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Chair Supports Commission Advisor's Resignation

Runanga Chair Supports Families Commission Advisor’s Resignation
Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua chair, Naida Glavish, has voiced her support for Druis Barrett’s decision to resign as an advisor to the Families Commission.

She says it is a shame the political appointment of Christine Rankin as a commissioner has tipped the balance and led to the resignation of a highly skilled and experienced advisor such as Druis Barrett.

Naida Glavish has paid tribute to Druis Barrett who has more than 15 years experience in policy development and operational service delivery to Maori, particularly in the health sector and who was a former trustee of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua.

At a national level Druis Barrett has had an advisory role to two Ministers of Health, and is a past National President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League. In 1990 she received the Queen Elizabeth Special Award for services to the Maori Community and in 2001 was awarded the Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit. She is currently on the Maori Reference Group for the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families, the Family Services National Advisory Council (FSNAC), and the Family Outcomes Strategic Group (FOSG).

Naida Glavish says Christine Rankin’s published statements criticising Maori for the way they look after their families is insulting and flies in the face of the dedication and huge commitment of many Maori men and women to solving these issues.

“It is a tragedy that the voice of wisdom and experience of someone like Druis is now lost to the Families Commission. They will be very much the poorer for it,” she says.

Naida Glavish says huge inroads are being made into the social and health issues faced by Maori and hot rhetoric and generalised public statements such as those made by Christine Rankin do nothing to advance the wellbeing of Maori.

ENDS

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