March 06, 2017
Whangai tradition discounted by government
Green MP Marama Davidson says the Government’s reform of state care ignores traditional Maori ways of doing things.
The Government is resisting calls from Maori to preserve a provision in the existing Children, Young Persons and their Families Act making it a priority that children be placed in homes where they have whanau, hapu or iwi connections.
She says that was an acknowledgement that whangai adoptions were a critical part of Maori society.
"You just look all around you, all through my family, all my friends, we are continuing to assist the raising of tamariki mokopuna because we have done it forever. We know there are always safe Maori to raise our tamariki and this legislation is a pure excuse to remove babies from our whanau," she says.
Marama Davidson says those who were abused in state care – which the Government refuses to allow an inquiry into – are among the strongest voices calling for whanau to remain a priority when placements of tamariki are made.
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