GDC Social Policy 2 – Community House / Community Participation in Policy Making

I would like to commend Cnr Bauld on his (recent) position that says Council need to take some local leadership in coordinating social development efforts in the region. I would also like to acknowledge that other Councillors and many people in the community have been saying the same thing for many years.  

A Community House is one, but not necessarily the most important or effective, way of taking some leadership on the complex issues involved in this area.  The ‘redundancies and inefficiencies’ in the sector that Cnr Bauld talks about are not ‘obvious to all of us’ and need to be articulated clearly and agreed upon by key stakeholders (funders, providers, Council and users of services) before effective action can be undertaken to address the causes of the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of the current systems and structures that exist.   

The GDC Social Policy statement should be the document guiding this kind of conversation – but unfortunately the one that was adopted does not help at all. It had inadequate (read: almost no) input from stakeholders in its design (purpose, content and structure) and its contents are not particularly useful in determining how Council should take local leadership in this area – in fact by imposing the agenda of a few individuals, Council may have pre-determined the parameters of the policy. I hope this is not the case.

 I recommend that the Community Development Committee lead a much wider discussion within the community about what role Council should have in social development and a review of the new Social Policy be undertaken with wide community input before the end of the year.   

Manu Caddie

1 August 2007

Why I am standing for Council

I am absolutely committed to working with others to build a community where everyone can reach their full potential and no one is left out.

Over the past ten years in Gisborne I have led projects and organisations that have strengthened relationships between individuals, families, neighbours, organisations and communities.

Local government must provide real leadership by working together, with the full involvement of the community, to tackle the complex problems our region faces. When people have meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives, they also have ownership of the outcomes.

I support the development of a common vision for the region that ensures it is safe, affordable and healthy for young and old to live in this unique place we call home.

In 2001 I joined with a group of neighbours to establish KaPai Kaiti. This residents association is a bunch of volunteers who want to make their community an even better place to live and are willing to do whatever it takes to realise their goals. Through my involvement with this group I have seen the positive change that is possible when a community is involved in leading its own development.

From 2002-2005 I worked with Lytton High School to establish Te Whare Whai Hua, the school for teenage parents and an Early Childhood Education Centre for their children. The young mothers who have been through Te Whare Whai Hua inspire me with their commitment to personal development and the wellbeing of their children. Most of these students have gone on to further training, university education and/or employment – all have become better caretakers of the next generation.

Through these two simple but powerful examples of local solutions to local problems we have experienced the power of community-led sustainable growth and transformation. We have also seen how Council can actively block community attempts to move ahead. 

Gisborne District Council needs inspired leadership that is connected to ALL sectors of the community. I hope to be part of making this goal our reality.
 
 
  

GDC Social Policy

From my submission on the 2007 Draft Annual Plan & LTCCP Review…

Recommendations:

That GDC undertake a substantive community consultation process over a 3-6 month period asking residents and stakeholder groups for their opinions on what the purpose, content and power of a GDC Social Policy should be.

That the Social Policy suggested in the Statement of Proposal be discarded and after a proper process of asking the community for initial comment, a policy should be drafted for further consultation with the community and eventual adoption by GDC.Rationale:

The proposed purpose, content and power of a Social Policy has been drafted with minimal community input. If it is to be useful to GDC and the community it is established to serve, the policy needs to be developed in partnership by the community and GDC. The proposed policy is full of provocative statements, assumptions and ideological positions that are not well reasoned, supported by evidence or endorsed by the sectors of the community most affected by GDC ensuring it has a robust statement on social issues. It is important for GDC to have a Social Policy and it needs this urgently, but the process for developing such a policy should include the widest possible involvement of stakeholders and be seen as a community development opportunity in itself, ultimately resulting in a statement that has broad support and clear linkages to all aspects of the organisation. 

Te Reo

We all know that no group of people are all the same.

The concept of ‘Maori’ culture is only used in contrast to other cultures (usually European/Pakeha) – but otherwise iwi, hapu and whanau all have their own cultures/tikanga/kawa ways of being and distinctives that have similarities and differences to each other.

Sometimes when someone talks about bi-culturalism (two cultures co-existing) others point out that our society is multi-cultural and bi-culturalism is too exclusive. The point is that Tangata Whenua, however you wish to describe the decendants of the first inhabitants of these islands, have only got this place to be who they are. Tangata Whenua cannot go to some where else to learn about their history and have their identity, language and traditions affirmed – only here are Te Reo me ona tikanga tuku iho able to live, grow and regenerate themselves amongst the people to whom they belong.

In our home we speak only Te Reo to the children and try to use it as much as possible amongst the adults. Within the home is the most important place a language can be used as it frames our understanding of everyday life and is not restricted to academic or institutional contexts.

