August 30, 2022
Ripples in 150 year path to abuse inquiry
The author of a report on the pipeline of young people from state care to prison says a line can be drawn back to the policies of assimilation that was part of British colonialism.
Dr Rawiri Waretini-Karena told the Royal Commission on Abuse in State Care that 42 percent of Maori tamariki who were put in state care ended up in prison compared to the general incarceration rate for state wards of 8 percent.
He says that’s similar to what happened in other British colonies such as Australia and Canada, where education became part of the assimilation process and indigenous knowledge was suppressed.
Native schools, which discouraged teaching in Maori, were like the first ripple in a pond.
“And then the next ripple was they began beating and abusing our tamariki mokopuna for speaking their native language and then the next bit was it applied abuse and trauma to tamariki across generations,” Dr Waretini -Karena says.
He says review after review hasn’t worked.