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Ed Sheeran

Constitutional change behind hīkoi call

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A Māori lawyer who was on yesterday's Hands Off Our Tamariki hīkoi to parliament says the calls by Māori for significant partnerships with the crown are intensifying.

Khylee Quince, who is director of Māori and Pacific Advancement at Auckland University of Technology, says the hīkoi was a chance for many to express their pain and anger, both at current battles they may be having with Oranga Tamariki and also the historical trauma of separation from family and whakapapa.

She says Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis asked the hīkoi to give time for the July 1 reforms to the child protection laws to work and pointed to the partnerships Oranga Tamariki was forming with iwi like Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu.

But the hīkoi wanted more than Māori being service providers or consultants to crown agencies.

"The connecting factor between this kaupapa, the happenings at Ihumātao, the kaupapa Māori health inquiry, other kaupapa, take being raised by the Waitangi Tribunal recently show that it's all the same concern really, which is about that lack of a true partnership relationship between Māori and the crown and the need for really significant change to our constitutional arrangements," Ms Quince says.

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