He Pānui Pāpāho / Media Release

He Pānui Pāpāho / Media Release

14 Huitānguru 2017

Social system evolves through acknowledging past failures

Te Pou Matakana, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for the North Island, is supporting the call by Iwi leaders, Human Rights and Race Relations Commissioners for a Government inquiry – and apology – for historical abuse and neglect in state institutions.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Chair of Te Pou Matakana said “It was only right that the commissioning agency support this kaupapa.”

“Sometimes it is difficult to fix the future when you haven’t taken account and addressed your past,” Ms Raukawa-Tait said.

“The state must show leadership by facing up to its responsibilities for the abuse many whānau suffered while held in state run institutions.”

Prime Minister Bill English questioned whether an inquiry into abuse and neglect in state institutions would achieve anything at all and may actually cause harm. While Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said an inquiry would offer little moving forward.

Ms Raukawa-Tait disagrees, “This is not a witch hunt but an opportunity to learn from past failures so that the system evolves for the better and never neglects its responsibilities again.”

“As part of that pathway, the new ministry must work with organisations like Te Pou Matakana, to ensure the outcomes are best for whānau. Te Pou Matakana Whānau Ora partners are on the front line working with whānau every day.”

ENDS