An overwhelming response sees Māori from across the country pouring into Māngere today. The call for action came from Māori leadership concerned with the practice of tamariki removals by the state. Whānau, experts, and highly skilled Māori from across all pursuits of governance, research, evaluation, clinicians and practitioners are here most have been calling for change for many years.
“The response has been overwhelming. We’ve had to move the venue in an attempt to accommodate the numbers, and still, we are struggling with the huge groundswell within Māoridom such is the depth of feeling and desire for change” says Whānau Ora Commissioning Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.
Today’s hui, at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport, sees everyone participating in wānanga. The result of these sessions will help to identify the primary themes to inform the inquiry’s scope and purpose.
“Whānau are faced with intergenerational trauma from a state care system that does not properly recognise and consider their needs. Too much power in the hands of state and not enough accountability are real issues,” says Merepeka.
“This agency has failed review after review and continues to be rewarded with more and more resourcing. Meanwhile, Māorimade policy that’s proved to work gets peanuts. We have Māori providers lining up to meet the needs of whānau in a culturally appropriate way that values whānau and works to support them to realise their best potential. “We know the system needs to change. We know Māori organisations supporting whānau appropriately to Māori culture need adequate resourcing, but today we are all here to work together toward solutions” says Merepeka.