Tuesday February 21, 2017   Last updated 20:57PM
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Child protection reform excluding Maori
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Former cabinet minister Dame Tariana Turia says Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s reform of child protection services is a big step backwards.

She’s alarmed at a proposal to drop the section in the 1989 Child, Young Persons and their Families Act that required consideration of how a decision to place a child affects the family, whanau, hapu, iwi and family group.

That principle came out of the Puao-te-ata-tu inquiry into why so many Maori children were ending up in state care.

Dame Tariana says the change is inconsistent with the proposed direction of the reforms to enable all children to feel a sense of identity, belonging, and connection.

She says the Minister appears to have ignored multiple recommendations to establish strategic partnerships with iwi and Maori organisations, instead privileging organisations like Barnados and Open Home Foundation.

That’s consistent with past failed policies of propping up foster care organisations but failing to support parents and whanau as the first and fundamental carers.

 

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