The Memorandum of Understanding signing today gives us the opportunity to facilitate the return of Ngapuhi tamariki in state care to their whanau, the Chair of Te Runanga-a-Iwi-O-Ngapuhi Raniera (Sonny) Tau says.
“With nearly 500 Ngapuhi tamariki in state care, we have a responsibility to find a pathway for those tamariki to be reunited with their whanau back home here. That is the essence of whanau.
“A formal relationship brings two organisations together with a single objective – to do what’s best for our tamariki.”
The MoU with CYF will be the first with an iwi organization. Mr Tau said it signals a partnership based on finding solutions and providing support to whanau.
“The Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett has made it very clear that she wants iwi taking more responsibility for their whanau. We support that notion and welcome the opportunity to build on that with Government to enrich our Ngapuhi families.”
Two social development goals outlined in the Runanga’s five-year strategic plan are that better life outcomes is an integral part of hapu development and social development is driven by Ngapuhi whanau and hapu.
Mr Tau said the MoU would go some way to realizing those aspirations.
“In Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services we have the largest, most progressive and supportive iwi Maori service provider in the country,” said Mr Tau
“It’s come about through hard work and sheer determination to see our people uplifted, and we’ve managed to do it all largely off our own backs, but working collaboratively with like-minded organisations like CYF.
“We look forward to changing the lives of those of our tamariki who are less fortunate than ourselves and offer this pathway into the future with great optimism.”