June 26, 2019
Tide of unrest over Oranga Tamariki attitudes
North Island whānau ora commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana has called a national hui to launch a Māori-led inquiry into child protection agency Oranga Tamariki.
Chair Merepeka Raukawa Tait says there is a tide of unrest among Māori at what is seen as a failing system, with on average three Māori babies a week being uplifted.
Māori organisations say Oranga Tamariki prioritises the removal of children from the whānau unit without sufficient investigation, and also fails to form any meaningful partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi.
The agency and its predecessors have failed 14 reviews in 22 years, and still not one iwi group has been accepted to look after its own tamariki, as is provided for in the law.
Merepeka Raukawa Tait says while there are three inquiries now going on into Oranga Tamariki by its chief social worker, the Children's Commissioner and the Ombudsman, none of them are looking through a Māori lens.
The hui will be held at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Māngere on July 13.
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