6 Nov 2013

Jobs safe in Te Puni Kokiri shake-up

8:02 pm on 6 November 2013

No jobs will be lost as part of changes being made to Te Puni Kokiri.

The Government has announced a shake-up of the department to ensure it leads the relationship between the Crown and Maori.

The Ministry of Maori Development will take a bigger role in providing strategic advice, leadership and guidance to ministers and the rest of the state sector.

A review of Te Puni Kokiri found that due to an increased workload, the agency's ability to build relationships with some regions has weakened over time.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the workforce won't be cut, but neither will it be boosted in the regions. He says there'll be no change to staffing levels or Te Puni Kokiri's budget.

Dr Sharples says regional offices will become more focussed on work that co-ordinates with head office in Wellington, such as efforts to get more Maori land into production.

Meanwhile, a group representing iwi and Maori leaders is being set up to advise the head of Te Puni Kokiri.

Te Pa Whakawairua will hold regular meetings with chief executive Michelle Hippolite.