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‘Oranga Whānau is Oranga Tamariki’

‘Oranga Whānau is Oranga Tamariki’

Today, whānau from all walks of life gathered around the country and at Parliament because they care. They care for their tamariki, their mokopuna and they also care for the suffering parents and whānau. The Hands off our Tamariki Hīkoi brought people out in the light showers and “It was like it was a blessing from our tūpuna” said President of the Māori Party, Che Wilson.

Kuia, including Dame Tariana Turia, led the hīkoi on to Parliament Grounds. These kuia and many others at the hīkoi had all experienced the pain of State intervention; whether they had first hand experience with up lifts or whether they had helped take in whānau, they were there. Wilson was asked by one reporter to comment on the anger of some people screaming out loud and his response was, “that wasn’t anger, that was generations of pain. It was generations of trauma and desperation. When you don’t know that pain you can’t identify it for what it really is. Instead you confuse it for anger rather than the deepest pain that can cut down a person and destabilise generations.”

33 years ago Puao-te-ata-tu advocated for whānau to be recognised as part of the solution. The impact of that revolutionary report has never been realised. Whānau Ora is founded on the same principles as Puao-te-ata-tu and it has been proven to work, “Government need to invest in what works, Whānau Ora and Matua Whāngai. They have to stop wasting our taxes on State intervention which countless reviews has shown fails and often, causes just as much if not more harm”.

Today was also a chance for people to reconnect, old friends saw each other after years. Whānau saw whānau and our president was able to reconnect with his children’s midwife based in Huntley and “It’s thanks to the midwives in Hastings, that we are here today” said Wilson.

Dame Tariana also noted how frustrating it is that the government and opposition send out the Māori and backbench MPs and this has to stop. Wilson supports her sentiments noting that “Minister Martin should have fronted the people”. Wilson closed the hīkoi with a waiata and karakia and when you translate the waiata it’s message is simple, ‘the most precious thing in my heart is my little mokopuna... love is paramount so don’t smack my little mokopuna’

ENDS.

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