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Ed Sheeran

Children better with whānau

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Maoridom's newest dame wants to see an end to children being taken from their families.

As a Māori Women's Welfare League president Dame Areta Koopu set up a parenting training programme, and she also sat on the Confidential Listening Service for people who had been abused in state care.

She says while agencies like Oranga Tamariki say their focus is on the children, she believes parents will fix up their own children if they have support and help,

"My experience with children in care was they spent the whole time running away from it and trying to go home, no matter how bad it was at home. That's why I think if you do something about that and be brave it might make a difference, becase in the 70s and 80s when I was doing counselling and social work, we were stopping the social workers from taking the children then. It's happening again," Dame Areta says.

She says having programmes by Māori for Māori is the key.


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