Māori Party candidate for Te Taitokerau Mariameno Kapa-Kingi. Photo/File.
Mokopuna Māori belong within whānau, hapū and iwi and not in state care, a new policy announced by the Māori Party says.
The party's Mokopuna Māori policy was announced this weekend by Māori Party candidate for Te Taitokerau, Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, at an event in Whangarei.
“We are at a tipping point and the time has come for us to take back our rights as tangata whenua,” says Kapa-Kingi.
“Our babies make up 70% of children in state care and are effectively funded to stay with people to whom they have no whakapapa connection – mokopuna Māori do not belong in generic state care, they belong within whānau, hapū and iwi.”
The Taitokerau candidate says a kaupapa Māori system is required, "for Māori, by Māori, as Māori".
The Māori Party policy would see the establishment of an independent Mokopuna Māori entity, funded by $600 million of public funding, which would be responsible for the care of all mokopuna Māori in Aotearoa. A cornerstone of the policy is that the service will be provided by Māori, for Māori, to Māori.
"Ultimately, through this entity, the allocated funding and the partnership network, we will rightfully reclaim our tino rangatiratanga as protected under Article 2 of Te Tiriti in respect of the greatest taonga of all – our mokopuna," says Kapa-Kingi.