February 15, 2021
Tribunal wraps up Oranga Tamariki claim
One of the claimants to the Waitangi Tribunal challenging the crown’s child protection system says a powerful case has been made for change.
The tribunal is this week hearing closing submissions on practices at Oranga Tamariki.
National Māori Authority chair Lady Tureiti Moxon says the hearings have been re-traumatising for many whānau, but it’s important to get their stories out.
She says the tribunal is keen to hear possible remedies, including a strong call for devolution of Oranga Tamariki services to Māori so they can care for their own tamariki and mokopuna.
"Give our children back to us, We want to look after them and we want to do that in our own way. When you talk about a partnership, what you are talking about is not about a contract or a master-servant relationship. It is about the sharing of resources, the sharing of power, and certainly the sharing of decision-making so we can do it for ourselves," Lady Moxon says.
Lady Tureiti Moxon says claimant lawyer Annette Sykes pointed out the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed Māori rangatiratanga or authority over their own kainga, and the crown has taken that away and put itself between Māori and their children.
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