Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Te Pūtahitanga O Te Waipounamu Calls For Oranga Tamariki To Invest In Whānau As A First Resort

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu hopes that the recent changes to Oranga Tamariki leadership present an opportunity for a long overdue paradigm shift that will place whānau at the heart of the child welfare sector.

Pouārahi Helen Leahy says that Māori have been waiting for more than 30 years for this change, since the release of the Pūao-te-ata-tū report in 1988. In this context, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency welcomes an evolving environment of scrutiny and accountability signalled by the appointment of Tā Wira Gardiner as Interim Chief Executive of Oranga

Tamariki, and the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Board announced yesterday by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis.

“We see these latest developments as crucial to consolidate the paradigm shift needed to move the child welfare system towards assisting families when they are having difficulties rather than removing tamariki as the first response,” says Ms Leahy. “Our focus in Whānau Ora is always to ensure that there is investment in whānau as the solution of first resort. We must be listening and hearing the voices of whānau, ensuring their obligations and responsibilities towards their own are respected, and in doing so best serve the interest of all our tamariki and mokopuna.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has supported the Māori Design Group at Oranga Tamariki over the past three years and have been proud of its progress, including driving a number of strategic partnerships with iwi and a growing appreciation for the role of Whānau Ora Navigators in working with whānau.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is very supportive of any developments that focus on serving the best interests of children, young people, whānau and communities,” says Ms Leahy. “We welcome the emphasis on relationships with families, whānau and Māori as being one of three critical areas of advice from the expert group, and are happy to share our knowledge and experience with the advisory board as they undertake their important purpose for being.”


Pūao-te-ata-tū was a landmark report released in 1988, produced by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare. It was a detailed commentary and enquiry into racism within New Zealand society, and in particular within the Department of Social Welfare. It described a “litany of sound”, stating that the Department’s child care processes were undermining the basis of Māori society, leading to a powerlessness and denigration of culture and a disconnect between generations: “the young and the elderly expressed heartfelt loss of each other through processes which keep them apart.” The conclusion of the report was that: “the problem is of such magnitude that the response requires a major shift of social and economic resources among all social service and community agencies that can deliver them.”

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Flaws In Anti-gang Laws

Google “Christopher Luxon“ and “mojo” and you get nearly 60,000 matching responses. Over the past 18 months – here and here and again, here – Luxon has claimed that New Zealanders have either lost their mojo and/or are in the process of re-finding it. With mojo in hand, New Zealanders will once more become a nation of over-achievers, blessed with the feisty Kiwi can-do spirit of yore.

But here’s the thing. According to Luxon, we’re naturally bold, inventive and self-reliant. Yet according to him, we’re also “wet, whiny and inward-looking”...


Government: GPS 2024: Over $20 Billion To Get Transport Back On Track
Transport Minister Simeon Brown has released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the Coalition Government’s plan to build and maintain a transport system that enables people to get to where they need to go quickly and safely... More


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.