Human Rights and the Treaty

Human Rights and the Treaty

June 1, 2017

With a long-term goal of affecting better policy development for Maori in Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry for Social Development, the Commission has been working with advisors for each department, strengthening their understanding of human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Human Rights Commission has recently held a series of training sessions at MSD and Oranga Tamariki for 120 policy advisors, helping them to better understand human rights, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how the two can be used to drive better policy development.

Topics covered in the training included:

  • Te Trirti o Waitangi and the human rights dimensions of the treaty
  • What human rights are and what international conventions are relevant to MSD and Oranga Tamariki including United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • What should be considered as a policy advisor, what is required and how things can be done using real-life examples of policy development at MSD and Oranga Tamariki
  • hypothetical scenarios for policy advisors to consider and apply leanings

Kaiwhakarite Matua Pereri Hathaway says the sessions have not only been useful for developing the skills of the policy advisors, but also helping the Commission to build strong working relationships with a variety of public sector agencies.

“The training, which was a partnership between the Commission and the agencies, has already received plenty of positive feedback. We’re now looking at opportunities to carry out this work with others public sector organisations that may benefit from this sort of training.

“To develop policy that is effective and improves outcomes for Maori, it is vital that the writers of that policy have the understanding and appreciation of the Treaty and documents that are vital to the advancement of indigenous peoples, such as the UNDRIP.

“It has been really positive to see the willingness from MSD and Oranga Tamariki to tackle this sort of training.”


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