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Ngāti Ruanui: Oranga Tamariki Not Delivering On Iwi Partnership

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui, having cautiously entered into a partnership with Oranga Tamariki to return tamariki to their whānau, are raising serious concerns of the stonewalling by Oranga Tamariki.

Despite establishing a section 396 accreditation partnership at the highest level with the Crown, ensuring whānau meet all of Oranga Tamariki criteria, our request to assist a single child’s return to safe kin care has been met with the same old approach where Oranga Tamariki bypass the needs of w’ānau in its entirety, and instead are advocating for non-kin to progress permanent placement.

“Oranga Tamariki say all the right things but do not deliver on the ground,” said Tumu Whakaae, Haimona Maruera.

“The partnership with our iwi appears to be window dressing only - we are clearly being treated with mistrust and the same old gatekeeping and control by Oranga Tamariki. It really is a colonial master servant model which is shocking to witness.

“Our experience to date is confirmed by the report released by the Children’s Commissioner. The focus really needs to be on transferring power and resources from Government to enable by Māori, for Māori - that means we keep mokopuna in the care of their whānau.

“Ngāti Ruanui are dealing with a real-life example of what Judge Becroft is talking about. Change cannot come soon enough for our mokopuna and their whānau if our treatment to date represents what Organa Tamariki interprets as partnership,” said Mr Maruera.

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