Te Rau Matatini welcomes a new Chief Executive.
Te Rau Matatini welcomes a new Chief Executive.
National President’s interview with Radio NZ:
One of the country’s most prominent Māori groups is urging the government to halt its radical restructuring of child welfare services.
It is considering lodging an urgent claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in a bid to delay a bill on the restructure of Child Youth and Family.
President Prue Kapua has written to Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, asking her to hold off introducing the legislation until Māori have been properly consulted.
Ms Kapua said the proposed changes were alarming and affected Maori more than any other group because they made up the majority of children in state care.
They may be in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, she said.
“In taking children out of the whanau, hapū involvement – that would be a breach of the Treaty.
“The issue of consultation is really important here too.”
The government plans to introduce legislation before the end of the year.
14 May 2015
The Māori Women’s Welfare League is determined to fight a move that has left Māori representation off an Independent Expert Panel on the Modernisation of Child, Youth and Family despite the fact that more than half the children in the agency’s care are Māori.
The National President of the League (Te Ropu Wahine Māori Toko I te Ora), Prue Kapua, says League members are very concerned that the Minister did not see fit to appoint a Māori onto the panel and she’s written to the Minister of Social Development urging her to reconsider the panel’s make-up as soon as possible.
“The terms of reference specifically require the panel to address how a new operating model will deliver better outcomes for Māori,” Ms Kapua says, “and yet there is no reflection of the need for expertise in tikanga Māori in the appointments made by the Minister.”
“With such a glaring omission – they can hardly call the panel expert at all.”
“In fact, without Māori expertise and knowledge we have no confidence that any of the panel’s findings or recommendations will properly address the needs of our children,” says Prue Kapua. “And we desperately need to do better – we must urgently address all the children’s needs while finding ways to reduce the alarming numbers of Māori children in care.”
The statistics are consistent. Over the past decade more than 50 per cent of the children in Child, Youth and Family’s care are Māori.
League branches and members are involved in working in the community with whanau through a number of programmes, including Whānau Toko I Te Ora through the Ministry, and have an intimate knowledge of the issues facing children, youth and whanau in their interactions with Child, Youth and Family.
“The League is more than happy to assist the Minister in identifying an appropriate independent panel member,” she said. “In the meantime we continue to wait for a response from the Minister to our letter sent nearly a month ago.”
Contact: Prue Kapua, National President, Māori Women’s Welfare League.
Attached: Letter to Minister dated 17 April 2015
About Te Ropu Wahine Māori Toko I te Ora
The Māori Women’s Welfare League has approximately 3000 members who belong to around 140 branches located throughout communities in Aotearoa (and even has one branch based in Perth).
Its long history dates back to conference held in September 1951 in Wellington that gathered together committees set up under the Māori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945. Welfare committees were set up alongside the (predominantly male) tribal committees to address the lack of a women’s voice.
From the days of the first President, Dame Whina Cooper, the priorities remained consistent – health, housing, education and tamariki.
Marae committee chairwoman and women’s league leader Margaret Bond said she had lost her passion for the league, disheartened by a lack of participation.
She was ready to pull the pin last year and put the group into recess, but her daughter-in-law Donna Nepia convinced her not to, asking her to give it one last go with a membership drive.
“So we did and now we have 12 vibrant, intelligent young women who have picked up the kaupapa of the league for Omaka Marae,” Bond said.
Bond had been involved with the women’s league for about 49 years, and had learned much about protocol, cooking, Maori arts, caring for people and being an activist for Maori women as leaders.
“When we were young we were passionate about it but when you turn up to a meeting and have about 3000 other things going on and only three people turn up it’s disheartening,” she said. The 12 new women had reintroduced drive and passion into the league, and were working on a range of projects already.
Nepia said the league, introduced nationally in 1951, was an important initiative to continue.
“I was really inspired to join because of the wonderful things that women achieved in the past. I have family members who have grown up under the league and seen how they have turned out to be confident, successful women.
“They have done wonderful, amazing things for the community,” she said.
“Even though the league is for women, my sons grew up around it, because it’s part of whanau. Some say it’s just for women but it’s not, these women nurture our leaders and our men,” Bond said.
The women hosted their first community event – an outdoor movie night – last week. It was organised it in conjunction with the marae committee as a fun community event and to raise awareness of the league.
– The Marlborough Express
Nga Pu Korero speak up at MWWL conference
As the Manu Korero contestants strutted their stuff in Napier, another significant public speaking competition was staged in Tauranga. Nga Pu Korero o Apopo is the feature event of the Maori Women’s Welfare League National Conference.
MWWL’s national hui underway in Tauranga
Maori Women’s Welfare League was welcomed today in Tauranga for their yearly meeting. One major kaupapa that will be discussed is the election of a new president for the organisation.
– TVNZ Te Karere
This month’s general election wasn’t the only poll being watched closely by Maori.
For many wahine, a more important contest was who would be the new president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.
The one they picked to replace retiring president Kaa O’Brien was Auckland lawyer Prue Kapua.
Despite being the long term partner of Labour MP Lousa Wall, Ms Kapua says she sees the job … and the league…as apolitical.
“There are lots of peoplel involved in league who have political involvement with different parties right across the board but I also think it is important for our Maori MPs to be coming back to the league, to be at the league, to be accountable, to be answering the questions that our women have,” she says.
Ms Kapua says priorities include continuing the rejuvenation of League, and also considering ways to reach out to whanau living overseas, including whether to set up overseas branches.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH PRUE KAPUA CLICK ON THE LINK
– Waatea News
‘Stand Strong with Ease’ is the theme of the Maori Women’s Welfare League’s annual conference this year.
This morning, the many groups affiliated to the nine main branches were welcomed to the ASB Stadium in Tauranga, looking at ways to make life better and more fulfilling for Maori woman and their families across the country.
They are daughters, mothers and grandmothers and are well respected in their communities. These are the women of the Maori Women’s Welfare League on the first day of their 62nd annual conference.
Having had years of supporting one another since last century, these women have seen many changes through generations, but the well-being of the family remains their fundamental focus.
There has been a shift in the more traditional communication pathways used by the league in the past, to incorporate a more modern approach to engage younger generations.
The conference will have several workshops until it closes on Saturday, including the development of ‘papakainga’, making ‘wahakura’ and positive parenting.