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 maoriinquiry@whanauora.nz.

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.

Update: Waatea News livestreamed the hui. The full video recording of the hui is now available online.

Related news

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.

Background information

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.

Related media

New uplift figures paint disturbing ‘racialised’ picture, Newsroom, 27.08.2019

Tūhoe steps up for child protection role, Waatea News, 26.08.2019

Putting Tamariki first: A report from Tūhoe country, Newshub, 24.08.2019

Abused and suffering in the care of Oranga Tamariki: Karisma Emery's story, Stuff, 19.08.2019

Māori leaders launch inquiry into tamariki being taken from their whānau, Stuff, 19.08.2019

Children's Commissioner backs Māori inquiry, Waatea News, 19.08.2019

State care of children has 'failed', says Minister, Stuff, 16.08.2019

The system, not social workers, is the issue at OT, Press Release: Aotearoa NZ Association of Social Workers, Scoop, 16.08.2019

Te Arawa challenges Children's Minister over uplifts, Waatea News, 16.08.2019

Racism a key concern in Rotorua hui about Oranga Tamariki legislation changes, Rotorua Daily Post, 15.08.2019

‘No second chance’ to fix child welfare system, Newsroom, 12.08.2019

Māori health advocate calls for changes to 'appalling' Māori child welfare, uplift protocol, Stuff, 09.08.2019

Hands Off Our Tamariki marchers reject collaboration, Waatea News, 01.08.2019

Kerri Cleaver: Caring for the ‘Highest University’: A Commentary On the Whānau Ora Māori Inquiry Hui, Re-Imagining Social Work in Aotearoa New Zealand Blog, 31.07.2019

Constitutional change behind hīkoi call, Waatea News, 31.07.2019

‘Tears of our tupuna’ as Māori meet for change, Newsroom, 31.07.2019

Marchers call for family support first, Otago Daily Times, 31.07.2019

Hundreds rally to call for change at Oranga Tamariki, RNZ, 30.07.2019

March for justice on NZ’s ‘taken generation’, Newsroom, 30.07.2019

'Bullying, harassment and illegal practices' used to describe Oranga Tamariki, RNZ, 30.07.2019

‘Oranga Whānau is Oranga Tamariki’, Press Release: The Māori Party, Scoop, 30.07.2019

'Hands off our tamariki': Dozens turn out to Oranga Tamariki protests in Tauranga, NZ Herald, Bay of Plenty Times, 30.07.2019

Oranga Tamariki- Ministry for Childen needs to stop child 'uplifts' right now, says Dame Tariana Turia, Stuff, 30.07.2019

Christchurch Hands Off Our Tamariki protesters call for end to 'inhumane' uplifts, Stuff, 30.07.2019

Child uplift policies cultural genocide, Waatea News, 30.07.2019

JustSpeak statement of support for Hands off our Tamariki, Press Release: JustSpeak, Scoop, 29.07.2019

Winston Peters says Māori need to address violence against women and children, NZ Herald, 29.07.2019

Oranga Tamariki 'our job to fix', Winston Peters says ahead of Parliament protest, Stuff, 29.07.2019

Guardianship orders threat to whakapapa, Waatea News, 26.07.2019

Listen to Māori midwives – they know more than you think, The Spinoff, 23.07.2019

Oranga Tamariki has 'more work to do' around keeping children safe as new figures show many still harmed in care, One News, 23.07.2019

Three quarters of harm in state care happens to Māori children: Oranga Tamariki report, Stuff, 23.07.2019

Māori children over-represented in state care harm figures, RNZ, 23.07.2019

Safety of Children in Care Report, January to March 2019, Press Release: Oranga Tamariki, Scoop, 23.07.2019

Legality and 'disconnection' between Māori kids and whānau, RNZ, 23.07.2019

Keep spotlight on state care to make it safer for tamariki, Press Release: Aotearoa NZ Association of Social Workers, Scoop, 23.07.2019

Children's Commissioner says he's 'deeply disturbed' by latest Oranga Tamariki statistics, Ones News, 23.07.2019

AUT Professor Denise Wilson on Paakiwaha, Waatea News, 23.07.2019

New law returns child to whānau in Oranga Tamariki dispute, RNZ, 22.07.2019

Babies in Oranga Tamariki care - safe or seized?, RNZ, 21.07.2019

Simon Shepherd interviews Maori leaders, Press release: TVNZ, Scoop, 20.07.2019

'Systemic inequality' in Māori involvement in child protection, RNZ, 19.07.2019

Māori mothers fear and mistrust 'systemically racist' authorities, Stuff, 19.07.2019

More residential homes could stop Oranga Tamariki uplifts, RNZ, 19.07.2019

Not one more Māori child should be left in isolation from its whānau, Stuff, 19.07.2019

The children come first: A day at the Oranga Tamariki hui, The Spinoff, 16.07.2019

Māori plant flag over uplifted children, RNZ, 16.07.2019

Māori unite to declare ‘enough is enough’, Newsroom, 15.07.2019

Should the practice of Whāngai be recognised in New Zealand law?, One News, 15.07.2019

A sense of injustice too large to fathom, Newsroom, 14.07.2019

The call from the hui was loud and clear: give us back our kids, The Spinoff, 14.07.2019

How closed adoption robbed Māori children of their identity, RNZ, 14.07.2019

Oranga Tamariki: Māori leaders issue strong call to action over uplifts, Newshub, 13.07.2019

Hui on child uplifts has to limit attendees, Newsroom, 12.07.2019

Navigators not right for broken child welfare system, Waatea News, 12.07.2019

Khylee Quince: Closed adoption rears its ugly head again, Newsroom, 09.07.2019

Image: Pexels on Pixabay

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