A new way to support tamariki

We're partnering with Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services to support tamariki who have offended to make positive life decisions and cultural connections.

Published on
4 Oct 2018
Mahuru working group full

Youth remand service

Mahuru is a new youth remand service developed by Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services with our support.

The service is for tamariki Māori in Te Tai Tokerau who commit a crime and need to spend time in a safe and stable environment, while they await their court hearing. It's the first service of its kind.

Pictured above - the Mahuru working group from Oranga Tamariki and Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services at the Mahuru launch at Kohewhata Marae in Kaikohe

Left to right: Aroha Tahere, Aroha Shelford, Keryn Bristow, Liz Marsden and Kela Lloydd

Mahuru half
At the Mahuru launch: Allan Boreham (middle) alongside Minister Peeni Henare and Youth Court Judge, Greg Davis

A game-changer for our tamariki

Tamariki who meet certain risk criteria are placed with Ngāpuhi caregivers who can provide a safe and loving home environment.

During the placement they are immersed in mana-enhancing activities with Ngāpuhi mentors to develop their identity and pride as young Māori and achieve the goals outlined in their individual plans.

Up until now, the only option available was to place tamariki in facilities or homes outside of the region. This further disconnected them from their whānau and community.

Mahuru helps re-connect tamariki to their culture and strengthening their sense of belonging within te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi, says Youth Justice Manager in Te Tai Tokerau, Aroha Tahere.

“They can remain in Te Tai Tokerau and learn more about who they are and where they are from, rather than being sent out of the region to facilities where they have no existing connections or relationships."

“Having them locally is really significant to them and their growth, and in order for them to be safe within their own communities,” Aroha says.

A refreshing approach

Mahuru is supported by the Judiciary, Police, and Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.

Judge Becroft says Mahuru is a refreshing approach to remand supervision as it leaves behind institutional residences in favour of individual support for the young person and their whānau.

“This is a great example of creative flexibility by Ngāpuhi and Oranga Tamariki in that it allows whānau, hapu and iwi to respond to the needs of taitamariki in a way that is meaningful and driven by a kaupapa-Māori approach.

"Mahuru is a step forward in realising the vision of Puao te Ata tu, and it shows a commitment to the Oranga Tamariki Act which calls for more strategic partnerships with iwi, iwi authorities and Māori organisations", Judge Becroft says.

Our commitment for the future

Deputy Chief Executive for Youth Justice Allan Boreham says "We are committed to working with Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services to ensure the success of this service.

"Further initiatives will be developed in partnership with iwi and Māori organisations for our tamariki.

“The Government needs to enable iwi to play to their strengths. Our tamariki do not whakapapa back to a government agency, but they do whakapapa back to their iwi and their community. We have to be the enablers to support that journey.”