Thursday, August 15, 2013

Turei and Turia on the removal of Maori children by the state

According to the NZ Herald today Metiria Turei and Tariana Turia are back on the old issue of Maori children and Maori responsibility. They want whanau, iwi and hapu to have more input into the decision to remove a child from its home. My instinctive response is whanau, iwi and hapu should have had more input before the removal of the child.

Extra iwi oversight is needed over new, permanent out-of-family placements for Maori children who are three times as likely to be removed from their families as non-Maori, the Green Party says.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett yesterday unveiled new laws that would prevent some parents from having access to any future children and would see more children permanently taken away from their families.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said extra care is needed to ensure Maori children are genuinely better off in the state's care.
Ms Turei's comments echo those of Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, that the State was too quick to take Maori children away from their families and extended communities.
Ministry of Social Development statistics show about 4000 children - about half of whom are Maori - are in out-of-home placements.
Maori children make up about 25 per cent of the child population in New Zealand, so are three times as likely as non-Maori to be in out of home care, Ms Turei said.
Maori children make-up 21 percent  of the child population actually but in any event the size of the population has nothing to do with the greater likelihood they will be put into out of home care. The reason they are more likely to be removed by the state is that Maori children are more likely to be abused or neglected. There's no other way to cut it.

"Of course, Child Youth and Family must act to protect Maori children, and all Kiwi kids, when they are in danger.
"But given the huge over-representation of Maori children in the state's care, whanau, iwi and hapu must have additional guarantees they'll be involved in any decision to remove a child from their home.
"The prospect of more Maori children being raised in strangers' homes is hugely concerning," she said.
The alternative is perhaps worse?

Ms Turia said she'd recently returned from Australia where politicians there are strongly promoting the adoption of Aboriginal children, resulting in more being removed from their homes.

Frankly I hope we get to that option in this country. Adoption is no cure-all and brings with it a new set of possible problems. But it's still a better idea than leaving a child in a situation of serious risk, or moving them around from placement to placement.

"All the experts here say that by addressing poverty, we'd remove a huge stressor on families that is connected to increased rates of child maltreatment and neglect."

Always back to the collective, political, failed solution.

1 comment:

Paulus said...

The adoption question brings out the comment that are we only talking about Maori children being adopted by Maori ""Family"" or whanau only ?