January 22, 2020
Iwi partnerships critical step for child protection
The Children’s Commissioner wants to see Oranga Tamariki get serious about forming partnerships with iwi.
Andrew Beecroft is finalising a report on Oranga Tamariki in the wake of the attempted uplift of a baby from Hawke’s Bay Hospital last May.
He says the statistics paint a sad picture of the relationship between the state and Māori, with Māori babies aged from nought to three months being five times more likely to be removed from their family than non-Māori.
That amounted to 111 pēpi last year, adding to the 4400 Māori children and young people in state care – 70 percent of the total.
While ideas like partnership and devolution have been talked about for years, revisions to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Act that came into force last year means there is no excuse for not doing it.
"So we’ve got now the plans as it were to do something radically different. We could have done it in the last 30 years but we didn't. We dropped the ball. The law now gives us a crystal clear opportunity where it says we've got to address the disparity, we've got to have strategic partnerships, Oranga Tamariki and Māori organisations and iwi, and they've got to transfer resources and power," Commissioner Beecroft says.
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Beecroft
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com