Regional | Māori

Oranga Tamariki backs Mokopuna Ora for better outcomes

Oranga Tamariki is excited to partner with Waikato Tainui's, Mokopuna Ora programme, that looks to keep its children within whānau care in Auckland. Deputy Chief Executive North Glynis Sandland says partnering with Iwi will ensure better outcomes and sustainable change.

An initiative which has now been extended to Auckland at Papakura marae.

"We know we can't do these things alone and the whanau from these families from Waikato Tanui are really excited by this as much as we are," said Sandland.

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children will work with Waikato Tainui to help identify the whanau, the hapū the iwi for the children that may come into their care.

"So the idea is to keep them away from care, out of state care, to have them working with family. So our social workers will engage with the Mokopuna Ora support advisors and they will help them identify their whakapapa, so voluntarily these families can start to be educated around the support that they can get in that area," she said.

Minister Paula  Bennett championed the partnership idea with Iwi chair leaders in 2012.  The first pilot Mokopuna Ora programme began in Hamilton. They have worked with 66 whānau and 173 mokopuna.  Of these 66 mokopuna have remained in whānau care.

"In the last four years we have been running this programme in Waikato, we've seen the benefits of working together, so we've launched it in Papakura, where 14,000 children (of Waikato Tainui descent) are living in South Auckland," said Waikato-Tainui executive committee Te Arataura Chair, Rahui Papa.

The Ministry will take what it learns from the Mokopuna Ora Papakura 12-month trial and, with input from iwi, improve its services for tamariki in care.