Human Rights Commission Welcomes Calls For Transformation Of Oranga Tamariki

Human Rights Commission Welcomes Calls For Transformation Of Oranga Tamariki

November 23, 2020

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed calls for the transformation of the child uplift system, and other aspects of Oranga Tamariki.

The second Kuku o te Manawa report, released by the Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft, centres the right of whānau to maintain safe care of pēpi Māori, and calls for government to share resources and decision making power with Māori to ensure this can occur.

The Commission supports the ‘by Māori for Māori’ approach recommended in the report. This approach upholds indigenous rights of Māori through self-determination.

Self-determination is not only effective in achieving success for Māori, as shown by te kōhanga reo, it is a human right affirmed in the UNDRIP. The right to self-determination reinforces the guarantee of te tino rangatiratanga under te Tiriti.

“Te Kuku o te Manawa is the latest of several reports to say that we must stop tinkering around the edges with systemic problems,” says Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon.

“This transformative approach is needed by government for a host of issues affecting tangata whenua - in justice, health, education and so forth.”

The report highlights inequities that affect Māori and the intergenerational harm being done to Māori children and whānau and how this collides with entrenched disadvantage, colonisation and systemic bias toward te ao Māori - such systemic bias needs to go.

The Commission strongly endorses the recommendations made by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and supports any initiative to eliminate racism.

“We acknowledge the urgent nature of the issues at hand and encourage the government to respond to the recommendations in a positive and expedient manner.”