November 14, 2019
Ngāpuhi frustrated at Oranga Tamariki speed
The chief executive of the country’s largest iwi says the latest review of Oranga Tamariki confirms systemic failure within the child protection agency.
The internal practice report identified multiple failings leading to the attempted uplift of a newborn baby from Hawke’s Bay Hospital in May, including a failure to consult with iwi and hapū about whether an alternate course of action was available.
Lorraine Toki from Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi says Ngāpuhi has the largest number of children in care of any iwi, and it has also built up an infrastructure of health and social services able to help.
But she says a strategic partnership agreement with Oranga Tamariki isn’t delivering the change that was anticipated.
“When Oranga Tamariki meet with us, with Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, we can make a decision. The officials we meet with can’t and that elongates the conversation â€“ it’s not just within a couple of days, it’s months. If we’re going to have a true partnership we actually need to meet with the right people to make a decision to make a change,” Ms Toki says.
Ngapuhi wants Oranga Tamariki support to develop an iwi-led early intervention and prevention programme involving whanau, hapu and marae.
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