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Ed Sheeran

Gangs, P and state pēpi uplifts a perverse cycle

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Ngāti Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says a mass gang initiation ceremony on Te Mata Peak and Oranga Tamariki attempting to snatch a baby from Hawkes Bay Hospital are two sides of the same story.

Ngāti Kahungunu has told the children's ministry it will not tolerate further uplifts, and it wants the chance to wrap services around whānau so children who need to be taken into care can do so within the wider whānau and iwi, so they are not cut off from their whakapapa and culture.

He says Oranga Tamariki is continuing with the sorts of policies that created generations of Māori divorced from their whānau and hapū who tried to create a new whānau in the form of gangs.

"Two, three generations later the mokopuna of the original gang leaders are running the current gangs, peddling P to our mothers, our poorest communities, who are then having their babies uplifted. It's a perverse connection to our whakapapa but it's state-led and we're finding an iwi Māori response in this time," Mr Tomoana says.

He says the 1988 Pūao o Te Ata Tū report warned what would happen if the net of whakapapa was not protected and maintained, and it's time to dust off its recommendations and put them into action.

 

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