Labour Māori Caucus Supports Further Delivery Of Puao-te-ata-tu At Oranga Tamariki
Overdue change has started at Oranga Tamariki, say Labour Māori Caucus Co-Chairs Willie Jackson and Meka Whaitiri.
“Labour Māori Caucus acknowledges the first report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner ‘Te Kuku o Te Manawa’, and thanks the many mothers and whānau who shared their stories and mamae,” says Meka Whaitiri.
“The report highlighted kaupapa such as providing the right support for mothers and whānau to care for their pēpi, as well as the imbalance of power-relationship between mothers and the State; issues which have unfortunately existed for decades.
“We know a new approach is needed and this Government’s commitment is there for that change,
“The Labour Māori Caucus will continue to advocate for change to better support our mothers and their whānau, so our pēpi don’t need to enter care in the first place,” said Meka Whaitiri.
“We have made a start,” says Willie Jackson. “Budget 2019 alone, allocated over $1 billion in proper resourcing to do things differently, and there is much more to do.
“While there hasn’t been a huge amount of time to allow that new way of working be fully implemented, we acknowledge those iwi who have started working with Oranga Tamariki to set up their own models of care and protection such as Ngāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tūhoe.
“When the Labour Māori Caucus has met with Children's Minister Tracey Martin, we have been reassured that one of her visions for these tamariki, and their families, is the delivery of what was recommended in the landmark 1988 report into Māori social welfare, ‘Puao-te-ata-tu’.
“The wellbeing of our children remains our number one priority. It is a sad reality that too many children are being harmed and too many are ending up in state care. We are all united in wanting to change that for our tamariki mokopuna and for Aotearoa,” Willie Jackson said.