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Turia: "All I want for Christmas...."

"All I want for Christmas...."

Tariana Turia Co-leader for the Maori Party; and Spokesperson for Whanau Development Wednesday 20 December 2006

Maori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia, today spoke about her passionate belief in the need for whanau to start out on the front-foot in order to save the lives of tamariki.

Her comments come hot on the heels of the release of the Child, Youth and Family Reviews of care and protection systems.

"If you are looking to the Government to raise your children, then sadly, you are missing the waka" said Mrs Turia.

"I have been thinking about the key questions which should be exercising the minds of all our families as we approach the new year. Questions like:

* What does it take to love a child? * What does it take to praise a child? * What does it take to comfort a child? * What does it take to keep a child warm? * What does it take to care for a child?

"We want to restore to our whanau the importance of taking the responsibility to care" said Mrs Turia.

"The glaring omission from the two Child, Youth and Family Reviews was the recognition that families must be the fundamental source of care and protection for their own" said Mrs Turia.

"The Review of Permanency revealed that Child Youth and Family; interagency services; or non-government organisations are central to restoring wellbeing. The Demand Review threw up a host of brand-names (Differential Response Model; Strategic Management Information System) again, without referring to to the key role of whanau".

"These services must only be seen as resources that can be accessed by whanau" said Mrs Turia.

"For too long, the state has become the mechanism that overpowers whanau instead of the buck stopping with us; with families. The Government and its agencies have particular responsibilities - and they must deliver on those responsibilities to the best of their ability - but ultimately, the first port of call for any intervention must come from the family" said Mrs Turia.

"The state must be the intervener of last resort".

"We do not want the omnipotent busybody do-gooder - whether it be the mechanisms of the state or the NGOs - taking over business which rightly belongs to whanau" said Mrs Turia. "Whanau must step up, and take up their responsibility to support their whanau and tamariki".

"What I would like to see on Christmas Day - and every day - are families interacting; putting the support in place - and when things are not going right - intervening so that our children are cared for" challenged Mrs Turia.

"We must see a downturn in the number of cases reported to CYFS - and we must see it soon. Whanau have the power to make this happen - to turn from a crisis of confidence, into a celebration of children".


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