May 02, 2021
Change in mindset needed for Oranga Tamariki reform
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The Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children says a mindset change will be needed for the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations on Oranga Tamariki to be adopted â€“ but it’s the right thing to do.
The tribunal has found the child protection agency and its predecessors breached the right of Maori to look after their own families, and an independent Māori Transition Authority should be set up to reform the system for tamariki Māori.
Glenis Philip-Barbara says the tribunal’s findings and solution fits with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s own report on the troubled agency.
She says when Māori signed the Treaty of Waitangi they did not give up the right to govern themselves.
"When you have a look at that practically in this day and age, the way we talk about it is by Māori, for Māori approaches. I think it's a whole new mindset for people in this country to get their heads around, that Māori people in this country have no desire to live as Pākehā. We actually want to live as Māori. That was the right promised to us under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, so I say, let's get on with it," Ms Philip-Barbara says.
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