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Ed Sheeran

Family Court needs tikanga infusion

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The Māori Law Society is backing a report calling for major reform of the Family Court.

Te Taniwha I Te Ao Ture-Ā-Whānau looks at the experience of whanau Māori in the court during care and protection proceedings.

The society’s family law spokesperson, Stephanie Northey, says it highlights the need for whānau-centred and tikanga Māori based approaches.

It recommends changing the behaviour of the judiciary and professionals involved in the justice system, including making knowledge of tikanga and te reo non-negotiable for those working in the Family Court.

Family Court proceedings should be held on a Saturday to allow for more whānau to attend and be part of the solution.

There’s also a call for a board with government, iwi and community members to facilitate care and protection proceedings.

Ms Northey says tamariki Māori make up 68 per cent of children in state care, despite making up only a quarter of all children in Aotearoa.

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