The first report in this series, Te Kuku O Te Manawa: Ka puta te riri, ka momori te ngākau, ka heke ngā roimata mo tōku pēpi, released in June 2020, presented the insights gained from interviews with mums and whānau who had experience with pēpi (aged 0-3 months) who had either been removed, or were at risk of being removed, from their whānau by Oranga Tamariki or its predecessor Child, Youth and Family. From these interviews as well as the statistical snapshot and process map, the authors have identified six key themes and six areas for change.
To complete this series of reports, the authors gathered new evidence – by interviewing more parents and whānau as well as midwives, community support people, and Oranga Tamariki staff. They also looked further at what the data can (and cannot) tell us about the experiences and outcomes of pēpi in the statutory care and protection system; and conducted an environmental scan of relevant rangahau and mātauranga Māori to provide a te ao Māori perspective. The authors also looked at what immediate changes to statutory social work practice and legislation are necessary to support better outcomes for pēpi and their whānau, and considered the broader context to inform the recommendations for this report.
- Māori are not well served by current systems, and the impacts of colonisation, socio-economic disadvantage and racism are well entrenched and still evident today.
- The statutory care and protection system continues to reproduce inequities for pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi Māori.
- There is a lack of evidence and trust that incremental change can deliver for Māori, as it has not done so over the past 30 years.
- Now is the time for a true commitment to transfer power and resources to by Māori, for Māori approaches – this is the best option for real change, recognising Māori as best placed to care for their own.