8.In November 2005 the Special Rapporteur conducted his Mission to New Zealand.
Iassisted the Special Rapporteur with preparing his Mission brief, with liaising with Māorigroups in Aotearoa prior to his visit and was a member of the ad hoc volunteer WorkingGroup which facilitated Māori participation in the Mission. Our tasks included developingan itinerary with the Special Rapporteur’s office and negotiating that itinerary with theGovernment.UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII)
In 2006, with the support of the Rūnanga, I participated in the Fifth Session of the PFIIheld at the UN Headquarters in New York. The mandate of the PFII is to provideinformation, advice and recommendations to the UN Economic and Social Council onindigenous issues in the six areas of economic and social development, culture,environment, education, health and human rights. The PFII also raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues withinthe UN system.
My participation at the PFII included drafting and delivering interventions in the Plenarymeetings during the Session, and involvement in the Pacific and Youth Caucus meetingsand activities.
11.Born in Auckland, my father moved us back to our whānau land in Ahipara in the early1980’s. As a result I have always felt closely connected to my turangawaewae. I am nota strong speaker of te reo which, rightly or wrongly, I put down in part to the fact that Ihad an urban childhood, but mostly I attribute to colonization: As I got older I began toask to myself why my grandmother refused to speak te reo around my father and our whānau even though she was a fluent speaker. In my adult years I came to feel that I hadsome opportunity taken from me to learn my mother tongue, and have sought outopportunities to learn te reo wherever I can. I do not want my son to feel the samedeprivation in that respect as I do.
The purpose of his visit was “
to gain a better understanding of the situation of indigenous people in New Zealand through discussions with the relevant parties on issues such as the treaty settlements process, theimplications of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, public policies designed to reduce social inequalities betweenindigenous people and others, the provision of basic social services such as education, housing and health careto indigenous people, and the cultural revitalization of Maori
.” (Report of the Special Rapporteur on theSituation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, to theCommission on Human Rights Sixty-Second Session, 13 March 2006 [E/CN.4/2006/78/Add.3], para 1, p4).5/24/2012Page 4 of 28