The Māori Council is launching a new campaign that will focus on the number of Māori children being abused in State Care.
The Council’s Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, says this campaign will reveal what’s happening to Māori children while in State care.
“The reality is that of the 220 that were abused in State care last year 70.1% of them were our children. More than half of all children in care are Māori and the truth is we seem to be seeing an increase in the rapidity of those being taken into care.”
Tukaki says the first part of the campaign is to raise awareness around the matter so the public knows what is happening behind closed doors. The second part will highlight the things that need to change, and the third part will be to look at the performance of the Agency.
“This includes looking at solutions around prevention, intensive intervention and postvention – just as we need to stop our kids entering the system we also need to ensure if they are already there, we need to stop them from returning. That includes looking at new models of Whānau and kin care, the better use of community resources around the care and protection of children as well as the increasing narrative of whanau centric solutions.” Tukaki said.
He says conversations need to begin with whānau members in the home, domestic violence and drug addiction need to be addressed and more aroha is needed for tamariki and rangatahi in these situations.
“Just as we hold the Crown and the Government to account so must we hold ourselves to account. It is time on this issue, as the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State care gets underway to throw open the doors of our whare’s and let the truth flow through – in doing so, lets move forward with the single focus of the care and protection of our children led by Māori, for Māori and governed by Māori,” Tukaki said.