The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act stipulates that Māori children in State care should be given to carers from the same hapū and Iwi.
Permanent non-kin placements are only considered when extended family networks have been exhausted. But, what happens to our tamariki when no one from their whānau can provide safety, when no-one from their hapū or Iwi steps forward to bring mokopuna Māori home?
Also, what happens when a loving Pākeha family does care and wants to provide a safer future? That was the case for an Auckland couple who agreed to provide emergency care for a four-year-old Māori girl.
They claim the little girl had already been placed in the care of four different whānau members before the couple opened their own home and their hearts.
Native Affairs reporter, Ruwani Perera, has their story.