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Te Pou Matakana calls for greater community role

Largest provider of services to Māori calls for greater community role in CYFS reshuffle

Another damning report by out-going Children’s Commissioner into Child, Youth & Family has been endorsed by Te Pou Matakana - the largest provider of services to Māori.

Yesterday Commissioner Dr Russell Wills slammed the government department in his annual State of Care report, where he warned of a "dip" in the care of New Zealand's most vulnerable children, as the Government seeks to transform Child, Youth & Family into a new agency.

Today Te Pou Matakana Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said the report was another reality check for CYFs and these services must be contracted to those in the community who deal with whānau every day.

“This final salvo from Dr Wills makes for sad reading,” Raukawa-Tait said.

“This is a continuum of what we have seen as uncaring and inappropriate actions for our children in state care.

“He is right to focus in CYFs and the reorganisation of the business and there is a real potential for a ‘dip’ in services – and that has to be considered as well.

“The children must be the priority.”

Raukawa-Tait said Te Pou Matakana and similar community organisations already have a presence with these high priority children and their whānau.

“Through our providers up and down the country we have already had real success with our communities and our priority children.”

“During a housing crisis, and when the number of vulnerable families is increasing, community and whānau-focused organisations have been the first to put their hands up to help.

“Te Puea Marae is providing shelter to families in need, the Manukau Urban Māori Authority [MUMA] has found jobs for many members of these whānau, and Whānau Ora services are being offered to all.

“This is where CYFs and Government Ministers must show true leadership and ‘devolve’ these services from Wellington-focused Ministries, to the likes of Te Pou Matakana and other people-focused community organisations already leading support for these communities.”

Raukawa-Tait said through Te Pou Matakana, they would have a more consistent approach.

“The Commissioner is right for his concerns and children must be at the centre of care. That is the Whānau Ora way.” she said.

ENDS

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