Changes to Oranga Tamariki welcomed by petitioners
The community action group that brought the petition for a complete overhaul of Oranga Tamariki to Parliament in July welcome the changes announced by the ministry today.
“It's great that Oranga Tamariki have admitted they made mistakes, apologised and made concrete steps to avoid repeating those same mistakes in the future,” says ActionStation director Laura O’Connell Rapira.
“I also think it's important to acknowledge that the changes do not go far enough.”
“Our open letter that was signed by 17,000 people had 17 asks and the changes announced today, while welcome, barely scratch the surface of our recommendations.”
The open letter which was delivered as part of a rally, organised by the Hands Off Our Tamariki network, called for an immediate halt to the taking of tamariki Māori. It also called for a complete overhaul of the Ministry of Children, for the government to devolve resources and decision-making power to hapū, iwi and kaupapa Māori organisations and for an increase in funding to Whānau Ora.
“We want iwi Māori to be making decisions about the future of our tamariki, not three senior government staffers who have the final say.”
Oranga Tamariki is placing new restrictions on the uplifts of children after their own inquiry into its treatment of a young Māori mother found numerous shortcomings.
“Our hope is that Oranga Tamariki continue to remain responsive and open to changing policy and practice as the other inquiries start to report back next year. Because what iwi Māori need to see is a significant shift in resource allocation away from Oranga Tamariki toward kaupapa Māori solutions in Budget 2020.”
Read the open letter in full here: www.handsoffourtamariki.org.nz