Putanga 2 – He haumaru, he aumangea, he taurikura ngā iwi, hapū me ngā hapori huri noa i Aotearoa Outcome 2 - Iwi, hapū and communities across New Zealand are safe, resilient and thriving

Communities are important to people’s wellbeing. People have the best opportunity to thrive and prosper when the communities they live in are safe and resilient.

While risk and harm cannot be eliminated completely, they can be reduced, and communities can be supported to manage risks and challenges. Equally important is the ability of communities to form and realise their own aspirations.

The aspirations of iwi, hapū and Māori are important for social wellbeing and the Crown has a responsibility to support those aspirations as a partner in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Resilient infrastructure is important to communities and their long-term wellbeing. Addressing the planning for and funding of infrastructure ensures communities have the facilities that allow our regions to thrive and prosper.

Intermediate outcomes

  • Regulated activities minimise harm and maximise benefits to people and communities
  • Māori are supported to realise their aspirations
  • Communities are supported to develop and prosper.

Ngā Wā Hira - Highlights

  • Secured the first sentencing for criminal non-compliance under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009
  • $345.5 million was returned to the community from Class 4 gambling proceeds during the 2019 calendar year
  • Over $300 million of grant funding to help build stronger, more resilient communities distributed on behalf of Crown and Lottery Grants Board.

How we are driving change to deliver our outcomes

Regulated activities minimise harm and maximise benefits to people and communities

Protecting people and communities from gambling harm

The Department ensures New Zealanders can enjoy safe and fair gambling that efficiently and equitably contributes to community wellbeing.

We take our role seriously. In March 2019, we successfully laid charges against the manager of a gambling venue for failing to take all reasonable steps to identify a problem gambler. This case, the first of its kind, will be before the courts in September 2020.

In August 2019, four defendants and one incorporated society were sentenced to periods of home detention and payment of reparations for offences relating to the misuse of grant funding derived from Class 4 gambling (“pokie machines”).

In addition to enforcement action, we have worked closely with owners and staff at gambling venues where practices and procedures to minimise harm did not meet expectations. We continue to monitor these venues to ensure they do the right thing. Our range of regulatory tools enables us continuously to reduce gambling harm and maximise benefits for our communities.

During the 2019 calendar year, $345.5 million was returned to local communities from Class 4 gambling proceeds. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp decrease in gaming machine profits and, as a result, funding available to community and voluntary organisations. We responded rapidly to the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on gambling operators by providing interim support to ensure their sustainability and a return to funding communities. Appropriate regulatory amendments formalised and extended these measures.

Making the digital world a safer place for New Zealanders

Our regulatory approach remains focused on identifying and mitigating risks and harms with a range of awareness, engagement, and prosecutorial activities.

To prevent the spread of child sexual exploitation material, we completed ten investigations and seven prosecutions in respect of child sexual exploitation material. During the year, we processed evidence for 1,238 online account users for overseas law enforcement. In addition, we reported 875 unique links with presence of child abuse material for takedown.

The Department continued to develop partnerships across entities, platforms and jurisdictions to reduce online harm:

  • In January 2020, the Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum relating to the industry Scam Call Prevention Code, to address the evolving problem of voice spam.
  • In March 2020, New Zealand acceded to the Voluntary Principles to Guide Industry Action on Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The Principles were developed by the Five Nations allies (New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK) in collaboration with digital industry representatives, to provide a common framework to guide the industry in its efforts to help combat the proliferation of online child exploitation.
  • We are increasingly strengthening our capacity to counter violent extremism online. We developed the New Zealand Online Crisis Response Process in collaboration with other government agencies, which is now ready to assist in countering the dissemination of extremist online content generated in the aftermath of a terrorist act. We successfully tested the effectiveness of the Christchurch Call through cooperation between New Zealand and Italy to seek the removal of a link to a text file reportedly written by the attacker of the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch in March 2019.

As part of our focus on making the digital world safer, we have provided advice, either directly or through educational anti-spam guidelines, to 86 entities and issued 11 enforcement outcomes ranging from warnings to pecuniary penalties under the Unsolicited Electronic Messaging Act 2003.

Improving safety on Lake Taupō

The Department administers the Lake Taupō harbourmaster functions on behalf of the Minister of Local Government. This includes operating Crown-owned marinas and boat ramps and managing navigational safety on the Lake. To ensure the continued safe use of this large and valuable resource, we recently made changes to the bylaw to protect the safety of swimmers from boats and jet skis in swimming areas and commenced the process to demolish an unsafe marina.

Communities are supported to develop and prosper

Office of Ethnic Communities

As part of the Government’s response to the 15 March 2019 terror attacks, the Office of Ethnic Communities held a series of dialogues with Muslim youth and women, and religious leaders across the country. 250 members of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Muslim communities contributed to the dialogues by sharing their thoughts and ideas. The report Conversations with Aotearoa New Zealand’s Muslim Communities captures the themes that emerged from the dialogues and was shared across Government, to ensure that the concerns and needs of Muslim communities are meaningfully considered in the design of future policy and services.

