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Urgent Hui to Fight CYFS Reforms

URGENT HUI TO FIGHT CYFS REFORMS

The Maori Women's Welfare League is concerned at the move away from whānau, hapū and iwi placements for tamariki and rangatahi that are in need of care and protection.

The National President, Prue Kapua, has called a hui in Wellington on Monday 28 November to provide an opportunity for Maori to address the fundamental changes that are being proposed in the CYFS restructure.

"The changes that Cabinet has approved view every one of our tamariki or rangatahi in isolation from their whānau, hapū or iwi. Reference to children as part of a family has gone and instead we have provisions that in the Minister's own words will increase the ability for non-kin placements", she said.

"What is entirely missing from the discussion around the CYFS reforms is the recognition that the State has done an appalling job of looking after our kids. Reform should be about improvement but this rejection of the role of whānau, hapū and iwi in our children's lives is a return to the assimilationist policies of the past."

Members of the Maori Women's Welfare League took part in the processes that resulted in Puao-Te-Ata-Tu Report in 1988 and the League's primary concern is the wellbeing of Maori Women and their whānau.

"We can't sit by and ignore what is happening and the clear messages in these reforms that reinforce institutional racism. This new Ministry will be making decisions about our kids as if they are removed from their whānau, hapū and iwi. There is no attempt to strengthen and support whānau so that our kids can be safe, not only from harm, but in the knowledge of who they are", Ms Kapua said.

Ms Kapua hopes that an agreed plan of action will be the result of Monday's hui.

ENDS

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