30 Jun 2014

Better guidance needed for parents

7:54 pm on 30 June 2014

Grandparents and kaumatua need to guide rangatahi to be better parents if they want to cut down the high child abuse rates, a Maori mental health service says.

The recent Family Violence Death Review Committee report shows Maori adults are nearly five times more likely to be responsible for child abuse and neglect deaths than adults of other ethnicities.

Te Paepae Arahi chief executive and clinic director Carl Hutchby said if Maori wanted to improve the next generation then they needed to start passing on their parenting knowledge.

Maori needed to not only look to their tikanga for domestic violence solutions but people his age - 50 years and older - needed to start mentoring young people on how to raise tamariki properly, Mr Hutchby said.

He remembered his grand uncle, the late Jim Takarangi of Putiki Pa in Whanganui, who used to say he was only keeping the seat warm for the next ones coming through.

The Whanganui iwi man said his elders had a loving way of bringing up their children and Maori needed to return to those values.