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Whānau provide the strongest platform for tamariki care

Whānau provide the strongest platform for tamariki care and protection

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been a partner to the Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki to contribute to the report, ‘Ko te Wā Whakawhiti: A Time for Change’. The South Island Commissioning Agency also provided whānau stories for the resource, ‘Te Mura o te Ahi: fighting for our tamariki: Ngā Kōrero o te whānau’.

“Whānau Ora, at its essence, is about listening to the aspirations and priorities of whanau”, said Pouārahi / Chief Executive, Helen Leahy. “We took seriously the invitation to provide a means for whānau in Te Waipounamu to contribute to the Māori inquiry. Over one hundred whānau members attended six whānau led hui in Murihiku, Ōtepoti, Ōtautahi, Te Tai Poutini, Whakatū, and Wairau”.

“Some of the themes which came directly from the mouths of whānau in the South resonated strongly with our counterparts in the North:

• Unwarranted child removals and interactions with whānau and the use of force during removals

• Poor communication, disorganisation and confusing procedures and processes

• Lack of empathy, minimum effort, obstinacy, bias amongst the agency’s workforce

• Frayed relationships and disempowerment of whānau and tamariki

• Inter-generational vulnerability of Māori whānau”.

“It is vital that the voices of whānau are heard and that we listen to their ideas about how progress can be achieved”, said Ms Leahy. “Whānau are very clear about the importance of whānau working together to strengthen whanaungatanga, whānau and whakapapa. We heard a rich range of responses about what whānau can do to help whānau; how we can ensure accountability, self-regulation and a focus on localised solutions”.

“In the wake of the $100m Whenua Māori Investment Fund, we are hopeful that the reports today will provide convincing evidence of the need for a Whānau Māori Investment Fund to invest in a whānau-centred approach to enable whānau to keep tamariki with whānau Māori. The reports are a compelling read: whānau, whakapapa, whenua, whanaungatanga, and whangai form the basis for whānau wellbeing – and by extension the strongest platform for tamariki care and protection”.

The two hundred page report is available online: https://whanauora.nz/maori-inquiry/


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