31 Jan 2020

Ngāti Porou aims to have no children taken into state care by 2025

8:14 am on 31 January 2020

Ngāti Porou wants greater resourcing for its social services from the government to stop any more descendants going into state care from 2025.

Newborn baby. (generic)

Photo: 123RF

The East Coast tribe presented a report into its iwi-led model of care to the Children's Commissioner and the Ministry of Social Development.

It said the current Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 between the iwi and the Crown was not a partnership based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Between 2015 and 2017, there was a 38 percent increase in the number of Ngāti Porou tamariki going into state care, up to 425.

The report said the iwi would be presenting a business case to get more resources from the government, to increase its social services.

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft accepted the report, and called it a "revolution".

"I think it is something of a blueprint for the way forward - we've talked a lot about this in theory but here's the foundation for a change in practice."

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft.

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

He said what made it achievable was Ngāti Porou's existing, well-resourced social services that were providing organic, wrap-around support.

He said changes to the law which required Oranga Tamariki to work with iwi, hapū and whānau also meant "there's never been a better time to grab this opportunity".

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs