July 29, 2020
First 7AA Report Shows Positive Change for Maori Children
FIRST 7AA REPORT SHOWS POSITIVE CHANGE FOR MĀORI CHILDREN
Media Release: Oranga Tamariki has today released its Section 7AA progress report, and there are indications that outcomes for tamariki Māori are starting to improve following the amendment.
The legislation is the first of its kind for any Crown entity, requiring Oranga Tamariki to report publicly on practical commitments to the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) relating specifically to tamariki Māori.
Section 7AA came into force on 1 July 2019, part of a raft of amendments to the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989. This requires the Ministry to focus on policies, practices and services to reduce disparities for tamariki and rangatahi Māori, have regard to mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga, and develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations.
It also requires progress to be reported at least annually, with this report looking at the initial first year’s work.
Deputy Chief Executive Hoani Lambert says there are several encouraging signs that point toward a significant shift in the way Māori are interacting with Oranga Tamariki.
“For the first time in a number of years, we are seeing a reduction of Māori children in care. On the back of these policy changes, we have also seen a drop in the number of Māori babies coming into care.
“That shows we are moving in the right direction, but we know change takes time and there is still a huge amount of work to be done. Working alongside our partners is how we will get there, and we are working more closely than ever before with iwi, hapū and whānau as we know the best place for tamariki is with safe whānau.”
At the core are new partnerships with iwi and Māori providers that are both driving and supporting the organisation to work differently.
Alongside the four strategic partnerships signed with iwi, Oranga Tamariki has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the NZ Māori Council and will soon sign another three strategic partnerships
This has led to the creation of 42 kairanga-a-whānau roles to ensure that tamariki Māori and their whānau are supported as early as possible, including help to identify whakapapa connections. Around 75 per cent of tamariki Māori and rangatahi placed with caregivers are being looked after by their own whānau or Māori caregivers.
“There has also been a 30 per cent increase in funding over the past two years into iwi Māori community providers, as we know that the best way to turn around outcomes for tamariki Māori is co-designing a for-Māori, by-Māori approach,” Mr Lambert says.
“The 7AA legislation is allowing us to bring about the changes that tamariki and rangatahi, their whānau and caregivers expect of us.”
The report can be found: S7AA Improving outcomes for tamariki Māori.
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