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Maori partnerships key to Oranga Tamariki future

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The president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League says it’s the policies and practices of Oranga Tamariki that need to change rather than swapping out the people.

There have been calls for Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss to step down in the face of another critical report, this one from the Chief Ombudsman saying the uplift of babies had become routine rather than exceptional.

But Prue Kapua says problems with the child protection agency are long-standing.

New strategic relationships with Māori organisations like iwi or the league means other perspectives can now be heard, rather than a single-minded view by social workers that what they are doing is in the best interests of the child.

"The only way that we are going to make some change is if that decision doesn't vest in them only and that means the perspective of us in the community, of knowing the whānau, of being able to engage with the whānau, will hopefully make a big change in the practice of those who are employed by Oranga Tamariki," Ms Kapua says.

Prue Kapua says the Māori Women’s Welfare League has a programme in Blenheim where it works alongside iwi and Oranga Tamariki in the decision-making.

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