A kuia - given a formal title by Queen Elizabeth - says efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable children are not working.
Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi on Wednesday delivered her message to the ongoing Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry looking at improving the lives of Maori children.
Dame Iritana questioned why children are still at risk when there are so many efforts to combat the problem.
She told the committee that in order to help children, support must be directed towards whanau first.
Dame Iritana said people hate being fixed, and don't feel valued.
She said there needs to be a change in the way services are delivered because there's more than one way to help people.
Politicians also heard from a number other groups, including anti-smoking campaigners, the Children's Commission and Women's Refuge.