Indigenous | Oranga Tamariki

Mana tamariki missing in Oranga Tamariki Act revision

A Māori social worker says changes to the Oranga Tamariki Act will make it harder to reunite whānau with their children.

The 36 goals in the government’s latest quarterly action plan includes repeal of section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act, which required the child protection agency to give regard to mana tamariki and the whakapapa of Māori youth and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of their whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Andrew Rudolph says it forced Oranga Tamariki to address the trust issues that arise with whānau Māori caught up in state care.

He says the problem with Minister Karen Chhour’s wish for a colour-blind system was identified by the Royal Commission on abuse in state care.

“With this colour-blind kind of social work, this colour-blind child protection, we’re actually harming children because in many ways all tamariki are different whether you’re Māori, Pasifika, Pākehā, Asian etc,” Mr Rudolph says.

He says trust is key in child protection.

Public Interest Journalism