July 30, 2020
Too late to fix Oranga Tamariki says claimant
Oranga Tamariki says it is doing better with Māori pēpi – but one of the Māori leaders behind a Waitangi Tribunal claim against the agency says too late and not good enough.
Oranga Tamariki’s first annual report on new Section 7AA provisions that require it to address disparities for tamariki and rangatahi Māori says there are encouraging signs.
Deputy chief executive Hoani Lambert says for the first time in years there are fewer Māori children in care and fewer Māori babies coming into care.
New partnerships with iwi and Māori providers are both driving and supporting the organisation to work differently.
But Merepeka Raukawa Tait from the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency says it’s time for Māori to step up and do the job.
"These are our children. This is our future that's at stake. You've had your day. You've never been successful at it and we actually want things to change right now. It is our time. This is about our tino rangatiratanga. These children are our responsibility and so are the families in which they should be thriving. So we've got to get everything right – the family environment, the home environment, they have to be mentored, the young parents, and also if there is an issue with the families, we need to sort that out. Nobody else should be doing that for us," she says.
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