Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki: Next phase, call for feedback
Thu 08 Aug 2019
The next phase of the national Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children is a hui on Monday 19 August 2019 in Hamilton. Whānau ...
The next phase of the national Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children is a hui on Monday 19 August 2019 in Hamilton.
Whānau Ora announced this will be to confirm the scope and purpose of the inquiry.
Following this, the Kīngitanga has invited Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency and the inquiry governance group to attend Ngā Kawe Mate o te Motu at Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday 20 August, where the inquiry’s Terms of Reference will be presented.
The draft Terms of Reference are currently available on the Commissioning Agency’s website. Whānau are invited to provide feedback on this until submissions close on Friday 16 August, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the confirmation of the Terms of Reference, the inquiry will commence. The aim is to have a final substantive report published in early 2020.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, said
"We were heartened by the turnout at the first hui and everyone’s valuable contribution. This second hui will keep the momentum going and allow us to move forward on this important ‘for Māori, by Māori’ inquiry."
Whānau Ora said the initial call for action came from Māori leadership concerned with the practice of tamariki removals by the State. The response to this call was "overwhelming" with several hundred people attending the first hui, hosted by the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency on Saturday 13 July. This included whānau, many Māori leaders and highly skilled Māori from a variety of areas, including governance, researchers, clinicians and practitioners, who supported the call for a Māori-led inquiry and participated in wānanga to inform its scope and purpose.
At the hui it was confirmed a Governing Group would oversee the Inquiry, with the following membership:
- Dame Naida Glavish
- Dame Areta Kopu
- Dame June Mariu
- Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi
- Dame Tariana Turia
- Lady Tureiti Moxon
- Sir Toby Cutis
- Sir Mason Durie
- Sir Wira Gardiner
- Sir Pita Sharples
- Sir Robert McLeod
- Sir Mark Solomon
Registrations are open for the hui on Monday 19 August 2019 in Hamilton.
On 30 July 2019, Hands Off Our Tamariki organised a rally to Parliament to demand the halting of state abuse of Māori tamariki And whānau. The rally was facilitated by Leonie Pihama, Tere Harrison and Laura O’Connell Rapira, with invited speakers including Dame Tariana Turia, Paora Moyle, Prue Kapua, Alison Green, Khylee Quince, Des Ratima, Ripeka Ormsby, Annette Sykes, Rihi Te Nana and Jean Te Huia. The organisers called for a number of changes and presented an open letter to the NZ government.
Advocate Paora Crawford Moyle has given a talk on Oranga Tamariki at the 16th Annual Waitangi Rua Rautau 2019 at Tangatarua Marae, Ihenga Whare Tupuna, Rotorua on 28 July 2019.
The independent Māori inquiry into the Ministry of Children - Oranga Tamariki was launched following media coverage of an attempted uplift of a baby from their mother in Hawke's Bay. This focused attention on Oranga Tamariki's practices and removal of Māori babies from their whānau, hapū and iwi and led to many calls for change.
In response, three separate government reviews were announced. These are being conducted by Oranga Tamariki, the Children's Commissioner and the Chief Ombudsman.
In an interview with Newshub, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, the chair of the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency (North Island) said Whānau Ora were responding to calls and questions from iwi leaders around the country asking what Whānau Ora was doing. She said other reviews and inquiries done by others lack a Māori lens, and this inquiry is by Māori, for Māori, with Māori.
Following the first hui, the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency said "Yesterday the largest gathering of Māori leadership since the Foreshore and Seabed debate voted unanimously to hold an Inquiry." A recording of the hui is available online.
Related research and reports
New research has found that Māori children are almost four times more likely than those of European descent to be placed out of home by child protection services.
Professor Denise Wilson (Ngāti Tahinga), co-author of the study and Director of the Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), said "We found strong disparities for Māori across all levels of child protection involvement, but the placement figures were particularly alarming."
By the age of 18, a Māori child had a one in 14 chance of being placed out of home, whereas a child of European ethnicity had just a one in 50 chance of the same outcome. The researchers said "While poverty is known to make maltreatment more likely, stratification by neighbourhood deprivation did not change the findings. That is, the gap between the experiences of Māori children and European children remained, regardless of economic status."
The latest Oranga Tamariki quarterly report on the safety of children in care has found that over the three-month period to March 2019, more than 100 children in state care (some were living with their parents) were harmed sexually, physically, or emotionally. More than three quarters of the children harmed were Māori.