July 19, 2018
Abuse turn off for Maori culture
A south Auckland community worker says abusers have no place on the paepae because they drag down Maori culture.
Whanau Ora Community Clinic director George Ngatai says over the past two decades in social and community work he had worked with hundreds of men and women who have been abused or who have been abusers.
That’s why he’s calling for extra support for the Tauranga community, which is reeling from allegations against the late cultural and community leader Awanuiarangi Black sexually abused children and young people.
Mr Ngatai says he dealt with a similar situation in his own hapu about 20 years ago and told that person their cultural competence did not excuse their behaviour.
"You know a lot of those people are termed second chance learners. They are the ones that thrive in a wananga environment because they have support mechanisms around them, if not formal then informal, support mechanisms that give them a hand in their mahi to make sure the come out with the qualification (for which) they entered," he says.
Mr Ngatai says the Maori community needs to stand up and challenge perpetrators.
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