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Iwi statistical standard: Terms of reference for the Interim Governance Group

Purpose

This document describes the background of the iwi statistical standard and the purpose of the Interim Governance Group. It then outlines the composition of the group, how group members are remunerated, group and chair responsibilities, conflicts of interest, and decision making. It also includes two forms as appendixes: the first is a form for groups to complete if they wish to be included in the iwi statistical classification, and the second is a form for group members to complete if they have a conflict of interest when carrying out their duties.

Introduction

Stats NZ’s vision is to unleash the power of data to change lives.

We have a significant leadership role in New Zealand’s data ecosystem, which encompasses all data and its suppliers, stakeholders, and users. We are responsible for collecting data on a wide range of kaupapa, which includes Māori social, cultural, and economic well-being. We will meet the growing demand for data and analytics across government and in the community by working closely with our partners including tangata whenua.

Stats NZ’s purpose is to empower decisions by adding value to New Zealand’s most important data.

As part of this purpose we are committed to putting the right mechanisms in place for Iwi-Māori to participate at all levels of government; to ensure Māori views, needs, and values are carefully regarded in our decision-making processes. It is important that we continue to work closely with tangata whenua not only under our statutory obligations but also to achieve our stated intentions of working in partnership with Māori to achieve our vision and purpose.

Background

The iwi statistical standard provides guidelines for how to gather, organise, and report iwi and iwi-related groups’ information and statistics. This standard is useful to those who collect iwi information, including iwi, Māori, government agencies, and researchers.

In 2017, this standard has undergone its first major transformation in over 20 years. The standard now provides that the iwi statistical classification (list) will be updated annually or when there is a need. For instance, it may need updating in response to a query from an iwi, Māori authority, government agency, or before a specific collection or survey.

Groups can contact Stats NZ if they are not currently in the classification. These groups are invited to complete a form, which asks for information based on the conditions for inclusion. The iwi statistical standard states “in collaboration with other government agencies and in partnership with Māori, Stats NZ will consider the information a group provides for inclusion”. The conditions for inclusion are set out in the iwi statistical standard.

Partnership with Māori is an overarching principle not only for the iwi statistical standard but for all standards, and across Stats NZ. For the iwi statistical standard, Stats NZ will work closely with Māori (in the form of the Interim Governance Group) to consider the inclusion of further groups into the iwi statistical classification.

The future direction of Stats NZ will demand a more permanent and all-encompassing arrangement that allows broader Māori engagement across all standards and design activities. In the meantime, this Interim Governance Group was implemented due to the completion of the new iwi statistical standard and the upcoming 2018 Census. It means groups seeking to be included in the classification before the 2018 Census can be considered in a robust, expert manner.

Objective

Stats NZ’s objective in creating the Interim Governance Group is to bring together Māori with relevant knowledge and expertise to provide recommendations on the inclusion of groups in the iwi statistical classification. The time period for this is the time leading up to the 2018 Census.

Moving forward, this increased partnership with Māori is an important part of Stats NZ’s system leadership role.

Purpose of the Interim Governance Group

Partnership with Māori is key to achieving Stats NZ’s vision and purpose. The wider purpose of the interim group is to work in partnership with Māori, now and in the future. The Interim Governance Group is needed to help support maintenance of the iwi statistical standard by providing expert advice and robust discussion on including groups in the iwi statistical classification.

Scope exclusions

As stated in the iwi statistical standard, including a group in the iwi classification does not mean the group is recognised as an iwi in every context – such as in legislation, in other recognised iwi lists, or by other Māori authorities. While available for general use, the iwi statistical standard is designed for statistical purposes.

Composition of the Interim Governance Group

The Interim Governance Group is made up of individuals with knowledge and expertise about the collection and use of statistics on Māori groupings – notably iwi. The preference is for the involvement of these individuals for the benefit of their expertise as opposed to the groups or organisations they may be associated with.

Stats NZ has convened the group made from the following members, based on the needs of the particular update. A quorum of four members is required for decision making at meetings, which gives some flexibility as to the composition of the group. This quorum must include at least two community members (non-government), along with the chair, and one other member.

Name  Member of   
Rhonda Paku (Chair)  
Government 
Luke Crawford Government
Cyril Mako Government
Nathaniel Pihama Government
Kirikowhai Mikaere Community
Dan Te Kanawa Community
Andrew Sporle Community

When the members think it is necessary, other attendees may be invited to meetings to provide technical advice to the group. These attendees will not exercise decision making functions at meetings. 

The commitment of interim group members starts on 2 June 2017 and ends on 31 August 2017, in line with classification deadlines for the 2018 Census. This period may be extended if needed.

Chair responsibilities

Stats NZ will chair each meeting and will set the agenda. Relevant information will be distributed to interim group members at least 10 working days in advance of each meeting.