Additionally, four faith and interfaith hui were hosted to begin the discussion on how Aotearoa New Zealand can grow social inclusion and address racism, discrimination and religious tolerance. Themes from this were captured in the report Connecting with Faith Communities and Interfaith Groups: Growing a socially inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand to counter racism, discrimination and religious intolerance (released in August 2020), and is designed to assist in understanding New Zealand’s many religious perspectives.

In December, the Ethnic Communities Development Fund increased from $0.5 million to $4.2 million. This added investment meant more community-led initiatives were supported. The priorities were later repurposed to ensure communities were able to support those affected by COVID-19.

Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai (Charities Services)

As New Zealand entered lockdown in response to COVID-19, Charities Services adopted a supportive and pragmatic approach to address challenges faced by registered charities. Charities were operating with fewer staff, volunteers, resources and support and had uncertain or disrupted funding streams, changes in the demand for their services, as well as the challenges of working remotely.

In response, we:

  • offered advice to and fast-tracked applications from entities that wanted to register as a charity to help in the COVID-19 response and recovery
  • put on hold reminders to charities to file annual returns, removals of charities from the charities register for failure to file, and notices from our investigation team requiring information from charities. Charities were encouraged to seek extensions if they were unable to meet their annual reporting deadlines
  • updated our website with COVID-19 information relevant to the charitable sector.

Strengthening community

The Community Led Development Programme promotes community-led goals by strengthening partnerships, supporting local leadership and reinforcing a co-operative spirit. Currently there are 18 partnering communities that have received intensive advisory support and access to funding investment. One further community is preparing to enter into the programme.

An example of the Programme in action is the Tamaūpoko Community, which brings together people from the four villages situated in the central region of the Whanganui River. The shared vision for this community is “together we will create a thriving community and environment through the development of our people and our place, now and for future generations.”

As rurally isolated villages, there has been a strong focus on emergency preparedness as winter weather can create havoc and cut the villages off from each other. Funding has allowed for members to participate in first aid training, purchase first aid supplies for each village, satellites for communication and generators as an alternative power source. There is a phone tree in place and a mapping exercise has been completed to identify where kaumātua and other whānau with high needs are based. This has enhanced community resilience and allows the villages to remain as self-sufficient as possible.

What are our indicators telling us?

The proportion of people who perceived that crime is reducing declined in the most recent survey from 11% to 5%, but this survey has been discontinued. We have measured an alternative indicator of the proportion of people who feel safe when using the internet for online transactions. This indicator relates well to our work to improve digital safety and is more specific that the perception of crime overall. Results show that a high and steady proportion of people do feel safe when making online transactions.

The rate of people volunteering, and donating has not recently been measured in the General Social Survey. The last result in 2016/17 showed that 55% of people either volunteered or donated. Alternative information from the Charities Aid Foundation shows a steady and comparatively high level of New Zealanders volunteering and donating (58% of people in 2018/19), which indicates that this level has remained consistent. New Zealand compares well to others on this metric and is the only country to have scored in the top ten countries throughout Charities Aid Foundation survey.

For the indicators of overall life satisfaction, experience of discrimination and people’s sense of purpose we see a steady maintenance of the results over recent years. People continue to rate the overall life satisfaction and sense of purpose highly. There has been no reduction in the proportion of people who experience discrimination.



First criminal convictions under Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act

The Department’s role under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009 is to help businesses protect themselves from being misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. We set clear expectations on New Zealand businesses and take a risk-based approach focusing on areas of high money laundering or terrorist financing risk. Most businesses choose to do the right thing, but when they don’t, we can take enforcement action to minimise harm to our communities and protect New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business.

A group of ngati porou interns

The Ngati Porou iwi internships group (left to right): Ani Pahuru-Huriwai – Chair Ngati Porou Taonga Advisory Committee; Richard Foy – Chief Archivist, Archives NZ; Maria Wynyard – intern; Māhina-a-Rangi Manuel – intern; Lady Pokai – intern; Jared Davidson – Senior Archivist, Archives NZ; Nicola Frean – Arrangement and Description Leader, Alexander Turnbull Library; and Trevor Himona – Principal Advisor Archives NZ.


Māori are supported to realise their aspirations

Celebrating te reo o Ngati Porou (the Ngati Porou dialect of Māori); a Ngati Porou iwi history written by the iwi, for the iwi, and a national exhibition are some of the goals of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou. The Department partnered with the iwi to help it achieve its goals and fulfil our Te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments. Three iwi interns scoured our records and collections to find taonga in the Ngati Porou dialect or about the iwi that can become resources helping to revitalise Ngati Porou reo and support research for a Ngati Porou history and exhibition at Te Papa and other cultural heritage centres.

OEC collage

The information videos showcased the diversity that exists within OEC.


Multilingual COVID-19 information videos

The Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) has stayed close to New Zealand’s ethnic communities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring community members’ needs are heard and responded to. Early in the outbreak, our contacts across the communities told us that language was a barrier preventing many people from accessing vital public health information.