Building on the commitment to tamariki Māori
We gathered with iwi and Māori organisations for the first national hui since Oranga Tamariki was formed.
Facing the challenges ahead
Important and robust discussions took place at the hui, which was attended by more than 150 of Māoridom’s leaders in the social sector.
Speaking at the start of the two day hui, Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive, Gráinne Moss said, “We need to learn to trust each other so we can combine our knowledge to better serve our tamariki and whānau.
“In order to move forward we need to properly understand the issues faced in the past.
"We must also accept that the road ahead is not without its challenges, but we need to face these challenges together and from a place that plays to all of our collective strengths.”
True partnership benefits tamariki
Throughout the hui, passionate voices called for co-leadership and co-design. Rawiri Waititi, representing Te Rūnanga O Te Whānau, says the relationship needs to be one of equals.
He says, “My objective for the hui is that we are part of the conversation – as a true Treaty partner, where we sit around the table and have equal decision making about tamariki in care."
“We need to be part of that decision making. It needs to be not just co-managed – we need co-leadership.”
"Improving the lives of tamariki Māori cannot be done in isolation and the journey ahead .... is a shared one."
Importance of co-design
Dee-Ann Wolferstan, representing the Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu Trust and Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri Trust, says the relationship both organisations have with Oranga Tamariki is the strongest it’s been in 20 years.
“There are a number of things working well now, including the importance that Oranga Tamariki is placing on whakapapa. We’re involved in two different models of whakapapa research for mokopuna in care, to return them to whānau, hapū or iwi," Dee-Ann says.
“What we’d like to see more of is localised decision making, and localised development and design; I’d like to see more innovation.”
Healthy whānau, healthy tamariki
Hingatu Thompson from Manaaki Ora Trust, says while there’s still a long way to go, Oranga Tamariki should be acknowledged for bringing Māori together and being willing to listen.
“There’s been a common theme at the hui around whānau as part of tamariki ora - versus just the child. For Māori, to be a healthy child, you need to be in a healthy whānau.
“There needs to be a lot of work done by Oranga Tamariki, by all of the agencies and the providers, to make sure that whānau are healthy – so they can care for the child.”
Oranga Tamariki is committed to growing these strategic partnerships with Māori and Iwi.
Gráinne Moss says, “This is just the beginning. Improving the lives of tamariki Māori cannot be done in isolation and the journey ahead to ensuring we can enhance their lives is a shared one.”