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Tolley reconsidering CYFS panel

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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley is considering adding a Maori to the panel looking at reforms to Child, Youth and Family.

A number of groups including the Iwi Leaders Whanau Ora Partnership Group has attacked the lack of a Maori voice, given the disproportionately high number of Maori children in youth justice facilities, care and protection residences, or CYFS care.

Chair Sonny Tau blames entrenched attitudes by departmental officials for the absence.

But he says his group has a good relationship with the minister and believes its concerns are being addressed.

"Last night I had a ring from the minister's office and they are now reconsidering putting some one Maori or two onto the panel, so we have had a breakthrough there. I think that's the right decision," Mr Tau says.

A spokesperson for Anne Tolley says over the last month the Minister has had a couple of discussions with expert panel head Paula Rebstock about adding another member to the panel, but no final decisions have yet been made.


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