Māori Party co-leader, Marama Fox says whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities need to be part of the solution when addressing the horrifying reality for children in State care.
She says "Six out of the 10 tamariki in State care are Māori so it’s critical the State works with Māori communities to reduce the number of tamariki needing State care as well as doing a much better job of caring for them if they do end up in the system.”
Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, released an Expert Panel report on the care of vulnerable children in State Care recommending radical change. The report says that the number of children needing State care has dropped in recent years but the number of tamariki re-entering the system has increased.
Fox believes that programmes such as Mātua Whāngai should be implemented, to recognise the importance of tamariki remaining within the wider whānau rather than becoming orphans of the State.
She adds that the report underestimates the importance of whakapapa and does not address the issue of supporting whānau.
“It should come as no surprise that tamariki are often re-abused by whānau if there is no support offered to whānau while their tamariki are in State care. We need to provide urgent support for these whānau otherwise a child will continue to be put at risk.”