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Minister ignores recommendation on Maori partnerships

PRESS RELEASE - Hon. Dame Tariana Turia


The Minister appears to have ignored the multiple recommendations to establish strategic partnerships with iwi and Maori organisations by instead privileging organisations like Barnados and Open Home Foundation. Her cabinet papers are underwhelming, indicating "over a long time period", iwi and Maori organisations can "provide input".

"The Minister's own report recommended that "Whānau Ora can play a role in assisting whānau to develop a stronger understanding of their own strengths and how they can access social services to support better outcomes for vulnerable children" and yet the cabinet papers, while heavily redacted, appear to have overlooked or denied the impact of Whānau Ora".

"I was hopeful that when I read in the expert report that "Māori children deserve the best staff, the best expertise and the highest expectations" (2015, p13) that this Minister would do what was right; would establish strategic partnerships with those closest to whānau; would appoint significant Maori positions in the new Ministry that were in touch with whānau, hapu, iwi; and that all of us would be able to contribute to the solutions we so desperately need to achieve for all our children to live a great life.

"What we needed to see was Puao-te-ata-tū put into policy and practice. Instead the latest announcement just feels like a big step backwards".


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