Tuesday, 23 October 2007



Summit to combat Maori child abuse
NZPA | Tuesday, 23 October 2007

ABUSE SUMMIT: Anglican minister Hone Kaa says Maori should take responsibility for child abuse in their community, and is organising a hui to address the problem.

The death of Maori children at the hands of their parents and caregivers is genocide, Anglican minister Hone Kaa says.

He yesterday announced a summit would be held in Auckland in November to tackle the issue of Maori child abuse.

He has invited Maori from the Waikato, Auckland and Northland to the summit.

The summit will be called Nga Mana Ririki, which means the Power of the Little Ones.

"Tamariki Maori are more likely to be abused and killed by their whanau than any other group in the country. It is time to stop this genocide."

Dr Kaa said there had been much public discussion, but very little action, over the reasons why Maori child abuse rates were so high.

Ministry for Social Development figures show Maori children are almost twice as likely than non-Maori children to be assessed as abused or neglected. In 2003, the rate per 1000 was 11.9 for Maori and 5.9 for non-Maori.

Dr Kaa said it was time for Maori to take responsibility for the issue and develop solutions that worked.

The hui would be by invitation. Participants would hear from a range of Maori experts, and then draw up a strategic plan.

"It's an ambitious project but I am absolutely confident in the ability of the Maori we are calling together. We converted from internecine warfare and cannibalism little more than a century ago, so I am sure we can stop abusing and killing our children."

Project manager Anton Blank pointed to the Smokefree campaign as an existing template for this type of project.

"Sustained communications and branding combined with community action and intervention services have resulted in a reduction of Maori smoking rates. We can do the same with Maori child abuse," Mr Blank said.

The summit will open with a memorial service on November 25, and will run until November 28. The service, which is open to everyone, will be held at the Holy Sepulchre Church on Auckland's Khyber Pass Rd.

Dr Kaa said politicians and decision makers would be invited to the last day of the summit, to review the plan and discuss how they might support Nga Mana Ririki.

1 comment:

Andy Moore said...

No it's not genocide. It is child abuse. Maori are New Zealanders too.

"He yesterday announced a summit would be held in Auckland in November to tackle the issue of Maori child abuse."

That's not going to do any good. Talking about issues, throwing money at them, creating even more positions in an already overloaded bureaucracy, starting programmes such as CYFS - none of them are going to do any good.

Sensible sentencing, on the other hand will do exactly that. Bring back corporal punishment, forced labour, and the death-penalty.