My wife Tarsh is absolutely committed to the revitalisation of Te Reo o Ngati Porou. After her whanau, nothing is more important to her than to ensure she does all she can, every single day, to make the language strong in our household and the wider society. She is working hard on establishing a Puna Reo across the road from our place in Cambridge Terrace. With a group of similarly committed whanau we are undertaking all the planning and preparation required to establish a high quality early childhood education centre that uses 100% Te Reo and is based on the traditions of her tupuna and the best educational pedagogies from around the world.

p1050132.jpg

Youth Health & Development

Kaiti Skate Bowl Opening 

I’ve been considering youth health issues in the region recently – and the double tragedies this week with two young people taking their lives and others trying make these issues absolutely urgent.

Some things we know about young people in the Gisborne District:

– 5,540 (56%) of young people in the region identify themselves as Maori, 3% as Pacific and 2% Asian

– Tairawhiti has the highest number of active young people per head of population (SPARC 2006)

– Tairawhiti has one of the highest rates of obesity amongst children and young people in the country (MOH)

– Tairawhiti has the second highest rate of youth suicide in New Zealand (MOH)

– Tairawhiti has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in the country (MOH)

– Tairawhiti has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and births to teenage mothers in the country (Statistics NZ, 2001-2005)

– 1 in 3 young people in Gisborne think that faith and/or spirituality are important (TYDS, 2003)

– Less than one in ten young people in Gisborne feel that anyone other than their peers and immediate family are willing to listen to them (TYDS, 2003)

I am passionate about making Tairawhiti an awesome place to grow up – where every young person can reach their full potential because they know they belong here, know what they are good at, have a sense of responsibility and make a positive contribution to their community – and because they have access to the support and resources they need.  

I would like every safe and caring adult in the region to be able to identify and commit to supporting one or two young people who may not have adequate role-models in their life.

I would like to see strong inter-generational connections within and between families and neighbourhoods – where young people seek the wisdom of their elders and are empowered to see new visions for the future based on the lessons learned from older generations.

I would like to see the institutions (especially families and schools) charged with raising the next generation take their calling seriously – working to bring out the best, focusing on the positive contributions and endless energy young people have to offer.

The Arts

Someone asked me today what my views on the arts in the region are.

As someone who studied visual culture and design, and then taught at university on the social history of New Zealand through the arts – I have a reasonable appreciation of the central role artistic expression and material culture play in creating meaning, increasing our connection to one another and the environment and also positive social change.

Two profound experiences I have had in relation to art have stuck with me. The first was when I stood in front of William Hunt’s painting “The Light of the World” in St Paul’s Cathedral London – all the history, suffering and joy of the world seemed to rush into this picture at that very moment – it moved me to tears and I could barely stand there but neither could I move for some time. The other was recently as Miria, my five year old daughter, showed me her rendering of Papatuanuku and Ranginui being pushed apart by Tane Mahuta – the two parents were both crying – it was a simple but profound expression of true relationship and demonstrated to me the power of visual stories.

Te Tairawhiti has produced some of the greatest artists this country has every known – Raharui Rukupo, Pine & Hone Taiapa, Hine Ki Tawhiti, Ngoi Pewhairangi, Kiri Te Kanawa, Derek Lardelli and many many more. 

Recently efforts have been made to celebrate the creativity of the region – kapahaka festivals, Nga Manu Korero competitions, art in public places, concerts and many other initiatives provide platforms for allowing art to shape reality and vice versa.

I think we need to balance carefully the economic and cultural imperatives driving the production and consumption of art. We need to ensure our artists are supported and remain free enough to make great works for everyone to benefit from – this ensures art has a place of value in society. If we commercialise art production too much we run the risk of turning our culture into another commodity to be bought and sold by the highest bidder. Artists offer gifts to a community that provides a critical reflection back to the community – this role is essential and must be nurtured and protected.

I am also passionate about community arts and to some extent ‘de-expertising’ art-making. From 2002-2005 I supported the establishment of a commuity recording studio and record label in Kaiti, we also set-up a youth radio station, film production unit and creative space for people with mental health issues, children’s art workshops and the elderly. Since 1998 I have facilitated with children and young people, the design and production of community murals and mosaics at Wainui Rd, Hardy Lane, Waikirikiri Reserve, Alfred Cox Skate Park, Turanganui-a-Kiwa Activity Centre and Kaiti Memorial Park.

I have a cousin who married a Cambridge University computer sciences Professor. For their wedding, the Professor made by hand for my cousin, the most amazing wedding dress I have ever seen.

We are all artists – human beings are created to be creative.

Here are some prints and paintings I have made over the years:

pa21.gif some.gif hope.gif bomb.gif indo1.gif festival1.gif sm_window.gif  Shiralee  eastcoast.jpg  yfc1.jpg