Shayne Walker (Ngāi Tahu – Awarua) is unreservedly excited when he talks about the opportunity for transformative change presented by the burgeoning partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Oranga Tamariki. “I’m stoked, like superbly stoked, that our iwi has lined up for this,” he says. “In signing the partnership, they’ve said: ‘We want to get on with this. We want to care for our own tamariki, as well as all tamariki in care in our takiwā.’” More importantly, Oranga Tamariki is working alongside the iwi to realise that aspiration. “The CEO and senior leadership team are desperate for this to succeed,” says Shayne. “To me that’s the exciting part – my observation is that the national leadership team and the local staff that we deal with here in Dunedin, they turn up to be good partners.”
In 2018 the Labour-led coalition government established the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. This came after years of lobbying from survivors, community leaders, iwi Māori, the Human Rights Commission and the United Nations. The inquiry is investigating why people were taken into care, the abuses that took place, and the lasting impact on survivors. It is specifically focusing on Māori, Pasifika and disabled people because of the disproportionate representation of these communities in the care system.
Ruminating on the path that brought her to owning and operating a restaurant, Sahni Bennett (Ngāti Mako, Wairewa) says her success probably has a lot to do with her dogged determination to build on what existed before. At just 22, she opened her first cafe with no experience and three tamariki in tow. “I learnt how to carry a baby and make a flat white at the same time; they’d just come along to work and were very much part of it,” she laughs.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu exists to grow and develop Ngāi Tahu whānau members who are culturally able, well-connected to their Ngāi Tahu community and outstanding performers in their chosen field.
Click on your age group you’re interested in:
Whakapapa speaks to more than our relationships with each other; it links us with the land, the sea, the environment, our world and our universe. It permeates all things Ngāi Tahu, helping us understand who we are and where we come from. It lies at the core of Ngāi Tahu knowledge and understanding – it provides an unbroken link and chain of descent between the spiritual and the material, the inanimate and the animate.Whakapapa Registration