Kerri Nuku, the Kaiwhakahaere of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says she will be choosing to use the Māori name ‘Oranga Tamariki’ for the newly named government agency the ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’.
Nuku says she agrees with Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft that the Māori name is aspirational and reflects the kaupapa of nurses working with our young people and their whānau.
“The strong feeling from health professionals who are working closely with children, young people and their whānau is that they need support to be well, physically, mentally, and as part of our community” Nuku says, “Oranga Tamariki reflects exactly this aspiration, which is why I’ll be choosing to use the te reo name. I encourage all NZNO members and other health professionals, and the community to take up this wero too.”
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that the new child-centred, stand-alone ministry with new Chief Executive, Gráinne Moss, is being established to focus on the care and protection of vulnerable children and young people.
“The new ministry, new name and completely new operating model reflects our determination to remain absolutely focused on the individual needs of each child,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Māori are guaranteed the same right to health as all other New Zealanders under Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” says Nuku, “What nurses understand is that you need to work in a positive and culturally appropriate way, walking alongside our communities until that right is achieved.
I congratulate the new agency on their holistic choice of name in te reo. We look forward to working with them on this shared vision- every child in Aotearoa healthy and thriving”.
The new department will begin operating by April 2017.