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National Maori Authority puts forward a response to Oranga Tamariki

"As this national conversation unfolds - we need to plot a path that sees no more Maori children in care and everything we do and say must always put our children and whanau at the centre of the conversation. And its not just our tamariki - of we get this model right this could benefit all children and New Zealand Families"

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Nga Ngaru, Matthew Tukaki (who is also the Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council - Nga Ngaru is a National Maori Authority and one of the five registered Maori Authorities (that include NZ Maori Council and Maori Women’s Welfare League)

has said that its time for truth talking when it comes to relationship between Maori and the Crown – more importantly its time to find a pathway to solve some of the key challenges that are before us when it comes to the care and protection system in New Zealand:

“We all saw the video, we all know of someone who has been taken into care, been uplifted or impacted – and that’s a sad fact. While it is a fact that the majority of our Tamariki are in safe and warm homes this winter with a loving whanau and arms wrapped around them the truth is there are those who are not – they are babies and our tamariki. And around them are their whanau both immediate and extended that are impacted.” Tukaki said

“So we know what’s happened and what is happening and while it might be a shock to many New Zealanders – to Maori it has become an all too familiar problem.” Tukaki said

“The easy thing to actually say is what’s wrong. The hardest thing to do is to fix it.” Tukaki said.

“So let me be clear and suggest a way forward of what needs to be done – and none of this will be easy – but it also needs to start with the rebuilding of trust.” Tukaki said

  • A national campaign about 7aa – this includes Regional hui that the New Zealand Maori Council and the National Maori Authority, Nga Ngaru would be happy to host

  • The cessation until a review has been completed of the uplifting of Maori babies from Hospitals – the review should look at the policy itself, the plans that are put in place pre, during and post an uplift; as well as a review of the engagement with whanau and Maori representative organisations

  • A full review of the subsequent child policy – including the risk profiling and assessment model undertaken by regions and individual social workers

  • A review of the role of the Child Guardian and the establishment of a new set of requirements of either the Children’s Commissioner or a new established role outside of Oranga Tamariki – this is also to ensure the legal protection of not just the child but also the whanau.

  • A review of legal practice to ensure timely and available access to assistance and support including a clearer understand and campaign about the rights of whanau in respect of the court system.

  • A review of the procurement system to both encourage, invest in and support more Maori providers entering the system – this includes a review of the accreditation system

  • A new workforce development that seeks to build a three tier system of support – community development officers and care support workers within Iwi health / hauora and social services providers; increase in the number of Maori transitioning from the community care polytechnic certificates into social work degrees / and a review of the structure of social work degrees to lessen the time it can be obtained by also including significantly more of prior learning and lived experience

  • Investing in new regional hubs of care support services that are able to better coordinate programs of work, act as centers for support when it comes to tamariki and whanau / these could be modelled around existing providers and investing more in them – at the national level a coordinator role established within a national Maori organisation such as Maori Women’s Welfare League, the National Maori Authority, Nga Ngaru or Maori Council (one of the five RMO’s)

  • Establishment of a national whanau and rangatahi mentoring service / developed for both pre and post release in the juvenile justice system

  • Provide additional support and training for teachers in high impact areas – to enable them to identify and support as opposed to simply report.

Key things:

  • A jointly develop service delivery model

  • A jointly developed workforce development plan

  • A jointly developed community and Maori engagement plan

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