Why do we have this standard?
Whakamana te tamaiti is an approach to practice which focuses on empowering tamariki Māori in their identity and culture. This includes connecting them with whānau and whakapapa and wider support networks that support their wellbeing.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi underpins the bicultural partnership between Māori as tangata whenua and tauiwi in Aotearoa. As practitioners, we have obligations to work in partnership with Māori in ways that support their participation and protection as indigenous people in matters that concern them.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) provide international guidance on best practice in meeting and promoting the rights of indigenous tamariki and whānau Māori. This supports them to be able to participate in their culture, customary practices and language, to experience appropriate support and responsive services which meet their needs.
Oranga Tamariki is engaged with a significantly disproportionate number of tamariki Māori. Tamariki, whānau, hapū and iwi have told us that we need to understand, engage and work with them in order to achieve better outcomes together. As indigenous and bi-cultural practitioners we have a responsibility to build genuine and respectful relationships with whānau, hapū, iwi and the wider Māori community that acknowledge their expertise and enable their full participation in decisions about their tamariki.