Māori need structural role in children's system
|10 Apr 2019 11:30 AM|
A call for a Māori Children’s Commissioner has won the support of the person now in the job.
The New Zealand Māori Council says the fact three in five children in state care are Māori highlights the need for the role.
Judge Andrew Becroft agrees, saying six of the seven commissioners so far have been Pākeha males.
"If the treaty is a document that underpins our approach which it must do and the government’s approach, it is time that structurally some of the systems embedded an explicit Māori leadership and a role for Māori to develop by Māori for Māori," he says.
Judge Becroft says in the Australian state of Victoria there is an Aboriginal children’s commissioner working alongside the children’s commissioner.
Meanwhile,Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced changes to the Government oversight of the children’s system, with the intention of making it more responsive to Māori.
The Ombudsman has been asked to take on a new role overseeing and investigating complaints relating to the Ōranga Tamariki system.
As well, the Ministry of Social Development will work with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and engage with Māori and other key stakeholders to build a new monitoring framework for monitoring services to children under the Ōranga Tamariki Act.
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