Group responsibilities

Interim group members are responsible for attending meetings (in person, by telephone, or by video conference), reading pre-meeting papers, raising issues, contributing to discussions of issues, and developing robust recommendations.

All interim group members must share all possible conflicts of interest in response to the information on groups seeking to be included in the classification. This information will be distributed in advance of each meeting. 

Interim group members who share possible conflicts of interest must complete the ‘Conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement’ appended to this document. The chair may also require that other interim group members complete this agreement.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest are not wrong in themselves, but they should be properly identified and effectively and transparently managed. Interim group members are expected to err on the side of openness when disclosing possible conflicts of interests and declare all actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.

A conflict of interest may arise where: 

  • the member has a personal interest in making a recommendation (eg the member belongs to a group seeking inclusion or parent group)
  • the member is a relative or close friend of someone with a personal interest in making a recommendation or who could be personally affected by it (eg the member has family belonging to a group seeking inclusion or parent group)
  • the member has any personal obligations, loyalties, or bias that could influence the way the member evaluates a group’s request (eg the member has a personal or professional association with a group seeking inclusion or parent group)
  • there is anything that could give the appearance that the member might be biased towards or against any group seeking inclusion (eg the member has a past personal or professional association with a group seeking inclusion or parent group).

The process of including groups in the iwi classification needs robustness and integrity. This may involve varying the participation of individuals for specific groups’ requests or discussions. Such decisions should never be read as a comment upon a person’s integrity or professionalism. 

Stats NZ will consider the following options for managing or resolving any conflicts of interest that arise in relation to each application:

  • Exclude the member from the discussion or decision making (usually by asking the member to leave the room).
  • Exclude the member from decision making (but allow them to participate in discussion).
  • Record the possible conflict (and allow the member to participate fully in discussion and decision making).

Decision making

The interim group is an advisory body. A consensus on each request discussed by the interim group will be sought, and recommendations will be highly influential. Stats NZ will make all final decisions on inclusion of groups because of the Government Statistician’s legislative duty “to define, lay down, and promote standard concepts, procedures, definitions, and classifications for use in official statistics” (Statistics Act 1975, s 14(i)).

Process

Groups seeking to be included in the classification are invited to complete the ‘Request to update the iwi statistical classification’ form appended to this document. The interim group will consider each request on the basis of the information given, and make a recommendation to Stats NZ concerning inclusion for each group.

Groups that are on other recognised iwi lists that seek inclusion in the iwi classification will be included as per the terms of the iwi statistical standard. The interim group will be informed about these groups.

Remuneration of members

The remuneration of interim group members will be determined by guidance from the State Services Commission and the Cabinet Fees Framework. The Cabinet Office Circular CO (12) 6 Fees framework for members appointed to bodies in which the Crown has an interest provides the specific mechanism that will be used. The interim group is classified under ‘Group 4’ in this document. Additionally, Stats NZ will arrange all required travel for interim group members.

Appendixes

  1. Request to update the iwi statistical classification
  2. Conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement for the Interim Governance Group 

Request to update the iwi statistical classification

Conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement for the Interim Governance Group

Name   
Organisation   

Do you have any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest?

Do you have any personal interest in making a recommendation?
(eg you belong to a group seeking inclusion or parent group)
 Yes  No  Potentially
(tick ‘potentially’ if others could perceive you have a conflict)
Are you a relative or close friend of someone with a personal interest in making a recommendation or who could be personally affected by it?
(eg a family member belongs to a group seeking inclusion or parent group)
 Yes  No  Potentially
(tick ‘potentially’ if others could perceive you have a conflict)
Do you have any personal obligations, loyalties, or bias that could influence the way you evaluate a group’s request?
(eg a personal or professional association with a group seeking inclusion or parent group) 
 Yes  No  Potentially
(tick ‘potentially’ if others could perceive you have a conflict)
Are you aware of anything that could give the appearance that you might be biased towards or against any group seeking inclusion?
(eg you have a past personal or professional association with a group seeking inclusion or parent group) 
 Yes  No  Potentially
(tick ‘potentially’ if others could perceive you have a conflict)

Declaration of conflict of interest

Actual conflict of interest is where you already have a conflict.

Potential conflict of interest is where the conflict is about to happen or could happen.

Perceived conflict of interest is where other people might reasonably think you are not being objective.
 
If you have answered ‘Yes’ or ‘Potentially’ to any of the above questions, please provide details here. 

Confidentiality responsibilities

All of the group’s discussions, meetings, and material (written and electronic) are confidential and I agree to keep this information safe. I will not give this information to anyone outside the immediate group team without prior approval from the chair. 

Declaration

I confirm that the above details are correct to the best of my knowledge and I make this declaration in good faith. 
Signature:  Date:

Citation

Stats NZ (2017). Iwi statistical standard: Terms of reference for the Interim Governance Group. Retrieved from www.stats.govt.nz.
ISBN 978-1-98-852816-8 (online)
Published 29 June 2017

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