Evidence of Brian Easton with Respect to Te Oneroa-O-Tohe (March 1991)*
Tikanga and Te Oneroa-O-Tohe (May 1991)*
Te Whakapakari Paapori, Ohanga o Muriwhenua (June 1993)
Fishing and the Chatham Islands (September 1993)
The Maori Geothermal Claim: A Pakeha Economist’s Perspective (September 1993)*
The Maori Electoral Enrolment Option Campaign (February 1994)
Contract, Covenant, Compact: the Social Foundations of New Zealand Governance (April 1994)*
The Maori in the Labour Force (November 1994)
A Quiet Revolutionary: Eru Woodbine Pomare: 1942-1995 (February 1995)
A Data Base for Iwi (May 1995)
Divided Issues: The Myth of the Unified Maori (June 1995)
Working with the Maori: Consultancy, Research, Friendship (August 1995)
The Economic and Social Impact of the Raupatu (October 1995)*
Maori Melting Pot (November 1996)
Was There a Treaty of Waitangi: Was it a Social Contract? (April 1997)*
Notes for a Presentation on Maori Exporting (October 1998)
Closing the Gaps: Policy or Slogan? (November 2000)
Two Great Economists: Raymond Firth (1901-2002) & James Tobin (1918-2002) (January 2003)
Rightful Owners (August 2003)*
Closing the Credibility Gap: Why Act’s Race-based Welfare Statistics Are Worthless. (February 2004)
Public Policy and the Maori. (February 2004)
Public Policy and the Maori. (March 2004)

This consists items only in the public domain, and excludes other work for iwi and government agencies.

The Public Use Of ‘ethnicity’ Statistics

This squib was published in Letters to the Editor, The Dominion, on the 26 May, 2001.  I discovered it recalled in a report, A Question of Ethnicity – One Word, Different People, Many Perceptions: the Perspectives of Groups Other Than Mäori, Pacific Peoples and New Zealand Europeans, a prepared for the Statistics New Zealand Review…
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Notes for a Presentation on Maori Exporting

Presentation to a TPK seminar. June 1998.

Keywords: Business & Finance; Globalisation & Trade; Growth & Innovation; Maori;

The Maori economy has made exceptional progress in recent years. Preliminary figures from the 1996 Population Census show that the numbers of Maori employed have grown considerably faster than the Maori adult population, and that additional employment has tended to be in the better quality jobs: more at the managerial level, more involving greater skills. Job growth has also been strong in those industries to which the Maori has given priority: agriculture, forestry, fishing, and tourism. (See the attached table.) In summary the Maori Development Strategy of upgrading Maori skills, increasing Maori work experience, and emphasising Maori business in key growth industries has been extremely successful.

Was There a Treaty Of Waitangi?: Was It a Social Contract?

A revised version of ‘Was There a Treaty of Waitangi, and was it a Social Contract?’ Archifacts, April 1997, p.21-49.

Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Maori; Political Economy & History;

This paper arose out of consideration of what at first seemed to be a very straightforward problem.[1] In 1989 I was working with the Maori claims in regard to the broadcasting reforms.[2] I have told much of that elsewhere,[3] but the matter led to an investigation of the origins of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in order to understand the entitlements to the property rights of the radio frequency spectrum by the Maori and by the Crown.

Maori Melting Pot

Wira Gardiner’s Return to Sender and some other books about the Maori
Listener 16 November, 1996.

Keywords: Maori

Hey, Pakeha. Ever been to a hui? You probably walked onto the marae at the back of the manuhiri. You were welcome, the Maori always make you very welcome on their marae, and they will feed you well. Later you sat quietly at the back.

The Economic and Social Impact Of the Raupatu

Evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal Claims to the Eastern Bay of Plenty Region (WAI 146) October 1995.

Keywords: Maori; Political Economy & History;

1. Introduction

1.1 My name is Brian Henry Easton. My profession is an economist and social statistician. In my 30 odd professional years I have held positions at the University of Sussex, the University of Canterbury, the University of Melbourne, and the NZ. Institute of Economic Research (which at one stage I directed). I currently hold various academic positions at the University of Auckland, Massey University, Otago University, and the Research Project on Economic Planning. I have written and edited 27 books and monographs, and over 200 published articles on a wide variety of economic and social issues. (Some of my many relevant publications are mentioned in references in this submission.) Over the last nine years I have worked as an independent consultant, and appeared before the Tribunal on other occasions including WAI 26/150, 45, 153, and 413.

1.2 I have been asked by Counsel for the Ngati Awa to assist the Waitangi Tribunal by providing expert opinion on the economic and social impact on the Ngati Awa of the Raupatu (confiscation) of their lands.

Working with the Maori: Consultancy, Research, Friendship.

Seminar presentation at the NZIER, 2 August, 1995.

Keywords: Distributional Economics; Maori; Political Economy & History; Social Policy;

The seminar is the result of an invitation by the director of the NZIER, John Yeabsley, to describe some of my work with the Maori, especially in terms of the challenges I have experienced as a research economist and social statistician. The material presented here is primarily that which is on public record. Some confidential work is omitted. However while it is of interest and has been challenging, the work broadly covers the same areas as are in my public record. Some very small projects are also omitted.