19 Jul 2012

Judge hopes Tainui can prevent its children going into care

7:15 pm on 19 July 2012

A district court judge says she has great hope that Tainui can become world leaders in preventing its young people from going into state foster homes, by providing its own care service.

Carolyn Henwood also chairs the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, which is dealing with people who allege abuse or neglect during their time in state care.

Judge Henwood says Tainui has a vision that none of its children will go into state care, and she has met with the iwi to discuss how it may provide its own welfare.

She says she's listened to the stories of 600 New Zealanders who were in state care before 1992, and says it's clear that poor care leads to crime and prison.

Judge Henwood strongly supports iwi playing a critical role in the care and protection of its young people, to prevent them from going into state care where she says the risk of a negative outcome is high.

She says Maori make up more than half of the 5000 children in state care.