'Māori ready to take back our tamariki'
Parts of the Oranga Tamariki Act still undermine the role of whānau, hapū and iwi in the protection of tamariki, and to achieve true partnership under the Treaty, the Crown must devolve power to iwi, the Waitangi Tribunal has been told.
An urgent hearing is under way into Oranga Tamariki practices in relation to tamariki Māori and whether they are compliant with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Judge Michael Doogan began the hearing by laying out the take (purpose) of the Tribunal hearing, which was to find out: why there had been such a consistent disparity of tamariki Māori being removed from their families; to what extent legislative and practices changes had altered the disparity for the better and; what changes to Crown legislation might be required to secure outcomes that uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Waikato Māori health provider Te Kohao director Lady Tureiti Moxon told the tribunal that true partnership would mean Oranga Tamariki devolving its powers to a standalone Māori tamariki-mokopuna authority.
She said there was capacity within iwi, Whānau Ora providers and urban Māori authorities to take on this responsibility for the care of tamariki Māori.