November 24, 2020
Children’s Commission report lays ground for resource fight
One of the leaders in the Waitangi Tribunal Oranga Tamariki claim says Minister Kelvin Davis is buying a fight if he thinks he can shelve a recommendation to radically transform the system of child protection for Maori.
Mr Davis says he is ready to have a conversation about Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft’s call for the transfer of Māori children and babies in state care to Māori groups, but he’s not into separatism and not into totally removing Oranga Tamariki from the role.
Merekepa Raukawa-Tait says the commission’s report is the latest in a long line of reviews exposing how the system is failing Māori, and it’s time the resources, management and responsibility for looking after Māori children were put back to Māori.
"Maori will do far better for their own than a state department has ever done, so that's the reality this government has to understand, has to be prepared to face head-on and if they choose not to they are buying into a big fight. There is no resiling, no going back from what's in front of them now," she says.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says Oranga Tamariki is just the start, and Māori want direct control in other spheres like health and education.
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