January 20, 2020
Revolution needed in Maori child protection
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft is calling for a revoluition to address the disproportionate number of Maori children being seized by the state.
The commisisoner’s office has released data showing Māori under three months are five times as likely to be taken into state care than non-Māori.
In all 69 percent of the 6429 children in state care are Māori.
He says most of the data relates to Child, Youth and Family Services, so it’s a long-standing problem that Oranga Tamariki has to tackle.
"It goes right back to the 1989 legislation, introduced with so much promise but really we failed and this is a chance to improve it the second time around. The law's change. The whole country wants better. We can do better as a country. I want better. We can do it but it is going to take something of a revolution it seems to me," he says.
Andrew Becroft says his full report should be out next month, including interviews with many whanau about their experiences with Oranga Tamariki, and there will also be reports from the Ombudsman and the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency about child uplifts.
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