for Māori children in care?
Can non-Māori caregivers raise a Māori child in a culturally appropriate way?
It’s a question that has come to the fore, again, in light of the high profile ‘‘Moana’’ case, in which Oranga Tamariki attempted to remove a 6-year-old Māori girl from the Pākehā couple that has cared for her for three years, because the agency felt they could not provide her cultural needs.
Family Court Judge Peter Callinicos last week dismissed Oranga Tamariki’s application in a 145-page ruling. He said the ideal goal was to have children of a specific cultural group with caregivers from the same family or cultural group but “sadly that may sometimes not be achievable”, and such a belief-driven approach distracted from the mandatory consideration of what was holistically best for the child.