System Fails Māori Children: Give Back Our Children

Published: Mon 1 Aug 2016 10:54 AM
System Fails Māori Children: Give Back Our Children
“The government has been seriously remiss in fulfilling its obligations to Māori.” highlights Māori whānau practitioner and researcher, Rihi Te Nana. Research undertaken on the ‘Vulnerable Childrens’ papers by Ms Te Nana indicates that the limited engagement by government, suggests that this has been a deliberate move on the government’s part to maintain power and control over Iwi/Māori.
“The Government continues to see Iwi/Māori as consultants who provide advice or provide services to whānau, and fail to undertake a meaningful Treaty relationship that would see our people exercise our right to being self-determining in regards to the wellbeing of our children.” states Ms Te Nana.
Her research highlights that efforts from Iwi/Māori to address and support "vulnerable" whānau, are continually stifled by the government legislation, limited resourcing and denying whānau, hapū and iwi authority to care fully for our tamariki. Furthermore, Māori children, she states, are placed into contexts by the Government agencies where their needs remain largely unmet because the legislation, policies and interventions lack cultural context or appropriateness.
Ms Te Nana’s research notes that “The dilemma that Iwi/Māori face with the government, is their penchant for providing imported white-stream programmes and activities to whānau (in particular to Māori parents) despite the fact that international indigenous research and Kaupapa Māori research clearly provide evidence to show that these interventions do not achieve significant positive life outcomes for the Māori participants”.
There are clear solutions being advocated both nationally and internationally, she contents, “We, Māori, must provide Māori interventions and pathways to Māori. We must do this because it is an imperative for Māori, we must do it because it is the right thing to do for whānau, and finally we must do it for the generations to come. The longer Māori remain in state care, the more likely their life outcomes will continue to diminished.”

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