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Ed Sheeran

Whānau ora better positioned for at risk children

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A south Taranaki iwi leader says Oranga Tamariki needs to get out of the way and hand the care and protection of tamariki Māori to whānau ora.

Debbie Ngarewa Packer from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui says the national hui next week to develop a response to the agency's baby uplift policies is a chance for Māori to speak with one voice.

She says the new section 7aa in the Oranga Tamariki legislation requiring a practical commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi sets a sound framework, but it will require a massive overhaul of existing structures.

The kaupapa needs to be Māori-led, and the agency needs to make better use of the organisations and individuals working in whānau ora.

"Our whānau ora navigators, our whānau ora framework, is better positioned to be inside with our whānau who need more tautoko, not judging, tautoko. In order to do that we need to resource them, we need to acknowledge that they are better positioned than often the social workers that come out of the crown. So there are some obvious, easy things that could happen and the only thing in the way is the crown, that they still have this patriarchal attitude where they believe they know best for us as Māori," Ms Ngarewa Packer says.

 

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