Mokopuna Māori

Mokopuna Māori Policy

Executive Summary

“Ko te taonga o taku ngākau, ko taku mokopuna e”

Māori Liberating Tamariki Māori Policy

The current treatment and experience of mokopuna Māori within the state care system is shameful. The make-up of government ministries and the way they treat tamariki and mokopuna Māori need to be fundamentally changed.

There is so much evidence provided across reports and reviews which show that state care causes harm, more than anything, to our tamariki and mokopuna. We cannot continue to follow and trust in a model which causes us to suffer.

The Government will not admit its own cultural incompetence and refuses to allow us as Māori to look after our own whakapapa, yet 70% of children within state care are Māori. Instead, it continues to fund and favour large national non-Māori organisations. Many of those organisations have increased their Māori staff quota and appointed cultural advisors to “brown up” their team, but this is only surface-level, and does not change the culture which harms our tamariki and mokopuna.

The current law of Oranga Tamariki also looks good on the surface, but is misapplied because the people in charge of that agency and other parts of the system either do not understand or do not care, and they are never held accountable to uphold all things Māori. The Waitangi Tribunal have
recently called out the leaders of Oranga Tamariki and their agency in a claim to do with the state’s removal of tamariki Māori from their whānau. This is the ugliest side of harm and trauma which our mokopuna and tamariki suffer at the hands of the organisation so ironically called “Oranga

The very system responsible for the care and protection of our mokopuna has been complicit in the inception of their intergenerational trauma. How many more chances do we give a Pākeha Agency purporting to have the oranga of our tamariki at the centre of their work, who have failed
over 14 reviews in recent years, who have failed to protect our whakapapa?

Unless a fundamental change is made in every single part of that system, by us as Māori, for us as Māori, this is only going to get worse for us and our tamariki and mokopuna.

The Maori Party say “Not One More Mokopuna!”

Nō reira, kei raro iho nei hei oranga mō tātou, otirā mō ā tātou tamariki, mokopuna anō hoki.

The Māori Party will:

1. Establish an independent mokopuna Māori care entity.

2. Allocate $600 million into an independent mokopuna Māori care entity provided by Māori, for Māori, to Māori.

3. This independent entity will also establish a partnership network across Māori organisations, hapū, and iwi, to ensure mokopuna Māori remain connected to their whakapapa.


To protect and maintain whakapapa Māori, the Māori Party will:

Establish an independent Mokopuna Māori care entity.

The entity will assert and protect every right promised in He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi;

The entity, from form to function, will be designed by Māori, for Māori;

The entity will honour the whakapapa-based rights and obligations of whānau, hapu, and iwi;

The entity will prioritise whakapapa and whanaungatanga, because whānau know what is best for their own mokopuna;

The entity will privilege te reo, tikanga, and kawa Māori to enable and empower mokopuna and their whānau to flourish and thrive as Māori.

Allocate $600 million into an independent mokopuna Māori care entity provided by Māori, for Māori, to Māori.

The policy proclaims affirmative procurement as the funding norm;

The policy asserts nearly 70% of mokopuna Māori in state care requires $600 million to be transferred to Māori, to be used by Māori, for Māori.

The policy acknowledges that for some whānau, healing can take time, resource and a certain way of working;

The policy recognises Whānau Ora as the leading example of the ‘to Māori, by Māori, for Māori’ approach and practice;

The policy also aligns with our own Whānau First Policy and approach.

This independent entity will also establish a partnership network across Māori organisations, hapū, and iwi, to ensure mokopuna Māori remain connected to their whakapapa.

The policy recognises the importance of partnering with Māori organisations on the ground which are already well-connected with our whānau;

The policy recognises the solution lies with Māori and thereby empowers Māori organisations to investigate and assist in finding whakapapa appropriate care and protection arrangements for mokopuna Māori;

The policy emulates the effectiveness of the Whānau Ora model which already works well for whānau Māori;

The policy implements our own tikanga as to care and protection and upholds tino rangatiratanga for all Māori organisations, whānau, iwi, and hapū, who all have a deeply vested interest in the prosperity of our mokopuna.


Mārangaranga mai rā, e te iwi.

Enacted in 1989, the Children Young Persons and their Families Act (CYPTFA) was made in the wake of the Puao-Te-Ata-Tu Report of 1988. That report was produced by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective (the Committee). It ultimately called for direct Māori involvement in the care of our tamariki, and the use of unique Māori practices and values to improve outcomes for Māori, who were significantly overrepresented in state care even at that time.

Fast-forward to today, and nothing has changed, including our demands to take back our tino rangatiratanga over our mokopuna and tamariki.

The CYPTFA did not realise the ambitions of the Committee because it did not give us back that tino rangatiratanga, nor did it make way for us as Māori to care for our own tamariki within a uniquely Māori framework. Moreover, the more recent changes to that law and Oranga Tamariki have and will continue to fail us in the same way. And what is worse, is the culture and standard practice of these institutions, which is to steal our tamariki and disregard whakapapa.

The Ombudsman released a report recently stating that Oranga Tamariki’s removal of new-born pēpi from their mothers under court orders without notice has become a matter of routine, rather than an exception. Also, the report says that Oranga Tamariki has failed to follow effective processes. On many occasions, Oranga Tamariki did not communicate with whānau what was going on, let alone discuss with them the plans for removal.

That report reveals the tragedy that is Oranga Tamariki and is backed by a considerable amount of evidence. Most importantly, it sets out the destructive and everlasting consequences for mokopuna Māori and their whānau. It proves as well that whānau have been ignored as if they
have no place in the lives of their mokopuna.

The right to care for, love, and grow mokopuna Māori must be reclaimed for whānau Māori to see significant change in the health, wealth and mana motuhake of mokopuna Māori.

We are the ones we have been waiting for and to that we say; Not one more mokopuna!