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New organisation will combat Maori Child Abuse

Media release

Embargoed to 7.00am, Tuesday 1 April, 2008

New organisation will combat Maori Child Abuse

Senior Anglican Minister Dr Hone Kaa has announced the establishment of a new charitable trust that will promote the wellbeing of Maori children. The organisation is called Te Kahui Mana Ririki.

“Te Kahui Mana Ririki (TKMR) emerged out of last year’s Maori Child Abuse Summit, Nga Mana Ririki, which I convened in Auckland in November,” Dr Kaa said. “In terms of the disproportionately high rates of Maori Child Abuse, the hui was a watershed. Maori want to take responsibility for this critical issue and eliminate Maori Child Abuse.”

TKMR will implement the recommendations from the Summit and focus on three areas: advocacy, research and communications.

“TKMR will not be a provider of services to Maori communities. Maori health and social service providers are already doing great work with our people.” Dr Kaa said.

“Our children are the most vulnerable in the country. So, TKMR’s role will be to ensure that their needs are high on the agenda of public debate, and that policy and practice is guided by evidence-based Maori research.”

“While there is some research about violence between Maori adults, there is nothing that focuses specifically on ririki. One of our immediate priorities is research that gives our children and young people a voice. We need to know about how they are affected by Family Violence so that we can develop services to meet their needs.”

Communications will be another priority work area for TKMR.

“We already have very positive media relations and this is the most effective way of reaching large numbers of Maori. We want to work with existing communications campaigns and develop our own. This will extend the outreach of existing work and interventions significantly.”

Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said she has supported Te Kahui Mana Ririki since the idea for the charitable trust was mooted.
“It is important to remember that child abuse and neglect are issues for all of society and are seen across all ethnic and socio-economic groups,” Dr Kiro said.
“However, Maori child abuse rates are unacceptably high and I am encouraged to see Maori leaders, whanau and communities taking action. This will make the difference that will keep Maori children safe.”
“Maori for Maori approaches have proven successful and TKMR has a strong board focusing on the key areas of advocacy, research and communications.”
“I see communications as critical because child abuse and neglect need to be discussed openly and the vulnerable, particularly children and young people, need to know they can get help.”

Ends

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