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Ed Sheeran

Whānau Ora under threat from Oranga Tamariki revamp

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Waipareira head John Tamihere says the Government's support of Oranga Tamariki over whānau ora shows the Wellbeing Budget was a fraud.

Mr Tamihere has stood down as chief executive of the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency to concentrate on his run for the Auckland mayoralty.

But he took some shots at the child protection agency during yesterday's national hui to confirm the terms of reference or the Māori inquiry into Oranga Tamariki.

He says the agency has a budget of $1.2 billion this year, up from $238 million the year before, even though it has failed 14 reviews.

"You can change the name of that organisation, you can't change its culture. We want our resources in our hands to fix ourselves. In regard to whānau ora, our funding has been slashed and under this Government they believe that the state is better at managing Māori than Māori are at managing themselves, it's as simple as that," Mr Tamihere says.

Yesterday's national hui confirmed the inquiry would look at the historical and contemporary incidence of removal of Māori children from their whānau by Oranga Tamariki - the Ministry for Children - and the adverse effects of this practice on whānau Māori.

There will be listening posts around the country for whānau to share their stories and further hui for that testimony to be presented.

A final report is due in February 2020, including recommendations which may cover

- the roles and responsibilities of government agencies in the child wellbeing sector;

- Mechanisms for support of families and whānau affected by actions - past and present - of the removal of tamariki from their whānau;

- And what sort of resourcing should go to non-governmental providers of tamariki wellbeing.

Copyright © 2019, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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