Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti
In May 2019, the seriousness of ongoing issues with Oranga Tamariki (OT) – the Ministry for Children, was brought to the New Zealand public’s attention by media reporting on the actions of the agency in Hawke’s Bay.
It’s Time for Change – A Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki
The agency’s sustained and concerted attempt to forcibly uplift a newborn infant from a young Māori mother still in hospital recovering from childbirth was documented by a well-known reporter, and elicited widespread outrage. The responses to this incident were significant, sparking a call for renewed investigation into the practices of Oranga Tamariki. For Māori the central issue of whānau disempowerment and voicelessness warranted a new approach to the inquiry – one in which whānau with lived experience of Oranga Tamariki policies and practices, are at the centre.
The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, with the support of the South Island Commissioning Agency Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and under the guidance of renowned Māori leadership, took on the review process in recognition of the urgency for change towards better Māori whānau wellbeing.