Oranga Tamariki acknowledges the Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti: It’s Time for Change report and the courage of whānau in sharing their deeply personal stories.
“We will now take the time to work through the report,’ said Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive Grainne Moss.
Ms Moss said that while all New Zealanders want to see fewer children in care, Oranga Tamariki has an absolute obligation to protect children at risk.
In the year ending 30 September 2019 the Ministry received reports about 62,300 children; many involving serious harm issues including family violence, sexual abuse, neglect, and ‘Meth’ or ‘P’. Oranga Tamariki, together with other organisations, is working with these whānau to ensure that wherever possible these children can remain safely at home.
Oranga Tamariki was created in 2017 as part of a bold overhaul of the of the care and protection system,” said Ms Moss.
“While we’ve made good progress, we’ve got further to go. Listening to the views of others and better understanding the experiences of tamariki, rangatahi and whānau is crucial and this report gives us further perspectives to continue that work.”
The Ministry is committed to working in partnership with Māori to improve outcomes for children and their whanau. It has been collaborating with a number of iwi and Maori organisations to develop new and earlier approaches for working with whanau, including the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.
“Our partners bring us closer to whānau and communities so that iwi have greater involvement in our work,” said Ms Moss. “More importantly they increase the wellbeing of tamariki by delivering services and support and enhancing rangatahi and tamariki connection with their hapū and iwi.”
The Ministry has invested in services delivered by more than 100 iwi and Māori providers to develop and design locally-lead and sustainable initiatives to better meet the needs of tamariki Māori and their whānau. Nearly half of the Whānau Ora North Island providers also carried out services for Oranga Tamariki. The Ministry also has strategic partnerships with iwi (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tūhoe).
Since 2010, we have seen 27 per cent fewer Māori children coming into our care. The number of Māori babies (0-1 year) coming into our care fell in 2018 and 2019.
Most children removed from the custody of their parents are placed with other family or whānau caregivers or in placements supported by decisions involving whānau. As at 30 June last year 82 per cent of all Māori children in care were in loving homes with whānau or Māori caregivers.
New legislation sets out the Ministry’s responsibilities in line with the Treaty of Waitangi to improve outcomes for Māori children, young people and their whānau.
Ms Moss said other inquiries are looking at similar issues to this report, for example the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, and the Waitangi Tribunal urgent inquiry into the Treaty consistency of the care and protection system. The government is taking an active role in all these inquiries.
Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti: It’s Time for Change report
Read the report (PDF, 14MB)