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.”