The Co-Chairs of the Whaanau Ora Iwi Leadership Group share the disappointment of Dame Tariana Turia regarding the removal of Iwi, Hapuu and Whaanau support of our at risk tamariki.
Naida Glavish and Rahui Papa see the removal of Section 5 (c) (ii) from the Act by Minister Tolley as the wrong move and sets a path that may see our tamariki removed from their culture.
Papa says “Our children, where possible, must be supported in their own cultural context.”
“Removing them to families and carers who simply don’t understand their heritage creates further issues for these tamariki in the long term”.
Naida Glavish adds “At the Hopuhopu Iwi Chairs Forum, many Iwi Chairs signed a Kawenata to protect our young ones”.
“The Government must work with Iwi to provide solutions that support the physical, spiritual and cultural well being of our mokopuna”.
Papa and Glavish are also disappointed that the Minister made a ‘unilateral decision without substantive or direct consultation with the Whaanau Ora Partnership Group’.
The principles of Puao-te-ata-tu (that helped shape the Children and Young Persons Act), the review of national and international academics and experts, and the reports presented to the Minister all mention that the support of Iwi, Hapuu, Whaanau and Communities is a must.
“The review of the Act must add value to solving solutions, not remove best practice principles that are sound, not only in theory but in practice” the Co-Chairs said.