Now Is The Hour For Māori To Be Enabled
Waitangi Tribunal Urgent Inquiry Into Oranga Tamariki
Redistributing power from the State back to Māori is the only pathway for long-lasting change amongst families believes Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.
The Chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency is in Wellington with members of its governance group from the Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki attending the Waitangi Tribunal today.
“This Urgent Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki should be the final death knell to a Ministry that must shut down,” Raukawa-Tait says.
“Its systemic failure is inexplicable given it has continued without consequence spanning generations. Now is the hour for Māori to be enabled to take charge themselves, not a Government department.”
Twelve months ago the Māori Inquiry commenced and led to the release of a damning report based on the voluminous lived experience evidence of 1100 whānau, most were Māori.
Since then Raukawa-Tait reports she fields complaints almost on a daily basis from traumatised whānau reporting the continued toxic practices and policies of Oranga Tamariki.
She hopes the Tribunal’s final recommendations are accepted by the Government so whānau are finally respected and empowered with the right to make decisions for themselves.
“We are all here today to stand in solidarity for change – the old harmful paradigm is over,” she says.
“Māori are more than capable of supporting whānau to make any necessary changes to ensure that tamariki Māori flourish in their home environment.”
“Whānau Ora absolutely believes all solutions to significant Māori isses of health and wellbeing should be by Māori, for Māori, with Māori.”
Cautiously Dame Iritana warns, “every time Maori 'step up' and set up an initiative it is undermined and taken away from us.”
“The Government has yet to show Māoridom an honest and respectful example of Treaty principles,” she says.