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Maori must become super-heroes for their mokopuna

10 September 2008

Maori must become super-heroes for their mokopuna

Maori must learn how to become super-heroes for their mokopuna, a Maori expert told the Every Child Counts Conference in Wellington today.

“Family violence is unacceptably high in our communities – we have to learn how to respect the mana of our mokopuna,” said Di Grennell.

Di Grennell is Chief Executive of Amokura – Northland’s pan-tribal family violence prevention initiative.

“Respecting the mana of our mokopuna means we must take practical steps, and re-connect our children to whakapapa and whanau. When whanau are isolated from these networks there is more likelihood of family violence.”

“As communities we must also mobilise ourselves and develop initiatives that promote non-violent behaviours and parenting.

“And finally every one of us must make a personal commitment to looking out for the children around us.”

Amokura also supports the intentions of Every Child Counts policy platform which was launched at conference earlier today.

“The policy places children at the centre of public and political thinking. As Maori we need to become part of policy initiatives that highlight the specific needs of Maori children.”

Every Child Counts spokesperson, and Chair of Te Kahui Mana Ririki Dr Hone Kaa said that Di Grennell’s keynote address resonated with conference delegates.

“As Maori our profile of Family Violence is serious and disproportionate. We need to reinvent ourselves and reclaim a violence free culture.

“We also need to be part of collectives like Every Child Counts and contribute to initiatives that benefit all New Zealand children.”

ENDS

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